Looking to shed some pounds or muscle up this year? The gym is your friend. But which gym should you choose? These are the pros and cons of working out at home.
Each month, Americans spend more than $155 on health and fitness. The overall cost they will spend on working out in their lifetime exceeds that of a four-year college education!
We all know the benefits of working out regularly. You will lose weight, increase your energy level, and reduce your risk of many diseases.
Considering the cost and commitment of a gym membership, many Americans are working out at home. Yet what will you sacrifice along with the cost? Is a home workout really as effective as the one you are getting at the gym?
Let's take a look at some of the factors involved.
1. Financial Considerations
Between initiation fees of up to $200 and monthly fees that range from $20 to $100, folks are spending a lot of money just to check into the gym. Many also invest in helpful equipment like workout outfits, sturdy sneakers, and weight lifting gear.
When you working out at home, people make one-time investments that save them a lot of money in memberships in the long run.
Fitness videos, free weights, or medicine balls are just a few of the workout accessories enthusiasts choose to purchase to make their workout experience complete. Those who only tend to go to one type of gym class find that they can get the same workout and save money immediately.
For those individuals who like to use cardio machines, things are a little more complicated. Gyms offer a variety of elliptical machines, stair climbers, treadmills, and rowing machines to get your heart pumping.
It is possible to purchase a new or gently-used cardio machine to use at home for anywhere from $300 to $4,000. Within two years, you will have saved the money you would spend on a gym membership.
If you are always using one type of cardio machine, home equipment can prove an excellent investment. However, it may not be a good buy if you enjoy the variety a gym provides. Bulky equipment can also be difficult to store at home.
If you have a particularly hectic schedule and can only work out late in the evening, gyming at home may be a great option for you. Some active individuals find that the drive to and from the gym, and time spent parking, make working out from home a big time-saver. You can also eliminate the time you spend packing your bag and finding workout clothes and water to take with you.
If you are a fitness class person, you will need to schedule your gym visits around when certain classes and instructors are available. When you are working out at home, however, all you have to do is pop the right DVD in.
The gym has much more to offer than one type of workout. If you like to change up your routine regularly, it is a great place to get fit. In addition to classes and cardio, there are free weights, machines, basketball courts, and even pools and hot tubs.
Some folks enjoy the personal attention and instruction they can get in a gym setting. They may be able to sign up with a personal trainer or get nutritional counseling.
Many people, however, find that they can also get some variety working out at home. For example, they may take a jog or walk to get some free fresh air and great exercise. There are also countless tools online to educate you and help keep you fit.
5. Social Considerations
For those who are more social, the gym provides a great vibe. For those in their 20's and 30's, it is a great way to meet new people and find workout buddies they can hang out with later on. Individuals in their 40's, 50's, and 60's find it to be a great motivational atmosphere.
For more private people, however, the social atmosphere of a gym can be a bit intimidating or annoying.
Other people may listen to their music loudly or talk on their phones at full volume. Some are inconsiderate and don't wipe down their machines when they are done working out. There are individuals who find that knowing others can see them working out makes them very self-conscious.
6. Child Care
If you are a parent, child care may mean the difference between gym time and couch time. While some gyms offer child care, they may charge extra for it. It could also be offered only during times that don't work with your schedule.
Some parents are uncomfortable leaving their children in the care of a stranger when they go for a workout. And if you are hiring your own babysitter, the cost per hour will add to the overall price of your gym time.
Working out at home gives you the opportunity to work out while your children are sleeping or otherwise occupied. And you can be there to handle any emergencies that may arise.
Other parents may prefer going to the gym when they have help from a spouse or family member. It allows them to escape the stress of a bustling family for a little while.
Gym Time Vs. Working Out at Home
If you are unsure whether you should be hitting the gym or working out at home, you should weigh the pros and cons of your particular situation. Make a list if you have to. In the end, the workout routine that gets you moving will be the best bargain.
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