Healthy Habits

Two editors work toward a healthier lifestyle; the cost of working out and self consciousness at the gym


For thousands of years it has been a part of our nature to be physically active. From our most primal moment, we needed to stay fit to remain at the top of the food chain.

Now moving into today’s day and age, we’ve accomplished this. We have produced successful products of evolution that are the pinnacle of strength and endurance, like myself. However, I’m ignoring the fact I’m saying this as I lay in bed, curled up in a Snuggie, digesting some spicy, meaty fiesta boxed dinner thing.

Back in the day it was so natural to stay fit. You either stayed at the top of the food chain, or you died. Nowadays I struggle to even find the time to workout, much less have it be a natural process. It’s something I’ve come to find out is hard to budget time-wise as well as money-wise.

My first thought when I decided I was going to start running was that I was excited because I thought running was the most financially-friendly workout I could do. Not the case.

First off, my locations for running include the harsh, unforgiving winter landscape that is Eau Claire, or a gym.

Since I love myself too much, I opted for the gym. I bought an Anytime Fitness membership, which are normally around $30-something a month if you’re a student. Luckily, I jumped on a family plan deal and I pay a good chunk less than that.

Now that I have a place to run I should be fine, right? Nope. After I started running farther — and breaking more goals like my 5k milestone this week — I noticed my current shoes aren’t going to work. They’re normal sporty shoes I bought at some shoe store at the mall but apparently I need to get actual decent running shoes otherwise I keep losing circulation to my feet, which causes them to go numb.

Most running shoes fall somewhere between $100-$200, which is probably my biggest and most important expense if I want to run a marathon. Not to mention any extraneous running items I could purchase like running clothes, sunglasses and matching sets of fuzzy arm, hand and leg warmers.

And I’m not just running, I’m on a protein diet, too. A protein intake calculator on said I should eat about 190g of protein a day. With today being on the higher end of protein I’ve consumed, through milk, yogurt, peanut butter and lean beef, I still only made it to around 130g, which means I need to buy some sort of supplement.

If only I could just be some naturally beefy neanderthal-type person. That would be pretty cool. Until that happens, my hope is to cut costs in the summer by working out outside and to buy protein in bulk. There are some pricey essentials to getting fit and it doesn’t look like mother nature is going to help us out anymore.

— Brian Sheridan, Op/Ed Editor

A typical workout involves a lot of sweat, weird grunt-like noises and sometimes moving your body in a way you never thought you would, in public, that is.

I’ve tried out most of the available workout facilities offered on and around campus; McPhee when I was an athlete, Crest while living in the dorms and presently, the local Anytime Fitness.

All of them are pretty nice, offering a unique experience to students. They all also have one thing in common for me, personally: a phobia of people watching me workout. When I say people, I’m actually talking about men.

I don’t mean this out of conceit and big-headedness; I say this out of my own self consciousness while I workout. In fact, I think most women would agree with me.

Being a gal at the gym brings interesting experiences. And by interesting, I mean completely and utterly unpleasant.
First battle: What to wear to the gym. This one leaves me in a doozy because either I choose the chaff-your-legs shorts or workout pants that reveal the ever-so-tasteful sweat mark all the way down your backside (also known as the ‘terrible T’).

Second battle: Workouts themselves are uncomfortable on their own, especially in a public setting in front of the opposite gender. Any woman would attest that doing any type of squats is a nightmare. Don’t even get me started on those pelvic thrust workout movements.

I remember training with the soccer team, as my cheeks turned red with embarrassment while trying to perform an array of workouts in front of the men’s basketball team. How am I supposed to get my workout on when I know all of these buff men are surrounding me?

Third battle: I feel like a newborn fawn as it learns to walk when I try to do any sort of weightlifting. Even after a few years of training with weights I still feel like an amateur with the style and technique of lifting. As I’m lifting, all I can think about is not dropping the weights on my feet, or worse, the feet of another person.

I know I should go to the gym, put my headphones in and just do my own thing, but this is a difficult feat for me and having a personal gym isn’t in the budget for me quite yet as a junior in college.

For now, I’m going to focus on why I’m at the gym, and that’s to get in better shape and become healthier while doing so. It’s safe to say the gym is a daunting place, but maybe I’ll just save the squatsfor the comfort of my own home.

— Colette St. John, Managing Editor