Gymnasium, also called a gym, is basically a covered room for activities related to gymnastics and sports. The word is derived from the older Greekgymnasiums. They are most commonly located in sports and athletic facilities, and as learning and activity venues in educational facilities. They are often used as multipurpose rooms in business buildings and in recreational centers. In fact, some gyms are also used as dance studios or as stage props.
A gymnasium is generally considered an open multipurpose room where people of all ages can utilize. Many gyms have individual trainers who supervise the use of the equipment by different age groups. These trainers are specially trained in different aspects of gymnasium operations such as medicine, Pilates and Reebok’s Jump Manual. Some gyms are very general with several exercise machines like a mat table that offer resistance when one does an exercise on it, a low resistance exercise bike that simulate running and weight lifting if the exerciser wishes, or a medicine ball. Other gyms have more sophisticated equipment like elliptical trainer, cross trainers and several other exercise equipment.
Exercise in a gymnasium is not restricted to any specific physical fitness goals. It is used as an opportunity for physical fitness training and testing, as well as aerobic exercise and stretching. The physical fitness exercises performed in a gymnasium help in the prevention and rehabilitation of diseases related to poor health and body structures. This has become a very important feature of public and private health services because of the increasing level of childhood obesity.
An ideal gymnasium has a large room where plenty of space is available for various types of exercise. The equipment needs to be spacious and comfortable for the users. The room should allow free-flowing movement for a larger number of people than is possible in a small room. Gymnasiums should also have enough parking space for the use of the entire family. If a gymnasium has the features that meet all these requirements, it is ideal.
Many gyms have separate classes for men and women. This makes it easy for members of both the sexes to take part in different kinds of exercises. Men and women have different needs while exercising. Women generally have less muscle power than men and need to rely on a lot of cardiovascular conditioning while strengthening muscles. This is why the use of machines in gyms is often seen as inferior to the use of free weights.
Free weights are preferred by many over machines because they do not cause as much damage to the joints as do machines. Machines on the other hand are usually meant for use by one single person. Because of this, machines are usually designed with only one person in mind – the machine user. Gyms with free weights are often more expensive than those with machines, but they also offer a much broader range of exercises than most fitness centres will ever offer. They can be a very good investment.