A Month at the Gym: Is the Gym Really Worth It?

I was sooo lucky that my boss gifted me with a month’s free pass to…… not just any gym, but THE BEST, the most expensive gym in Malaga.

And was it worth it?

Well, here is my experience.

I’d never signed up to a gym before. I might have tried out a month here or there at some point in my life, but always at cheap gyms that didn’t have very much to offer, maybe a couple of classes, lots of weight lifting apparatuses and that was pretty much it. So I got bored very quickly.

But the gym my boss gifted me to was, not just any gym, but the O2 Gym, or Oxygen Wellness Centre gym chain, which was started in India over a decade ago and is, in my opinion, the best gym I have ever seen.

O2 Wellness Centre

O2 gyms combine traditional gym equipment and activities, such as weightlifting apparatuses, static bikes, running machines etc., with more alternative options such as yoga, pilates and TRX.

The gym in my city, in particular, offers a greater variety of classes than any other fitness centre that I’ve ever visited. Here is just a selection of some of the activities you can take part in:

  • aerolatin dance
  • zumba
  • step
  • aerobics
  • TRX
  • cycling
  • calisthenics
  • body balance
  • combat
  • boxing
  • circuit training
  • fitball
  • abs-gluts-legs
  • Spartans
  • Tai-Chi
  • yoga
  • pilates
  • crosstraining

As well as a whole bunch of water sports, and not just the typical swim classes you would expect, either.

In fact, O2 Gym is one of the very few sports centres in Malaga that even offer a swimming pool at all.

My ex just happened to sign my youngest son up to this gym for swim classes, because he has scoliosis (a twisted backbone) and the doctor recommended it. The centre is quite close to my ex’s home, but it’s a bit of a walk from my house.

If you happen to live in Malaga, the O2 Wellness Centre is near the Vialia shopping centre, which also houses the train station.

In addition to ALL those marvellous and exciting activities, the gym also offers a full and complete spa centre and jacuzzi.

The spa centre includes 4 different pools with varying water temperatures, water massages, a sauna and a Turkish bath.

I tried out most of the apparatuses, except the running machine. As I watched people working out on the running machines, I thought, gee your lives must be pretty pathetic if you have to come to the gym in order to get the chance to run haha!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit mean of me. But, I mean, I’m running the whole day long every day. I do NOT need a machine to get all worn out running just living my life every day.

I thought the machines were just fine. They were state-of-the-art, with plasma screens in front of you telling you all different stats like how fast your heart is beating or how many minutes you’ve been running/rowing/cycling or how far you’ve run/walked/cycled/rowed. But, let’s face it. These are fairly boring, redundant, monotonous activities.

Fortunately, there is a huge panel with a row of plasma TV screens in front of you, where you can watch every public TV channel available.

I took part in a few classes. The classes are very well spaced out, and most activities are offered 3 times a day during various time periods, morning, noon and evening so, unlike in most other gyms, they are well adapted to most people no matter what their work/study schedule is like.

I enjoyed classes such as zumba and step. However, since I’m anaemic, I don’t really feel I was able to get the most out of these activities.

In addition to which, most of them consisted of choreographies that had already been set up at the beginning of the school year, and which students had been learning for several months already. So if you arrive new in December, like me, everyone already knows the steps except you.

Which makes you get left behind. Since, of course, they are not going to teach all the steps again just for you.

I would have perhaps preferred it if in every class they invented new, easy to learn choreographies, since these are classes where new people are always joining. But since that was not the case, well, I felt a bit left behind.

In the end I ended up going mostly to pilates and yoga classes.

I’d practised yoga pretty much most of my life, ever since I discovered a yoga book when I was just 12 years old and set to work learning all the exercises and routines in the book. However, I’d never actually been to a yoga class before.

I found that, perhaps thanks to the fact that I’ve practised yoga at home all my life, I found myself adapting easily to the yoga and pilates exercises, and taking to them like a fish to water, even though I’d never gone to a yoga class before and had never taken pilates.

And of course, as always happens when you find something easy enough to do that you don’t get discouraged or tired, but with just that added amount of difficulty to keep you challenged, these were the classes I ended up relishing the most.

There were still a ton of activities I didn’t try out. Some because they simply didn’t appeal to me, such as boxing or weightlifting.

And others because the hours when these classes took place simply didn’t combine well with other classes that I was interested in. Because, after all, I wasn’t going to spend the whole day at the gym, just so I could try out more classes, was I?

