Gym Or Home Workout: Which Type Of Routine Suits You Best?
Are you happy working out at home, or do you have to be among others as you get toned? Here’s how you figure out whether you’re a gym or home workout person.
Many people ask themselves whether they should choose a gym or home workout. They may have limited budgets or time, or strict ideas on what they need from their exercise regimen.
If you are weighing the pros and cons of gyms vs. home for your fitness schedule, there are many factors to take into account. Not only should you think about what kinds of movement you prefer, but you should also think about what motivates you and what inhibits you. You want to choose the best way possible to stick with your program!
Here are 15 questions to ask yourself to determine the right fitness regimen for you.
1. Do You Need The Presence of Others?
It’s hard to slack off and watch TV at the gym. The presence of other people with similar health goals can be motivating.
There is also a healthy competitive spirit at the gym. By measuring your progress against others, you may push yourself more to work harder.
If you thrive on the opinions of others to get moving, you may wish to exercise at a gym instead of at home.
2. Have You Recently Had a Baby?
If you have recently had a baby, you are probably juggling the urge to get rid of the baby fat with exhaustion, child care, and breastfeeding. Getting out of the house may be more of a challenge than it’s worth.
In this case, you may want to start exercising in the privacy of your own home. You will be able to jump up if the baby cries, and you won’t have to compare yourself to a lot of skinny minnies in spandex.
On the other hand, if your gym has babysitting services, going out to work out can be a much-needed break for new moms.
3. Do You Work Irregular Hours?
Maybe you work the late shift and get home in the middle of the night. Maybe you need to jump in transglobal calls at odd hours. It can be hard to schedule training at the gym when real life and work worries get in the way. Not all gyms are open 24 hours a day, either.
Some people’s careers are so demanding and time-consuming that it is hard to schedule any time during the week to get to the gym. When they get home, they may just want to collapse. For these people, maybe a weekend routine or activity is best.
If you are simply too busy to be able to commit to a daily routine at a gym, you can make sure you have an inviting place to work out at home whenever possible. Invest in a treadmill, stationary bike or a set of free weights and keep them in your study or garage.
That way, you can pick up the weights or jump on the treadmill at any time you have the energy, day or night.
4. Are You Shy About Your Appearance?
Maybe you don’t like your current weight. Maybe you are ashamed at how little muscle you have in your arms and legs, and you want to bulk up more.
Going to the gym can be intimidating for people who are inhibited about how they look. They may refuse to go at all, which of course is antithetical to the goal of getting on a fitness regime.
If you are low in confidence about your physical body, start off with an at-home fitness program. You can lose weight and get into shape with exercises or even a private trainer. You will start gaining self-esteem in no time.
5. Do You Have Young Kids at Home?
It can be difficult and expensive to get to a gym when you are taking care of small children. Even though some health clubs have child care, your kids may have other ideas. Some children enjoy the playgroup at sports clubs and other venues, and some would rather relax in the comfort of their own houses.
Exercising at home allows you to save on babysitting while keeping an eye on the youngsters upstairs. You are also setting a good example, that health is an important priority in your family. They may even want to join you!
6. Do You Need to Get Out of the House?
If you are a stay-at-home mom or you work remotely, you may realize that some days you never leave the house! Signing up for a gym or fitness classes can force you to leave your abode. That’s good for not only your physical but your mental health.
A change of scenery can also be inspiring. A different environment plus exercise for even 30 minutes per day can clear your mind and reset your attitude if you are otherwise housebound.
7. Do You Work Out with Your Partner?
If you like to work out as a couple, your decision of gym or home may depend on your partner’s preferences. You can work out either place, so long as you agree.
Working out with a spouse or friend can push you when your energy flags, and pass the time if you get bored. They can inspire you. They can also annoy you-which is actually another great method of motivation!
Gyms sometimes also offer family memberships so you might be able to save some money as well.
8. Do You Want to Meet New People?
If you lead an isolated lifestyle or have moved to a new location, you may want to spend your free time meeting new people. The gym is the new singles bar, church or community center.
Many gyms organize meetups on weekends like hikes, softball games and other healthy excursions. There are even more casual ways to meet people, like at the juice bar after your work out. You will have an opportunity to meet people with similar health goals.
If you have friends at the gym, you are also more likely to return on a continuous basis. Fitness can become one of just many shared fun times.
