2009-07-29

Maybe not so great: YMCA

After a month and a half of skipping gym, I am working on getting back into the routine of working out a few times a week. Conveniently, there is a YMCA facility located less than 15 minutes away. Walking 15 minutes, of course.

Last night, I went there to check out the group exercise class. They were having Zumba at the time, and I joined.

The class was about the right level for me after the long break, challenging, yet not impossible. However the instructor could have done better with verbal ques and general interaction with the group. Had I not taken this class in NC a year ago, I would have never been able to follow.

Today, I went to check out something called Nia. The Y website describes it as a class that "Simultaneously uses physical activity to integrate one’s neurology (mind, emotions, and spirit) with one’s body, or musculature. Nia addresses the whole person, using a comprehensive, holistic exercise approach designed with a combination of: Tai Chi, Jazz Dance, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, The Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, and Yoga."

Sounded like it would be a challenging enough workout. Well, not exactly.

Maybe I am not sufficiently plugged into the New Age stuff, or whatever, but this definitely was nothing for me. Flowing movements combined with dance steps and a few limp kicks, which were few and far between.

I started getting bored and losing concentration after 40 minutes, so I sneaked out.

While I was still warmed up and full of energy, I thought I'd go punch something. :) Another disappointment: The staffer in the exercise room said that they had no punch bags or even a space I could safely practice kicking and punching air. She suggested I could go into a narrow hallway "where nobody ever goes" to do that.

That somehow did not sound enticing.

I stepped into a Zumba class for ten minutes instead. Next stop: Spa whirlpool and sauna.

Locker room looked, smelled, and sounded like it belonged to a school. Okay, that I could live with, though I would expect higher quality for $70 a month.

The whirlpool spa was fun, and I spent 10 minutes bobbing up and down in bubbly water, letting the water jets massage my back and shoulders.

The sauna was fine too, even though it could have been in better condition.

All in all, I am now not so sure this facility is such a good match for me. Still need to check out their cardio-box and karate classes, but there is a tae kwon do studio a few blocks from work on Castro, and I would prefer real martial arts instruction to merely okay group exercise classes at the Y at this point.