Blog: Good habits and picking up rackets

Wed 3 Feb 2016

Derby City Council gym-goer shares his experience on choosing and using the gym to fit around work and other sporting committments.

"After finishing university and moving back home, I knew it was time to pick up good habits once again. The resounding echoes of friends and colleagues telling me how much harder it gets as responsibility increases were sure becoming a reality.

For the past ten years, I had been playing badminton at a relatively competitive level, however, for the past two years, I haven’t picked up my racket anywhere near as much - hence the need to get back in a gym/on the courts! My aims for this year are to improve my fitness so I can get back to a regular competitive level and also try something new, and I'm thinking of either running a half marathon or competing in The Jenson Button Triathlon.

When I moved back to Derby in December, I took advantage of the 5 day pass I found advertised for Derby Arena. I was excited to see this venue which I'd only heard of whilst away at university.

I arrived for my first day and was taken on a gym induction by Marc. I was shown around the gym, exercise studios, the badminton courts (having expressed my interest in using them) and well…you can’t really miss the track. I was extremely impressed by the gym and its range of equipment, particularly the kinesis stations which I had never come across in a gym before. I was even more elated to find out I could watch TV whilst on the cross trainer!

Finally, I had secured employment in Derby City Centre at the beginning of January and I was ready to get stuck into a daily routine and use the New Year as some form of motivation to get fitter. I had to crack on with decisions and after realising that the choice of memberships with the council gym facilities allows you to ‘pick n mix’ between gym, swim and exercise classes – it just felt like a no brainer.

By joining Derby Arena, I could also gain access to Queen’s Leisure Centre gym and pool - perfect for potential triathlon training. Not to mention there are also two other sites available to use (Springwood Leisure Centre and Moorways!). However, Queen’s is located so close to work, I could swim either before work, on my lunch break or after work at a time convenient for me and either use the gym there too or go to Derby Arena which is nearer home depending on my day.

On my second day of work, I committed. I signed up at Queen’s Street as part of their new I Can You Can campaign which gives you access to all these facilities. Obviously, I had to participate in another gym induction for Queen’s Street gym. Although this gym might not compete with Derby Arena in terms of size and variety of new technology, it still caters for any gym workout.

The next day, I got stuck in and went to the pool before work. I hadn’t been to this pool for over ten years since I came with school! The gala pool was exactly how I remembered it, a great size for a pool with lanes for committed swimmers and then a large public area to take the pace of a little – great for that morning mood.

It’s only been three weeks since I joined, but I am making use of the variety of exercise and locations on offer. I’ve found that choosing this membership fits in extremely well with my daily routine throughout the week and keeps me more motivated to actually exercise and work towards my aims (I’m always close to at least one of the sites!). I am currently looking into a possible triathlon or half marathon to enter in the near future and cannot wait to keep up my routine to allow me to do so!"

By Tom Leonard