9. Are You Trying to Lose Weight?
Overweight people are sometimes embarrassed to start working out in front of others who may be more fit. Although everyone will tell you not to worry, if it prevents you from showing up it is a problem.
Some gyms are focused on weight loss and are more likely to have a clientele with goals similar to yours. Alternatively, sometimes you will have more luck with the initial fitness push when you start working out at home.
After a little time with regular exercise and good nutrition, you may start to feel confident enough to integrate some group activities into your regimen. Many gym rats started out as overweight: they will describe to you how they used to hate going to the gym, and now they love it!
10. Do You Have Special Physical Needs?
Maybe you are recovering from an injury. Maybe you have a sensitive back or a sore shoulder. Maybe you are developing arthritis or other age-related weakness.
If you have special circumstances which might risk your well being, you are better off working out at a gym or at home with a personal trainer. You need guidance on the right kinds of exercises to do to prevent you from hurting yourself.
A professional coach or physical therapist can guide you in ways that strengthen the body part in question without risk of additional injury or strain. They can spot you if you are hesitant about certain moves.
11. Do You Like A Certain Kind of Music?
Some gyms blast loud music non-stop. You may love that! Or it might send you screaming for the hills.
You can always wear headphones if you like a specific kind of music to get you going or to block out the noise of others. However, if you prefer to blast Gregorian chants first thing in the morning while doing your sit-ups, you may be better off in the privacy of your own home.
12. Are You On A Strict Budget?
Gyms vary widely in price depending on the services they offer and the location. There are fancy gyms with pools and spas, located in high-end real estate markets, where the monthly membership fees can be high. There are also plain nuts-and-bolts gyms which just provide the basics.
Working out at home can be more cost effective because you save yourself those high monthly fees. However, paying for something sometimes ensures that you actually do it.
If you want to save some bucks, working out at home is a great option so long as you actually stick with the program. One alternative is to hire a coach to come in once per week to create a program you adhere to the rest of the time. They will check up on your progress and adjust your routine as you improve.
13. Do You Need Extra Encouragement?
Sometimes when you work out alone you can just give up. If you get tired or it hurts, there is no reason to keep going! And the refrigerator is just inches away, full of enticing snacks…
If you are pushing through an aerobics class at the gym, the teacher is probably hollering words of encouragement throughout. If you are bench pressing an extra heavy weight in the gym and you are struggling, the words of encouragement from the trainer and your fellow gym members can make all the difference.
Working out with people gives us an extra kick. It’s often too easy to throw in the towel when you are home alone, unless you have a coach by your side urging you to do your best.
14. Do You Crave Variety?
Boredom is a big enemy of fitness. Some people need to shake it up often, or else they just get bored and quit.
If you choose a gym and you are inclined towards boredom, make sure there are lots of different activities. Do they offer a range of fitness classes like Pilates, yoga, and TRX? Do they have a pool, tennis courts or cycling?
If you are working out at home, shake it up. Go for hikes or run outside in nice weather. Use videotapes of different workouts and change your soundtrack often. You can even work out in different rooms of the house.
Changing your exercise routine is not only good for you mentally, but it is good for you physically. It is healthy to work out different muscle groups and alternate between endurance, cardio, and weight training.
15. Do You Want Nutritional Advice?
Most exercise programs work best when they are supplemented by a diet. You will find many different opinions on the best diet plan for your specific goal: to lose weight, build muscle, or address specific health issues.
If you decide you would be happier at a gym, choose one with someone on staff who can help guide your nutritional regimen as well as your exercise program. Many trainers and coaches can advise on specific diets, foods to avoid, and perfect portions. Other gyms even sell nutritional supplements and other items which are better for you than snacking on junk food at home.
If you are working out at home, you can research the many resources available which advise on the best methods to achieve your nutritional goals. You might also work with a coach who is also educated on diet.
Gym or Home Workout? Either or Both May Work For You
If you are trying to decide whether the gym or home workout is right for you, you need to look at your personal preferences, goals, and priorities. But be flexible! Your life may evolve over time.
You may want to go to a gym after working out at home for a few months and losing weight. Your child will soon be old enough to want to participate in a playgroup. You may learn ways to go through your circuit at the gym quickly and efficiently in a way that works with your tight schedule.
Whatever you decide, there is always an option which will work with your specific lifestyle, family, and budget. The important thing is to just do it.
For more information on working out and living right, check out our blog.