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Rant About Tanning Beds at a Gym

Fittingly Mad: Unlimited Indoor Tanning Free With Gym Membership?

There's a gym near me that has tootsie rolls by the front door, and that's not all the goodies they offer. In the lobby they have a bunch of stand-up tanning beds, and one of the memberships perks is unlimited use. WTF? To me, this is the equivalent of going on a 2-hour hike, getting to the top of the mountain and lighting up a cigarette. Doesn't it strike you as an oxymoron? You join our gym to help you stay fit and live a long, healthy life, but step into this tanning booth to dramatically increase your chances for developing skin cancer. It's idiotic and it aggravates me. I guess people are responsible enough to make their own decisions, but I'm just so surprised that tanning beds are still in existence, and just mortified that they're in a place like a gym. What do you think about this?


clubby123 clubby123 9 years
I've read some of the comments regarding tanning bed u.v. light that is somehow "different" than sunlight. The fact is, tanning beds produce THE SAME light frequency as the sun BUT, in a more controlled environment. The human body REQUIRES u.v. light exposure to remain healthy. As for 5 to 15 minutes a day of sunlight producing enough vitamin D, WHO are you talking about? EVERYBODY is different. I would suggest to everyone that the next time you visit your doctor and get a blood test, have him add the check for your vitamin D levels. NO, you can't get enough vitamin D3 from foods. NO, you can't get enough vitamin D3 from supplements. Your body is only able to make enough vitamin D3 from exposure to u.v. light. If you really want to Google this stuff and learn the truth about u.v. light, objectively look at ALL the scientific data. While you're at it, start reading about the Dermatologist scandal regarding the toxic sunscreens they tell everyone to use. It has been recently reported by the CDC that the main chemical used in sunscreens causes cell damage and they've know this for 30 years. HELLO! Is anyone paying attention?
cereal_please cereal_please 9 years
I understand your frustration.. but having tanning beds at a gym is very common, so I don't think you should be surprised.
sheena sheena 9 years
It really bothers me when people talk about girls that are thin, lift lower massed weights, and are not really at the gym to work out. Would you say the same in regards to someone overweight that is walking on a tredmill at low speeds. I always say good for them. They are at the gym (getting there is always the hardest part) and every small effort for fitness and health should be celebrated as an accomplishment. It doesn't matter if they are not doing a full rigorous workout because they are doing something. Perhaps it is simple jealousy speaking that they are "thin"
Lianna Lianna 9 years
ugh god... I tried to stop coming back to this page, because I thought it would kinda die down after a few people stated that we are ADULTS and can make our own decisions... That is pretty much the be all and end all of any further comments... Who is ANYONE hurting by tanning, besides (MAYBE) themselves? And as for the RIDICULOUS comments such as 'tanning, but being otherwise healthy' is a statement that cancels each other out... please, did u really just tell someone who runs 5k and weight-lifts presumably 5 times a week that all her work is completely useless as soon as she steps into a tanning booth? She is no longer a person who cares about her health? It's cancelled out? Do you live every single aspect of your life healthily? EVERY ASPECT? Because even if you state you do, I would not congratulate you, I would call you obsessive, and guess what that is? UN HEALTHY. Let people make their own decisions on something that doesn't effect you in any way WHATSOEVER!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
"I would rather tan than look like a ghost who never went outside" so if ghosts go outside they tan? :) "i am otherwise extremely healthy" kind of cancels eachother out, like smoking a cigarette than eating a salad. just because you run, and weightlift wont save you from damage from the booths you dont feel attractive when "pasty" that is sad that you dont love your natural skin. Its not closed minded, i feel like you saying what you have is more closed minded than FitSugars.... but you wont be back in here to read my comment so....
Cestlavie21 Cestlavie21 9 years
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Fit, I have enjoyed your articles (for the most part) but this is just ludicrous. If it weren't for the fact it might delete this comment, I would probably delete my entire Sugar account. Rest assured, you have made sure I never visit your page again. Tanning is bad for you, yes. Everyone knows this. But honestly, I would rather tan than look like a ghost who never walks outside. Sorry guys. I recently accepted a position at a new gym in my city and we have 3 tanning beds. I use them at least 5 days a week or so. I am otherwise extremely healthy and take very good care of myself. I run 5K's, weightlift, etc. I don't feel attractive when I'm pasty! I don't appreciate you taking on such a closed-minded point of view...and like I said, I will never visit your page again. Your Tootsie Roll article was one thing. If I spend all week working out and eating right, I will damn sure grab a SMALL piece of candy like that on my bi-weekly "cheat" days. There is nothing wrong with that. With that being said, I'm sure you'll delete this comment. But that's ok. I won't be back to check.
