Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Comments and references (extra posting)

Bakhru, H. (2007). A handbook of natural beauty. Mumbai: Jaico Publishing House.

Deloria, W. (2009). Coach without a whistle. United States of America: Cornerstone Bible Publishers.

Jonas, S., & Phillips, E. (2009). ACSM’s exercise is medicine: a clinicians guide to exercise prescription. Philadelphia: American College of Sports Medicine.

Lluch, A. (2007). I will get fit this time!:workout journal. San Diego: WS Publishing Group.

Siegel, R. (2010). The mindfulness solution: everyday practices for everyday problems. New York: The Guildford Press.

Stables, G. (2006). Health and beauty the natural way. New Jersey: Home Farm Books.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Practical Considerations Blog 6/6

"Don't downplay the importance of a gyms hours and amenities. If the place is closed at the times you can work out, or if the locker rooms make you queasy because they smell bad, you're not likely to benefit from the membership" (Lluch, 2007, p.101).

A gym membership. This is what I need to begin with in order to partake in my activity. As Lluch (2007) says the importance of the hours and amenities considerably change the value of the membership. My gym is 24/7 which is awesome because……

I was walking home from town last year and I vividly remember walking past my gym at 3am. I had lots of energy and was so keen to let loose on the treadmill. I went home, jumped into my gear and went back down to the gym. Not a person in sight. Just me and the treadmill.

Back to reality. I look down at my shoes and they’re falling apart on me. I put my hand into the compartment of the treadmill, searching for my towel, I forgot it today. I look down at my brand spanking new training pants which my boyfriend got for my birthday….there is something awesome about new training gear. I must admit, on a student’s budget, going to the gym is a luxury, one of which I couldn’t give up now. These are the practical considerations I need to evaluate before being effective in my activity.

I have recently talked about the bathrooms at my gym, with the mountain of smells. The only downfall is that there are only two bathrooms. Both of which are always taken. So I take my sweaty body home, jump into the shower and freshen up. It doesn’t matter anyway, I left my towel at home, remember!

Lluch, A. (2007). I will get fit this time! : workout journal. San Diego: WS Publishing Group.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ambience Blog 5/6

“From the music I played and the pictures I displayed to the arrangement of my equipment and the display of supplements and clothing… it had to create a warm and friendly ambience” (Deloriea, 2009, p. 140). This quote clearly depicts the way a gym presents itself in terms of how it feels and what the gym member can see and feel when entering the gym. This quote comes from a personal account from a gym owner.


Remember how I told you about the damp smell of sweat and the loud music that approached me as I made a haste exit from the changing room? This is ambience. This is what I see, hear, feel when I go to the gym. It is the overall feeling of a place. I go to the gym twice today, both having very different feelings of ambience. In the morning, the air is crisp outside and inside the gym is just as crisp, air-conditioning running full and about 20 bodies floating around the place all on their individual gym routines. They all seem fresh, full of energy and relatively happy. It makes me feel something similar and makes me motivated to keep going and working towards my goals. As I walk up the treadmill, the cleaner comes over and cleans the treadmill next to me. I often think to myself about her job while I am there and how often she cleans and if she likes her job. Having clean equipment adds to the positive ambiance of the place. Off to tech I go.


Went to the gym after tech. Afternoon, peak hour and sweat dripping faces, panting mouths and slamming of machines. I think I prefer the morning. Everyone seems too focused, too strict. There are posies of males gathered to check out each other’s muscles and the ladies who have just endured an 8 hour shift release some stress. I can almost feel the tension in the air. Ambiance. The overall feel and atmosphere of a place.

Deloria, W. (2009). Coach without a whistle. United States of America: Cornerstone Bible Publishers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Affordances - Physical (extra posting)

It is clear that there are physical affords attached to exercise and if there wasn’t you clearly aren’t doing it right! When doing an activity analysis of exercise there are many performance skills that one naturally displays.

