Exercise can help you to improve both your mental and physical health but for many people, affording a gym membership is out of the question financially. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the idea of exercising full stop though – there is the option of working out at home instead. Not sure which is the better choice? Here are some of the pros and cons for each.
There are some good reasons to choose home exercise over visits to the gym, including:
It can be hard to find the time to fit in a trip to the gym when you’re busy but this isn’t so much of a problem if you’re exercising at home. The advantage of being able to work out when it suits you makes it more likely that you’ll stick to an exercise plan, rather than give up because you’re missing gym sessions.
If you’re not confident about your body, the mere thought of putting on your exercise gear and working out in front of people can be enough to put you off going to the gym altogether. For many people, this anxiety means that they rarely visit the gym or avoid it completely. Home exercise is an ideal way to work out without ever having to go near a gym and you can work out without feeling self-conscious.
3. Lower Costs
A gym membership doesn’t usually come cheap and over time, it may be cheaper to buy home gym equipment instead. You still have the initial outlay of buying the equipment but it can last for years if you choose high quality items, which can prove much more cost-effective in the long term. For workouts involving yoga, Pilates, aerobics and other activities that don’t specifically involve exercise machines, the cost of buying the equipment and fitness games/DVDs can prove a lot less expensive than paying monthly or yearly gym memberships. We have invested in a few sets of dumbells and some good mats.
4. Less Potential to Get Sick
There are obvious health benefits associated with exercise no matter where you choose to work out but there can be some less obvious health-related advantages to exercising at home. Because you’re not sharing your exercise equipment with lots of other people, there’s less chance that you’ll be picking up germs in the process. You can easily clean handles with antibacterial wipes or sprays before and after you’ve used the equipment but it’s harder to be sure that this happens in a gym environment. (Note: if you are looking for a green way to disinfect, put 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle and fill it with water)
There are also some potential downsides to going down the home exercise route, including:
1. The Potential for Distractions
One major drawback of exercising at home is the strong possibility that everyday life will get in the way. Stopping to answer the door or phone can quickly interrupt a workout and if this happens, you may find yourself lacking the enthusiasm when you go back to it. If you’re not the most motivated to exercise in the first place, self exercise may not be a great option unless you can guarantee an uninterrupted workout. In order to avoid this, we have decided to work out in the morning before work when everyone else is still sleeping. We have been much more consistent since implementing this.
2. Self Discipline is Important
If you’re not working out in a gym, you’ll probably find that you have to push yourself to exercise. Whereas exercising at the gym often offers the opportunity to link up with a personal trainer who can encourage you and suggest ways to increase the effectiveness of your workouts. At home, you’re all on your own in terms of motivation and this doesn’t suit everyone. I am lucky because my hubby and I keep each other motivated.
3. Have You Got Enough Space?
Even if all of your exercise equipment is of the fold-up variety, you still need somewhere to keep it and to have enough room to use it. If you’re not not using exercise equipment and are instead planning to do activities like aerobics or yoga, you’ll still need to have the floor space. Depending on how large your rooms are, you may not have the space. We have found that you can do body weight exercises pretty much anywhere.
So, where do you prefer to exercise, at home, or at the gym? Or, how have you decided to exercise on the cheap?