Ryot Ryot 9 years
I think more than anything, this proves that what is "just a little treat" to some health conscious people is a do-or-die no-no to other equally as health conscious people. In my own personal search for health, I would take the tanning bed hands down every day of the week over the death-in-a-candy-wrapper tootsie roll. But to each their own, right? I have a chronic illness that is exacerbated by three things: processed foods, vitamin D deficiency, and viral infections. I was finally able to return to work about six months ago, when I got all three of those things under control. Before that, I was in pain every minute of every day, and had to use a cane at 26 years old. I cut out all packaged and processed foods, especially anything with sugar in it, became religious about using Purell, and got into the habit of getting 30 minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week. My illness went into remission, and I was able to start working full time again for the first time in years. And I’ve found if I start getting lax about any of these, my health deteriorates pretty quickly. So the tootsie roll would be a definite no-no for me -- but I can see how it would be ok for someone who is counting calories. I avoid tanning beds, but that’s because the research I’ve read has all indicated that tanning beds are zero help when it comes to vitamin D. But yes, I’ll say yes to tanning and no to sugar every day of the week, because that’s what’s healthiest for my body and my situation. I guess my point is, I shouldn’t have to defend the choices I make in my pursuit of health. Maybe I’ve slightly increased my chance of skin cancer by increasing my time in the sun -- though the science is nowhere near as conclusive on that as they would like you to believe -- but I’ve also regained my ability to climb a flight of stairs by myself, to go on daily walks, and live at least mostly pain and pain-killer free. And I shouldn’t have to explain to my coworkers that by “diet” I mean “the way of eating that keeps my illness in remission and allows me to work” and not “I’m trying to lose weight because I don’t think 115lbs is skinny enough”. So maybe let’s try not to judge others on what we think they’re doing, and just trust that as able adults, they can make their own decisions about what is right for their own body. And really, the gym has never been completely about being healthy, anyway -- do you really think no one at your gym uses steroids? ;)
Brandi13jrm Brandi13jrm 9 years
Gimme a break. Tanning isn't good for you... of course not. I can't believe people would actually question a gym membership because they offer tanning. Everyone has their own choice to make. A lot of fit people and body builders tan to show muscle definition... duh. I think self tanners is the route to go... but hey, to each their own.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I just joined a Gym, and the guy signing me up was also a trainer there, and he says "so you'll be getting the tanning bed option right?" and i said "no" and he just looked at me like he just asked me "so you want a hundred dollar bill for nothing?" and i said "no" I told him that i am 34 years old, my skin is soft, pale and healthy and I dont tan because I like to take care of myself. He looked like he tanned everyday, and would soon need to shed.
dayzfan4life01 dayzfan4life01 9 years
As much as some people go to the gym because they're interested in leading a healthy lifestyle, just as many go to the gym just to look good and to (too) many people, looking good means being slim and tan.
Lianna Lianna 9 years
I must say, well said texchic
texchic07 texchic07 9 years
Seriously why can't people just make their own decisions. If someone tanning isn't hurting you then you don't have any right to complain. If it isn't for you, it isn't for you. But please don't judge those who decide to do so.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
My gym has a Starbucks on site! Makes me laugh. They also have tanning booths in the changing rooms but I've never bothered to go near them. I guess they're for the skinny bimbos who lift a couple of 1kg weights and go off to preen themselves after. Psh. Looks vs. Health.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
About tanning, you only need 15 min. every day to get your recommended daily vitamin D dosage, and if you get more it will store it for the winter. In the winter it's better to supplement with nutritional vitamin D as well. So I see no need what so ever to go to a tanning salon. You can find a scientific research report to support just about anything, and then a million to counter it, so to me one or two or three reports saying tanning beds might help one aspect of your body healing wouldn't convince me to go tanning or sunbathe. Skin cancer is really very common, and one that is relatively easy to prevent. Death beds sounds about right to me.
chhavi chhavi 9 years
yeah, it defeats the whole idea, the purpose... I haven't seen any gymn do that here, in Delhi.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
A lot of bodybuilders DO need to be tan for competition, but the vast majority of them use fake tanner. My old boss was a competitive bodybuilder and he said just about everyone uses this stuff that gets you really dark really quick and then they oil their muscles with body oil so the muscles REALLY stand out.
