Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are you a Gymrat or a Homebody?

I would like to share with you an article in which the author discusses her opinions about exercising at a gym vs. exercising at home.  In the article she describes her experience of first working out a gym with a personal trainer and then switching to workout DVD's which she used at home.

This article got me thinking about my view on this subject matter.  My only experience with a gym was several years ago.  The monthly rate was $80 for fitness classes and self-defense lessons; no equipment was included.  While I have looked into joining a gym where I live now, the closest one is 20 minutes away.  I figure that I could have a great workout in almost the same amount of time.  I also looked at joining a gym near work, but it just didn’t seem practical to travel 45 minutes each way to exercise on the weekend.

Besides the inconvenience of getting there, there is a problem that I have with typical gym memberships, their commitment requirements and up-front fee.  They are in the business of making money and have these requirements because most people quit the gym after a few weeks to a few months.  Have you ever been to a gym during the first two weeks of January?  Have you ever been to the same gym during the first two weeks of May?

If I could find a gym with no monthly commitment, or at least with the first month commitment free, I would probably join.  I firmly believe that you shouldn’t spend the money on a gym membership until you have at least 30 days of consistent exercise. 

If you feel that you are ready, and if you are seriously thinking about buying a membership, consider the reasons behind choosing a gym over exercising at home or outside.  Maybe paying money to a gym will help motivate you to get up and move, maybe you like the scheduled classes and the equipment, or maybe you have friends there and enjoy the opportunity to socialize.  It is also important to consider some of the practical aspects to the gym like the hours, the locker room facility, wait times to get on the equipment and also the time limits for using the equipment.  Some gyms adhere to strict rules limiting the use of certain equipment to 30 minutes a turn; how might that impact your fitness goals?  Finally, make sure you understand what actually comes with your membership, so you don’t get stuck with extra fees.

While there are many advantages to working out at a gym, I still prefer working out from home. It is free, easy and convenient.  I can almost have my whole workout done in the time it would take to get to the gym.  There is no waiting, no crowds, and no noise; it’s just me, my running shoes, and the fresh air.

Which do you prefer and why? 

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