As we all know, there’s no shortage of excuses we can come up with to avoid exercising. The weather’s lousy, you just don’t feel up to it, you don’t have time…the list goes on. Many people think that by buying a gym membership, they’ll feel more motivated to get and stay fit, but is this really the case? Are you more likely to stay fit if you go to a gym, rather than exercise at home? The answer varies from person to person, and what works for someone else may not work for you. Let’s take a look at some questions that might help you need a gym, or if you can stay fit by just working out at home.
Are You Close By?
Proximity is important when considering your gym options. Are you close enough to a gym you like that travel won’t be an obstacle to using your membership? According to the Wall Street Journal, the average person commutes about 4 miles to their gym. That’s only a 10 or 15-minute journey. If you’re walking to the gym, a half mile may be all you’re willing to travel in order to stick to regular workouts. If you know that the travel involved will keep you from your weekly goals, it’s probably best to stay at home.
Do You Need Accountability?
It’s very easy to stay on the couch when you’re at home, especially since you can put of DIY workouts infinitely. It’s much more difficult to slack off when you’re staying engaged with a wellness strategy or working with a personal trainer. If you need the external accountability of a class time or training session, then workouts at home might not work for you. Even if your external accountability is meeting a friend at the gym, some people just need that place to go and get accountability.
Do You Know How to Work Out?
If you don’t know how to use the machines at the gym, then you’ll probably be very intimidated when you hit the weight room. If that’s the case, you have two options: have someone teach you, or go the DIY route. There are so many possibilities for bodyweight exercises you can do at home with just a little online research, so if you feel self-conscious easily, you may want to consider staying at home and building up your strength with online tutorials.
Will You Need Specialized Equipment?
One of the keys to staying fit is finding an activity you legitimately enjoy. However, it’s tough to do some activities at home, especially if you lack the necessary equipment. You can run without a treadmill, but you can’t swim without a pool, play football without a team, or row without a boat or machine. Depending on your activity of choice, you may need a gym. Although it’s very interesting to note that thanks to the digital health revolution, you may be able to go to the gym without ever leaving your home due to advancing virtual reality platforms. That said, regardless of whether its tech-influenced or regular working out, if you’re not sure what interests you the most yet, consider a trial period to see what you enjoy, and go from there.
Pros and Cons
As you can see, choosing whether or not to join a gym is a personal decision. If money is tight or you don’t need any external motivation or equipment, you can absolutely get fit at home. If, however, you prefer the collaborative environment and variety a gym offers, you may want to give that route a try. Remember, you can always change your mind later!