Since arriving in Oslo I’ve been debating with myself whether to join a gym. My diet has been better, although recently I’ve fallen foul of the snack attacks. I’ve also done a lot of walking. Most evenings I take a walk up (literally, up!) to St. Hanshaugen Park, or down to Aker Brygge. I’ve not put on any weight here, but I do feel sluggish, and now the days are just beginning to get shorter, the realisation has hit me of how much more difficult exercising will be in the winter months. Sure I can learn to ski, but I need something I can do every day.
So I’ve joined a gym! The World Gym in Akersgata to be precise. It opened as and still seems known by many as a Gold’s Gym (the towels are!) but either way it’s part of the Joe Gold legacy which began many years ago in my “other” favourite place in the world, Venice Beach, California.
But I chose World Gym, for the following reasons:
- It’s close to my apartment. I’m not so bothered about this now, but I will be when the snow and ice comes!
- The size. At 3000 square metres, there’s loads of room and plenty of equipment.
- The equipment. It’s nearly all brand new and very modern.
- The help. My membership comes with regular consultations, important for me as I want to get into free weights – and I want to make sure I do it properly.
- The classes. I’ve never joined classes at UK gyms before, but I may do here. There’s an enormous spin studio and they are about to start Muay Thai which looks interesting.
- Free towel hire. I didn’t bring a lot of possessions to Norway and only have two large towels. I don’t want to spend the rest of my time in Norway washing them!
- Free breakfast. Before 9am Monday to Friday, you can get free breakfast after your workout. Perfect for pre-work exercise and means I can go straight from bed > gym > office, without filling up immediately before my gym visit (bad) or grabbing a pastry from the neighbouring coffee shop on the way out (also bad!)
- Their reaction to the Oslo bombing (it was on their street). They opened their doors offering free tea and coffee to anyone who wanted to talk.
- Their blog makes me laugh, and is actually pretty motivational.
Here’s a video I found on YouTube of the World Gym Akersgata, when it opened as Gold’s Gym just three years ago. It gives you a pretty good idea of just how vast this place is:
Whenever I join a gym I find my diet improves too. I’ve always found it difficult to do one (exercise/diet) without the other. As I said earlier my eating habits have slipped lately with evening snacking the main culprit. Here’s how I intend to fix that!
In Norway we eat lunch early, generally between 11 and 12 and it tends to be a bigger meal than in the UK (albeit nearly always cold). Most days I tend to have some wholemeal bread with ham or cheese, some fish (peppered mackrel, pickled herring or fishcakes) and a large salad bowl. This sets me up for the day and means I don’t eat again until well into the evening. But then I’m very tempted to snack. It’s my intention to fix that by eating a small hot meal (salmon with some broccoli, a pasta dish or a vegetable stir fry, for example) at about 5pm, and if I’m peckish later having an apple, a slice of toast, or crispbread with jam.
The hard work starts here!