It’s easy to decide that you need to exercise.
What’s difficult is forcing yourself to do it, when you’re used to leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Some people go out of their way to make a gym membership worth the cost of their fees, while others prefer to exercise at home.
If you’re wondering what would work best for you, here are the pros and cons of both joining a gym and working out at home.
The variety of exercise equipment available at the gym is one of the most obvious benefits of getting a membership. Most gyms have separate areas for free weights, machines, cables and cardio equipment.
Some offer special fitness classes for group activities like cycling, yoga and Zumba.
Many also include showers, hot tubs and tanning equipment. While most of this be done at home, it would cost a small fortune to purchase the different types of equipment.
At the gym, you can switch it up as often as you like for the same monthly fee.
Motivation is another factor that may be increased by the fact that you’ll want to get your money’s worth. Some people benefit by picking up on the motivating energy of other members.
You might even discover a competitive itch within yourself that motivates you to try to look better than everyone else.
If you struggle to stay focused on your workouts, you might find it easier at a gym.
There isn’t much else to do there except work out and if you’re tempted to waste time chatting, you’ll find that everyone else is too busy.
Note that there also won’t be any kids to distract you or piles of laundry to demand your attention. This is YOUR time.
If you’re low on energy, you probably won’t want to show it at the gym.
It won’t be long before you begin picking up on the prevalent vibe around you, especially with the sound of music playing and the sight of others pushing themselves harder. It’s easier to slack off around other slackers, than it is at the gym.
Gym membership prices can range from $10 to $100 USD, depending on the amenities offered.
However, if you do some research, there are plenty of offers you can take advantage of. Lifetime Fitness deals, for instance, include discounts for new members, as well as referral codes for friends or family members.
It pays to scout around, determine what your goals are, then decide what you can afford. You will get what you pay for, but you’re the only one who can decide if that’s enough.
It can be a hassle getting to the gym, especially if you’re short on time or simply don’t feel like it.
Just sitting in traffic can make you want to turn around and go home.
The travel time getting there adds to the time you will actually spend exercising, so you’ll have to take this into account on busy days.
Sometimes crowds and people may get on your nerves.
If you’re prone to feeling this way, you might find yourself enjoying the gym less on those days. Some people are loud and obnoxious, while others may take up more room than they need, encroaching on your personal space.
Others neglect to clean their sweat off the equipment after using it or leave weights lying around on the floor.
The biggest benefit to working out at home is that it’s cheaper, at least on the surface.
Unless you really want to spend a fortune on workout equipment, you can always find affordable alternatives like resistance bands and bodyweight workouts.
If free weights are more in line with your interests, you can purchase used weights and benches at a pawn shop and avoid paying for access to other equipment you’ll never use.
Convenience is another huge plus, since you can work out as soon as you jump out of bed, if you like.
Obviously, you can’t show up to a gym in your pajamas or underwear.
You can also split your workout into smaller sessions throughout the day, since you don’t have to go anywhere.
There’s a different type of “variety” available to those who choose to exercise at home.
If you like workout videos, you can watch whichever ones you can get your hands on, as often as you like, rather than attending classes at predetermined times. There are workout apps you can download on your phone and do at home.
The more impulsive you are about mixing and matching your fitness interests, the more you might appreciate this approach.
The biggest downside to working out at home is that you’re more likely to come up with excuses there. If you struggle with self-motivation, you’ll probably discover dozens of other things to do, right about the time you decide to get started.
A home workout is almost too convenient for some people, precisely because it’s so easy to put off.
Some people require stimulating scenery to distract them, while they exercise.
This is easy at a gym, where there’s lots of people, action and equipment to look at. If you’re too used your own four walls, you might not find it inspiring to work out there.
If having enough space is important to you, working out at home might seem restrictive.
While you shouldn’t require too much space to exercise, not everyone has the benefit of an extra room with no obstructions.
If the only place you have to exercise is your bedroom or garage, you might soon wish you had more room to spread out.
Ultimately, choosing between a gym membership and working out at home is a matter of personal preference.
The factors above are the ones most likely to influence your decision and you’re the only one who can decide what suits you best.
What’s most important is that you begin some type of exercise program, before you change your mind.
Once you do, it won’t be long before you get addicted to the adrenaline and start working out on a regular basis.