Weight Loss NHS
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Gym opinions!

Hello guys!

I've just managed to get myself a job after spending quite a few months searching - Y A Y !

So am wondering whether or not to 'gym it'?

There are plenty of options nearby, one with a swimming pool included in the membership, another with a friendlier feel.

I lost weight last year by running, but a lot was by restricting my foods (starving myself) and so would much rather focus on my exercise this time round. I just don't know whether paying a gym membership would be worth my money with the added weights and different cardio options?

I would like to save as much as possible for travelling and driving but then again going to the gym would surely help me make more friends as I'm struggling socially at the moment.

All advice welcome!


7 Replies

Well done on the new job, thats great. You'll get an official welcome from the admin team with details of the Nhs 12 week plan.

Important to dispel myth number one. We can in fact all lose weight without starving ourselves, honestly! There are loads of us on here are doing so / have done so successfully .

Take a look at the NHS 12 week plan, its all about eating healthily , but adequately, and still losing weight. Then, yes, do combine it with somw exercise, can be the gym, living room aerobics, running, walking, tennis whatever rocks your boat. ..but what you eat is the key.


Hi Hannah, congrats for securing yourself a job, that's brilliant :)

I can't really help with your decision about a gym membership, as it's something don't have, so couldn't say whether it was a good thing, or a bad thing.

I do, however, want to warn you against trying a different tack, but with the same unsustainable fervour! First it was diet and you restricted yourself so much, you couldn't keep it up and now it's exercise and you appear to be considering becoming a gym bunny :)

I think you should aim for some middle ground, where you follow a healthy lifestyle that aims to improve both aspects of your life, without it becoming an obsession :)

If money is tight and socialising is difficult, maybe a running/walking/cycling club would be the way to go? I'm unsure how much socialising is done in the majority of gyms, where exercise is the main focus?

Maybe some exercise classes? Pilates, yoga?

Whatever you decide, make sure you enjoy it and can see yourself still doing it in 5 years time.

Good luck! :)


Hi Hannah

Congratulations on your job!

Not every gym requires full membership so if might be expedient to look around. Our local leisure centre for example, has classes such as Zumba, full body workout, dance or gym sessions which you can either pay for on a weekly basis or per class. In this way, you can pick and choose favourites and you don't feel obliged to go all the time because you've paid full membership. On the other hand, the membership allows you to use all of those facilities.

The gym/leisure centre is a great place to make friends very easily as everyone has similar goals of getting into shape. However, if you're not used to gym equipment you might take a look at my post called 'A light hearted but cautionary tale.......' it might make you smile. But anyway, there are qualified gym instructors who show you the ropes, pardon the pun 🙂

Good luck.

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I declare my interest - I love the gym.


I feel very strongly that the gym is not for everyone. If you don't enjoy it, choose something else. If you enjoy it, only you can decide which one to choose. Do you want certain equipment, classes, a pool? The more there is, the more it will probably cost. Any gym worth anything will give you a free tour and a free induction. Personally I would always choose one that gave me free, personal programmes from people I liked. A major factor for me is cost and so on. I have never belonged to a gym where I was committed to being a member for more than eight weeks at a time. If you find it's not for you, and there are penalties for cancellation or minimum membership terms, that could become an expensive mistake.

I need a gym that is easy to get to, and opens at the times I need too. No use if it opens at times you can't get there.

Finally, and others may find something different, people are usually focussing on their own thing at the gym. If people go together, they may train together, but usually, apart from saying "hello" to a few people, that's it. The very occasional conversation - but I've never been for coffee with anyone from a gym. So definitely not the place I make friends.

Not sure if that is helpful, or the answer you were looking for - just my personal opinion.


I have lost over a stone since January and not joined a gym- I have walked gradually incresing the speed as I got fitter. Walking is fine to loose weight as long as you walk fast enough to get warm and slightly breathless. My speed has increased from 18min/mls to now 13-14min/mls and I don't feel like I am straining. The NHS Choices living well has exercises you can download- 10mins burst covering cardio and various strength/core exercise and a 40min strength & flexibility plan and obviously there is the couch to 5K (though since I hate running I have not bothered with that!) Some people on here use youtube exercises and I have Wii which has been gathering duts and have various exercse discs which also have been gathering dust so have be using them. The best is its free (except the Wii unless you have access and necessary discs). I don't go to a gym- mainly because I have been the 3 and within 2 years they all went into receivership so now have a complex that I am the kiss of death for any gym!

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Well done on getting a job :)

i too focused on my weight loss when securing full time work, but have never entered a gym, i just exercise at home, nothing special, only because i can do it anytime, in the comfort of my own home.

I understand the social side of things as im the same i keep myself to myself and my work is mainly on my own all day.., i guess you could join some sort of running/walking group at no cost in your local area, so the monies can be saved and put towards your travelling dreams..

Best of Luck

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Hello Hannah.

Congratulations upon securing your new job.

While you certainly needn’t pay a premium for gym memberships nowadays, particularly if joining the likes of PureGym and JD, for example, since you’d like to save for driving lessons (I presume) and to go travelling, the cost of not paying for a gym membership would allow you to add more to savings.

Equally, if the thought of lifting weights and spending time on cardiovascular machines doesn’t appeal, with improving weather and extended light in the evenings, possibly re-consider running, particularly if it was something that you enjoyed.

In all fairness, from years of using them, gyms aren’t the most social of places, since the vast majority who attend them are largely focused simply upon number one.

Instead, as others have suggested, you’ll probably find greater social interaction through a running club or at local Park Runs, since both cater for runners of all ages and capabilities, allowing you to run alongside those who share a similar level of fitness, hopefully allowing friendships to be formed.

Although you may have severely restricted intake when you ran throughout 2016, there’s certainly no reason why you should need to do the same again.

Moreover, the forum can provide help and assistance in allowing you to understand that, through the maintenance of a moderate calorie deficit, weight can be lost in a sustainable manner without restricting foods that you may enjoy eating; calorie reduction and portion control certainly doesn’t mean that a life of restriction needs to lived. You can still have your cake and eat it on occasion.

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