In addition to which, going to the gym is tiring!

So it’s not like it’s something you want to be doing the whole day long!

But I do have to admit that I LOVE going to the gym. I don’t feel lazy at all about working out. I love it.

What I did feel lazy about was having to put up with the excess of walking I had to carry out every day in order to get to the gym. I felt I got more aerobic exercise just walking to the sports centre than I could have at any class there.

My life changed the day I checked out the spa.

Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I am a person who LOVES, LOVES LOVES bathing in water.

And it’s true, during the summertime we do get to go to the swimming pool.

But it’s not the same. The swimming pool, even on the hottest day, is never quite hot enough for always freezing cold little me.

Nope. I’m the kind who only enjoys almost scalding hot water. Like the kind you can get in your bathtub. But we don’t have a bathtub.

So the spa is pretty much the only place I can go to get a truly HOT bath.

The spa at the gym includes 4 pools with different water temperatures. I enjoy using the one that is 32ºC to chill out in. It has several different types of water massages and waterfalls.

I don’t particularly like the water massages. I think they’re too hard. And I’m soft and delicate haha.

But I do like that it has steps at different depths, so you can sit with the water at the level that you like. This would have been a great pool to bring my kiddies to, except I couldn’t because they don’t have an entrance ticket to the gym.

My favourite pool is the one heated to 35º. For me it’s a most comfortable temperature. Relaxing, but at the same time not cool enough to give you shivers. Apparently, most people seem to agree with me, because this appears to be the most popular pool and there are always a bunch of people hanging out in it.

There’s a tiny “frigidarium” whose water is only 18º. I don’t know how anyone can have a good time in it. For me, personally, freezing to death is not my idea of a good time but at any rate, to each his own. A few people do actually seem to enjoy it.

For me, the most awesome pool is the hot pool at 37º. If it were up to me, I’d spend my whole life in that pool! Seriously. It is THAT. GOOD!

I would prefer it over the 35º pool, but after I’ve been in it for a while, it makes me sleepy. Which, I suppose, on the other hand, is probably its objective anyway.

But since I later have a long trek home, I don’t want to fall asleep haha.

So, have I noticed any effects or improvements after a month of going to the gym almost every day?

Well, I didn’t weigh myself before beginning. I cringe at the idea of even coming close to a scale anyway.

I don’t think I look any fitter, more toned or more slender now than I did one month ago.

However, I do feel stronger and more flexible. I can do things I couldn’t do before, such as stand up from a lying position without using my hands. Or climb up several flights of stairs without getting tired and breathless.

And speaking of stairs, in this gym in particular, as soon as you enter, there is an enormous flight of stairs that covers one and a half storeys from the ground floor to the first floor. There is also an elevator you can take, if climbing stairs is not your thing.

And it did make me wonder, how is everyone supposed to be able to negotiate such a tall flight of stairs without getting tired?

But then, I thought. You probably wouldn’t expect to find a lot of unfit, unhealthy couch potatoes at a gym. Most people who frequent a sports centre would probably have no difficulties climbing one and a half floors without getting winded.

So there you have it, couch potatoes. If you’d like to be able to climb stairs as if you weighed the same as a feather, sign up to a gym!

So after one month, do I think a gym is worth it?

You bet!

And even if outdoors activities is more your cup of tea, if you’re a weekend athlete, going to the gym on weekdays will still help you be able to carry out your weekend hiking, biking or marathon activities with greater ease.

So, here are a couple of factual facts. If you are in Malaga, you can find the O2 Wellness Centre at calle Plaza de Toros Vieja, number 5.

It’s just a couple of blocks from the Vialia shopping centre. Walk down calle Salitre and turn to your right at the second street after leaving Vialia.

The all-inclusive pass costs (as of this writing) 59.40 euros if you pay monthly, but they do offer special prices and discounted rates.

And while you’re here, could I beguile you with a few book ideas? It’s great to improve your health, but just as fantastic to cultivate your mind. And what better way to do it than with a few psychological thrillers? If you like reading (or even if you don’t usually read, but you do like something that gets your heart rate going), why don’t you check out my creepy, scary, suspenseful novels here, at: Thrillers by Moi.

So how about you? Have you ever been to a gym or a spa? What has been your experience? Do share. I LURRRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

A Hike in the Rain in the Montes of Malaga

Kayaking in a Storm in Nerja

The Carratraca Trail And a Water Party

Spanish Beaches

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