The gyms in Brazil are surprisingly modern in technology and equipment. Maybe it's not so surprising, since working out is serious business in Brazil. There are three gyms (that I know of) just in our small neighborhood. Being the accustomed-to-cold-weather person that I am, I joined the gym with air conditioning. Many people have split condensers in their homes - typically in the main bedroom or the living room. But electricity here is very expensive, so most stores (grocery stores not included) don't have air conditioning. Two of the three gyms in my neighborhood don't have air conditioning, either. I'm a sweaty person, so I need air conditioning while I'm working out.
I haven't continuously worked out since having my daughter four and a half years ago. I used to work out a few times a week because the military allowed us time to do so each day. I tend to be a size 12-14 regardless of how much I weigh or what shape I'm in, but I like to be strong. I haven't felt strong since my daughter was born. Now that both kids are in school, my work schedule has evened out, and life has settled down a bit, I realized that I didn't have any excuse not to hit the gym. I've also noticed that at 33, my metabolism has slowed down, it's harder to lose weight, and it's harder to gain muscle. It's really important to me to get in shape now because it's not going to get any easier. It's also important to me because dementia runs in my family and studies show that exercise is the number one factor in preventing dementia.
I'm incredibly impressed with my gym. In Brazil, personal trainers wander around the gym and are available to demonstrate machines, help with form, and even provide a routine. While you do share the trainer with everyone in the gym, I've never felt like I didn't have my trainer's personal attention. Today, I was amazed when he set me up with the virtual training system. In the middle of the gym, there's a computer system with two monitors. My trainer entered my code, configured some information, chose a plan for me, and showed me how to work the whole thing. Each day, I can simply enter my code and a workout plan is created for me. A little receipt machine prints out my plan. Each plan has a list of exercises, how many reps I should do for each, and the appropriate weight for each. If you're not sure what the exercise is, you can ask the trainer OR you can enter the exercise's code in the computer and the second monitor will display an example of someone doing the dang thing! blew. my. mind. I mean it's so simple and it makes so much sense, but I've never seen that before. This is a huge plus for Brazil and exactly what I need to get back in shape.