How To Decide If You Should Go To The Gym Today

It's an eternally difficult question to answer, especially on Friday afternoon: Should I go to the gym today? I mean, I went two days ago — and, OK, so maybe I cut that visit short because I got an urgent email that I needed to go home and take care of — and, yeah, I kind of forgot to go last week (or “forgot” to go, more accurately) — and, well… I'm lazy. That's at the base of it all. I am lazy, and figuring out whether to go to the gym is therefore a daily struggle.

There's actually rather a lot of conflicting advice out there about how much exercise we actually need. The CDC recommends that American adults aim for at least 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” (something like “brisk walking”) per week, as well as performing muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week. Other guidelines, like the Mayo Clinic's, specify that we should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Pretty much everyone agrees on one thing, though: Sitting too much is killing us, so odds are, it's probably in our best interest to just go to the gym already.

But there are so many other questions to consider when deciding whether or not to buckle down and hit the treadmill or pick up the kettlebell, too. Is it raining out? How far away is the gym? Will you actually be able to get a machine once you get there? Is your hair in need of a wash? Is there free shampoo there? Is it nice shampoo? All of these things matter, as do scads of others — but are they all equally weighted in the Great Gym-Going Debate?

That's where this handy-dandy interactive flow chart comes in. It'll take all the guesswork out of it, and hopefully give you that push you need to get yourself in your gym's sparkling, glass-fronted door… or maybe convince you to head home for an evening of wine and Netflix instead. Season two of Bojack Horseman calls.

Click here to play Should I Go To The Gym? The Lazy Girl's Guide To Exercise.

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