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. Choosing a gym to workout at, whether it is at home or not, is one of the most underrated aspects becoming more fit.
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.
Variety of Equipment
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.
Even though I play professional basketball, I still train at my local gym when I am home for the summer. I often use my personal trainer when I am trying to “peak” for my next season, but on a daily basis, I always train at the same place I have since I was younger.
The reason for this is that when you become a “usual” at a local gym, you will find an overwhelming amount of support and positive energy from the people you train with regularly.
Not only that, you will find it easy and comfortable to take the knowledge and experience of other people who are training at your gym as well.
Depending on where you live, it is likely that you have a few different options for which gym to attend.
If you want to see an excellent example of a great local gym, check out Koko Fit Club Cherry Hill.
Especially if you are new to fitness or you are making your first attempt to improve your physical health, it can be comforting to see the same familiar faces on your journey each day.
Along with this, there is also a good chance you will make new friends in the process! Regardless of any other advancements in the fitness industry, finding a comfortable local gym will always be important!
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.
Takes More Time
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.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Gym
Have you recently been high on motivation to shed some pounds? Congratulations! You’ve now entered stage II of losing weight: selecting the right workout place for you. What might seem like common sense to many, can turn out to be a factor you might not have considered yet.
Which is why we’ve drafted out this list of 5 things to examine when selecting a gym for yourself.
Gym hygiene is a two way street. As much as it is the management’s job to ensure hygiene standards, the members should also be conscious about personal hygiene. Bad hygiene means you won’t feel too comfortable using all the machinery, which makes all you money go down the drain.
An unhygienic environment also breeds germs and infections, no less than a hospital with high infection rates.
But how does one judge a gym’s cleanliness?
Check if they have air purifiers installed, since most of the bacteria grows in moist, impure air. In fact, this is something you should also consider installing at home (more info on Pure Air Reviews) since you and your family spend most of your time at home. And clean air is imperative for good health.
See if they have abundant fresh towels and if they clean the equipment after every use. Although they might not be completely honest about it, inquire about how often do their maintenance people visit.
If you plan on using the shower and locker room, visiting them is a must to get a fair idea of how serious the management is about cleanliness.
Location has to be the most important factor to consider when selecting a gym. Regardless of how well equipped and state of the art your gym is, you have to find one near your house or workplace. While you might be truly motivated the first few days, your motivation definitely goes down the hill after a couple of days.
This is when you’ll look for excuses to skip exercise and distance can be a legitimate one.
Try to find a gym that is at walking distance from your residence or workplace so you can walk your way to it and is accessible at different times of the day, in case you have to work late and miss the slot you’re scheduled for.
Gyms today are loaded with varieties of gym equipment, easy to make any of us go all Woaah! But that doesn’t solve the problem. The gym you select must have the machinery that matches your goals. If you’re planning on reducing legs’ mass then you might need running machines, so a wide variety of weights would be of no good to you.
Secondly, check if they have ample machinery since almost everyone has their eyes set on cardio equipment.
This means you have to wait a while for your turn. While a lot of gyms and fitness centers have latest equipment, they do not have enough of it, which kills the purpose since almost all of us are short of time in our everyday routine.
One would most certainly choose a gym where you can walk in and just get to work without having to wait for long.
4. Personal Trainers
If you’re a beginner, then this should be of prime concern to you. Fitness trainers make more difference than we realize.
You might want to save a few bucks by avoiding a trainer, but what you don’t know is that your entire workout might be going to waste if you are doing it the wrong way.
Trainers are academically trained and equipped to design diet and exercise plans according to your BMI, so that you do not under-perform or worse, crash in the middle of your workout.
While other factors like cost and the kind of people that go to your gym definitely matter, its imperative that you check and fix timings for when you will be hitting the gym.
Many gyms offer services for both men and women and have certain timings to cater to both genders.
It would be a bummer if everything else goes according to your needs but the gym only allows men at the time slot you were planning on. Therefore a wise decision would be to select a time when you’re most likely to go and suits your weekday and weekend schedule best.
The biggest benefit to working out at home is that it’s cheaper, at least on the surface.
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.
Learn More: How to Buy Used Exercise Equipment Affordably
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.
Additional Reading: How to Stay Motivated to Workout at Home
Concluding Thoughts – Getting a Gym Membership vs Working Out at Home
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.
Read Next: At Home Workouts for Beginners