Namtaro Namtaro 9 years
I seriously considered quitting my gym, despite its amazing equipment at the locations near my office, home and yoga studio, because they have tanning beds. Good thing I didn't - the alternative was bought out by a competitor and installed tanning beds! Obviously, the gyms install the equipment because it makes money but I find such a tactic morally dubious.
porkypocky porkypocky 9 years
i guess Lianna is trying to say that the tanning bed lights are capable of mutating cancer cells to the point where they can't function anymore, therefore it must be helpful for cancer treatments. this is also the reasoning behind chemotherapy. it's a double edged sword--you destroy cells while at the same time creating opportunity for more cancer cells to arise. however, the amount of radiation in chemo and tanning beds differs a i'd say the tanning beds do more harm than good. also, the daily required amount of Vitamin D is easily obtainable by standing around in the sun for a bit, there's no need to go into a tanning booth...unless you have psoriasis or something. i've heard they're used to treat that small amounts.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I never understood this one either. I also don't understand why salons with good aesthetician's have tanning beds. Also, like you pointed out, smoking cigarettes while taking hikes.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I should mention I'm not being critical of someone going to the gym to look good. My health is important to me but I also want to fit better in clothing therefore I also exercise to look good along with the health benefits. The tanning beds are still stupid though and like people have already mentioned a little bit of sun with give someone vitamin D without the harm and we're not exactly supposed to get all our vitamin D from the sunlight anyway. You would have to be out in the sun a lot to get that much and it would be pointless because you would be causing yourself harm anyway. And also I agree that most of the people who would use a tanning bed are not doing it for the vitamin D. Like someone else mentioned I'm pale and also of Latin blood with good aging genetics and that gives me multiple reasons to prefer being pale (since I myself don't actually care to be tan). We could go on and on about this though and we'll still see people tanning. I someone on TV during the awful heatwave who really looked like he was on his way to looking like leather.
snowbunny31 snowbunny31 9 years
I think that for some of the superficial people out there (you know who you are!) that getting a tan makes the body looks better, it enhances one's muscle and diminishes the appearance of flaws. That's why the "bodybuilders" get tanned. I would say the people using those machines are not working out for the right reasons... There's no concept of health, it's mostly out of Vanity.
emalove emalove 9 years
Terrible promotion, but I'm not surprised...I've seen things like this at gyms all over the place.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I don't think there are many people going to the tanning beds for their daily Vitamin D requirement. Most people get enough incidental sun exposure to meet their Vitamin D requirement. There's a gym in my town that has tanning and they promote it, saying that tanning is "good for you", which is total BS. If everything out there causes cancer, why expose yourself knowingly to one of the fastest mutagens out there (UV rays)? I mean, yeah, I'm a fair-skinned woman and I don't always like being pale, but if I want a tan, I'll use self-tanner or a moisturizer with a hint of self tanner in it. I'd rather have nice skin when I'm old rather than look like an orange beach bunny now.
travelgirl-jp travelgirl-jp 9 years
Okay, the tootsie rolls signal a slight lack of professionalism, but I suppose having one every once in awhile won't kill a person. The tanning beds on the other hand, would make me question being a member at the gym. Now, I'm aware that a lot of gyms offer this, and I'd bet the people dumb enough to use them are the same ones who think they can work out for 30 mins, then go out drinking beer or liquor all night and consider themselves "fit." I'm so anti-tanning these days, of any kind. I grew up pale, thinking I couldn't tan, until my friends introduced me to the ever addictive tanning beds. I soon started using them several times a week, and feeling depressed on the few days that I didn't. Fortunately I wised up after a couple of years and a dozen or so additional freckles/moles later. It's NOT worth it. I'd rather be a little obvious with my sunless tanning cream (which from time to time, does peel and looks silly) than to live with the consequences later on from living in the sun.
Lianna Lianna 9 years
Haha Renees, I feel bad for you having to look at that while your working out! But I think that most things aren't that bad for you if you do them in moderation, just like Tootsie Rolls and energy drinks... If you have 1 energy drink every month, you arent' going to endanger your health, but it's the people like you talk about that, like justanerd said, are the kind of people that will do ANYTHING to look good, endless surgeries, tanning everyday, extreme diets, extreme exercises... moderation in anything is key (well maybe not anything, smoking is never good)
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