Although I love exercise, I’m not a fan going to the gym. I’ve been working out at home for years, and it works for me. Will it work for you? Find out!
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Why I don’t go to the gym
When I decided to start working out, I was 50 pounds overweight and I felt extremely self-conscious. I hated the idea of going to a gym where everyone could see my fat rolls jiggling. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever felt that way!
I also didn’t have appropriate workout gear. I only had a couple of old shorts and a few old t-shirts. At the time, I couldn’t afford better workout clothes, so I didn’t want to anyone to see me in a ripped t-shirt which fit a little too tightly.
What’s more, I couldn’t bear the thought of having to use a sweaty machine. And don’t get me started on the gym shower floors! The thought of going to the gym seemed to bring out the germaphobe in me.
Finally, the real obstacles keeping me away from the gym were my kids, my time, and my lack of money. There are no gyms with day-care facilities in my area, and I didn’t have anywhere I could drop off the kids while I was at the gym.
Plus, due to the long commutes in the city, I would have to set aside more than hour of my time just to get a short workout in. And to top it all off, most of the gym memberships available were way out of my budget.
In light of all this, I decided to work out at home.
The pros and cons of working out at home
Working out at home has a lot of advantages for me, but there are disadvantages too. To be honest, it might not work for everyone.
If you’re not sure whether you should get a gym membership or set up a home gym, you should consider the following:
You can be sure no one will be looking at your fat rolls when you’re exercising at home. You can grunt, sweat, or curse your luck and no one will know. There won’t be any body shaming here!
Con- Lack of community
You might not feel self-conscious at home, but there also won’t be anyone there to cheer you on. You also won’t have proper guidance if you work out on your own, so you might not know if you have bad form and you could injure yourself.
What you can do
In order to keep yourself motivated, you can join an online community. There are free and paid membership groups, and there are also fitness programs available so you can get the accountability and guidance you need. You could also work out with a friend or get a personal trainer to work with you at home.
Pro- It’s free
When you’re on a tight budget, home workouts are the most convenient solution. A gym membership can be quite expensive, and not everyone can afford it.
Con- Lack of equipment and facilities
You’re obviously not going to have access to exercise machines and dumbbell sets at home. Workout equipment can be a lot more expensive than a gym membership. Also, you need space if you want to set up a home gym, and there might not be any available at home.
What you can do
If you’re just starting out, you don’t need any fancy equipment. You can just get a good yoga mat and do bodyweight workouts. A yoga ball, a set of lightweight dumbbells and resistance bands are all relatively cheap, great for all kinds of workouts, and don’t require a large storage space.
Pro- It’s convenient
You don’t need to commute or work around a gym schedule to do exercise. At home, you can work out anytime you want, for as long as you want. You also don’t need to wait in line to use the treadmill.
Con- Distractions abound
You’re home, so your kids and your spouse are around. And your phone, and the TV, and everything else which takes your mind away from your workout.
What you can do
Set up a schedule and stick to it, just like you would if you had to go to the gym. Pick a convenient time for your workout. It could be early in the morning before everyone else gets up, or later in the evening after the kids have gone to bed, or maybe when the kids are at school. You get someone to babysit while you exercise. Remember, you have complete freedom to pick your workout schedule.
Pro- You can work out indoors or outdoors
Working out at home doesn’t mean you have to be indoors all the time. When the weather is nice, you take your workout outside. Sometimes, I like to exercise at the playground while my kids play. It’s a win-win for us!
Con- Lack of variety
If you only work out by yourself, you could end up stuck in a rut. Fitness instructors plan their classes so that they challenge your body, and you might not be able to do that.
What you can do
You can join a free or paid online fitness program, or you can subscribe to a YouTube fitness channel. Again, you could also arrange for a personal trainer to work with you at home. Remember to change your workout routine every 3 to 4 weeks, and do something different when you hit a plateau. You could go running instead of doing home workouts, or vice versa.
Working out at home is free and convenient, but you have to think carefully whether it will work for you or not. Exercising away from the gym requires a certain amount of discipline and self-motivation, so you should take this into consideration.
From personal experience, I can tell you it’s possible to see results by working out at home. I was able to become fit and healthy, and I also lost weight because it was easy for me to exercise without leaving the house.
Whatever the case, don’t let the obstacles keep you away from picking up a healthy habit. Your body needs daily physical activity and you can provide it, either at a gym or at home. Don’t waste this opportunity!