Benefits of Joining a Gym vs. Exercising from Home

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There is a difference of opinion about what’s more beneficial: joining a gym or working out at home. When making this decision, the following things should be considered:

  • Mindset and Environment
  • Selection of Equipment
  • Exercises and Classes Available
  • Hours
  • Personal Trainers
  • Privacy
  • Distractions
  • Level of Commitment

The Mindset and Environment

The gym can provide the right tone to get you in the mood to workout. It’s easy to slip into a lazy or slacking attitude at home. You might not feel like changing out of your pajamas. Who would know the difference anyway? In the gym, however, the sweaty, pumped up attitude of fellow members can easily rub off on you.

Selection of Equipment

While you can pick as much equipment as you want for your home, it can be very costly. Not to mention, storage might be an issue. At a gym, you have a variety of equipment to use without the hassle of setting it up and fitting it into your home. You may even discover new equipment that you enjoy. All of this also allows versatile workouts for you (you can change it up every visit to the gym).

Available Variety of Exercises and Classes

While the gym offers a variety of exercises, it also offers a variety of other options. In most gyms, you’ll find specialized classes that serve different interests and ages. These might include dance, yoga, cycling, aerobics, etc. Additionally, some gyms offer pools, saunas, and hot tubs.

Hours

A common defense against joining a gym is the hours available to work out. It’s true that working out at home offers the convenience of exercising any time you wish. What many don’t know is that most gyms are open late. Some are open 24/7, serving all possible shifts.

Access to Personal Trainers

Many gym memberships include access to personal trainers. They can help you personalize workouts to reach your goals, monitor your progress to help you stay on target, and correct any issues in your form.

The Lack of Privacy Can You Push You Harder

True, a gym offers less privacy than your home; however, that can work to your advantage. We all have some level of competitive nature in us, and none of us want to look bad in front of our peers. So what do we do when others who seem to know what they are doing surround us? That’s right! Act like we know what we’re doing and push harder (no matter how bad it burns).

Different Types of Distraction

Have you ever tried working out at home only to see 10,000 other things you need to be doing? Maybe you’re doing sit-ups only to look over and see your baseboards need to be washed. On your way to your workout space, you notice the dishes have not been washed yet. Or your persistent neighbor is knocking on the door? Next thing you know, the workout’s over. Yes, there are some distractions at the gym but they tend to be a different kind. There is often a television or music playing, but these can provide helpful distractions to get you through your workout.

Commitment

While it’s not guaranteed, it is more likely to stay committed to the gym than to a workout at home. The knowledge that you pay for the membership will often push you to use it.

Conclusion

Deciding between joining a gym and working out at home is a strictly personal decision. However, I’m sure you can see the benefits of a gym membership. If getting in shape is your New Year’s resolution, especially after eating all of those delicious Christmas desserts, consider taking advantage of all a gym membership has to offer!

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Jennifer has been a health writer and editor for 7 years. She has contributed to many national magazines and web sites, including Fitness, Health, Reader Digest, Shape and many more.

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