Today I set the bar higher for myself, I hop on the treadmill as per usual and begin to climb at 15% incline – which actually means 100% because ‘the makeshift hill’ doesn’t get any higher than this! I set the speed at around 6.0 and march my way until my breathing gets heavier. I endure and up the anti - so to speak. That word…’endurance’ is absolutely the biggest consideration I take when exercising on the treadmill and today it really is an endurance race. I have forty minutes to make something of this workout but it is the last 10 minutes, or the last 200 calories that is the hardest, that’s when my inner endurance kicks in and pushes me harder. This is when I take the speed to 7.3, 7.4…..8.2. I am now running up a ‘steep hill’.

Speed. Monitored only by me, for me…and today is a day for speed. This speed depends on my fitness, of course and since I began training like I do I have increased my fitness. When looking at physical affordances Butler (2011) poses the question ‘What is the capacity for strength, fitness, endurance, skill, flexibility, speed, height, balance?’ (p.2). It is evident that especially in my experience there is capacity for strength, fitness & endurance specifically and it can be agreed to some degree that skill is necessary to partake to the level I do. It is not until you evaluate your own capacity that you realise how important these physical affordances are.

Butler, M. (2011). Affordances (cont). Unpublished, cited with the permission of the author. Otago Polytechnic School of Occupational Therapy, Dunedin.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Affordances - Aesthetics Blog 4/6

I must remember I’m my biggest critic in the progress I am making at the gym, but what do I see when I look in this mirror? I see muscles in my legs and a flattened stomach. I see a bright red face with sweat beneath my eyes, dripping down my forehead, onto my neck and chest. To me this is absolute proof that there is some beauty attached to exercising.


I head to the gym again this morning and I am welcomed with a damp sweat smell, although really unwelcoming, it actually reminds me I am here to work. I walk into the bathroom. I am hit with a mountain of smells, shampoos, toilet sprays, perfumes and damp sweat. I feel overwhelmingly sick and need to get out of there. As soon as I walk out, I am greeted with one of my favourite songs blearing on the speakers – it seems the music is louder than usual today which motivates me to walk faster to the piece of equipment I want. Perfection – aspirations – a valid aspect of the aesthetics of exercising. I agree, sometimes this can be taken to the extreme, but in my case, perfection will be achieving my greatest goal: Bikini by Summer. Some may say this is artificial or self-absorbed, but for someone who has never felt comfortable with doing so, I completely disagree.


“Beauty and health go hand in hand. The finest cosmetics in the world cannot disguise the effects of poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and exercise or too much stress. Beauty comes from within.” (Bakhru, 2007, p. 134). If I consider beauty in this context, the type of beauty that is associated with going to the gym is purely selfish and can be seen as vanity. I agree with this to some extent as it is very much a very personal journey but there are elements to exercising and shaping an individual’s body that is aesthetically pleasing, to say the least.

Bakhru, H. (2007). A handbook of natural beauty. Mumbai: Jaico Publishing House.

Affordances - Spirituality Blog 3/6

There are three main affordances that I have mindfully constructed around this activity I do. These include spirituality, aesthetics and physical affordances. These will be discussed over the next three blogs.

Spirituality. "Recreation must not be neglected. You well know the power for good and evil the mind has over the body" (Stables, 2006, p. 18). There is room to feel connected with the universe through exercise, and especially be connected with your internal spirituality. This quote by Gordon Stables (2006) depicts this well. Exercise for me is about connecting the mind and the body.

The bead of sweat I talked about? It was the beginning of many that day. The only reason there were so many was as a result of the communication going on inside my head. "Keep going, earn your break!" and with that I was able to break the barrier and keep going. There is always a constant battle of voices going on in my head when it comes to doing cardio. Sometimes I think to myself if all this effort is worth it. However, I remind myself by going to the gym and achieving my goals it gives me a resound sense of meaning. It reminds me to be at peace with myself, and denote all the stress that is happening in my life. Exercise can also be a celebratory event for me, especially when I achieve something I didn’t think I could. This is a valid measure of my internal spirituality.

I had initially thought that spirituality had to be something religious but when you take the inspiration and motivation one receives from partaking in exercise, it is evident that exercise becomes part of the person. The activity gifts the person a sense of meaning, it gifts them the ability to be at peace with not only themselves, but the world around them. I consider myself very spiritual.

Stables, G. (2006). Health and beauty the natural way. New Jersey: Home Farm Books.