Home vs. the gym

While there is something about the atmosphere of a gym that I love, I haven’t trained in a gym in several years.  These days, I choose to work out at home. Amongst many other reasons, it just works best with my schedule.  I don’t need to get a babysitter, I don’t need to waste precious time driving to and from, and I don’t have to worry if I’m not wearing my best sports bra :).  But I am also disciplined enough to do my workouts at home.

Working out in my garage

Working out in my garage

Some people’s motivation may only hit them when they walk through the gym doors and hear the clanking of the weights or the humming of the many treadmills, as their focus at the gym is solely centered on their one hour of exercise. At home they may be easily distracted by the laundry that needs folding or the dinner that needs cooking. Sometimes an urge to clean the bathroom hits, and this can seem like a more pleasant choice than lunges, curls and sit ups. Does this sound familiar?? Hmmm??

Exercising in a gym has many advantages: group classes from zumba to kick boxing; choice of top of the line equipment; and trainers on hand to help and guide. But for some, the gym brings about stress and anxiety.  Many people feel overwhelmed by all the equipment, uncertain about how to use many of the machines, unsure of gym etiquette, or even worried about their work-out wardrobe. Some just don’t feel comfortable, they feel out of shape, uncoordinated, and out of place. While I think most other exercisers are too busy with their own workouts to be scoping out newbies, people feel how they feel.  So if you don’t like the gym, don’t go.  Yes, that’s right, don’t go to the gym!

But I did not say don’t exercise.

So much can be done at home. You can follow DVDs, use the internet, download apps on your smart phone, buy some very basic equipment, or use your bodyweight and the great outdoors.  Lunges, squats, planks, burpees, and crunches, just to name a few, don’t require any equipment at all.  Walking, biking, hiking, skating, jogging, stair climbing, skipping, and dancing are all at your disposal.

A few things you could use to get started are:

1- Free weights, one or two sets

2- Exercise ball

3- Mat

A few inexpensive pieces of equipment

A few inexpensive pieces of equipment

Other than the above, you’ll likely require a pair of sneakers, some desire and motivation, and maybe a gentle push (sometimes a bit of a shove is more effective). If you are a beginner, research basic beginner exercises on the web. You’re likely to find step-by-step videos on how to do a bicep curl, a tricep extension, a proper squat or lunge, etc.

If you have a friend or neighbor wanting to start a fitness routine as well then sign them up!! Training with a friend is beneficial. With a friend, you will have more fun, a sense of accountability, and you may even feel a little competitive spirit that will drive you to work a little harder. These are good things.  If you conduct your research and still feel unsure of what to do, you can consider hiring a personal trainer who will come to your home.  They can get you started in the right direction, show you the basics dos and don’ts, and put you at ease that you are doing the exercises properly so you don’t risk injury.

If you are a member of a gym, you use your membership, and you are stopping in several times a week for classes, strength training, or a run on the treadmill— KEEP IT UP!!! If you aren’t a gym-goer, that’s fine, but as I’ve outlined above, that is not an excuse not to exercise.

If you have any questions about starting to exercise at home, I’m happy to answer them!

  • Marina Rabinek
    Posted at 21:37h, 13 October Reply

    LOVE this post, Kelly! I am an AVID supporter of home workouts! What is your fave thing to do?

  • Kelly
    Posted at 06:23h, 14 October Reply

    Hi Marina,
    Thanks, my favorite thing to do would be the kettlebells. One piece of equipment can provide a full body work out for me. How about you, any faves?

  • angie
    Posted at 21:59h, 03 February Reply

    I am encouraged by this post. I moved away from my gym and miss it. I have been exercising at home and find that I still get a good work out. However, I still miss my gym but feel encouraged. Thanks!

  • Kelly
    Posted at 21:15h, 04 February Reply

    Hi Angie,
    That’s so great that you are still continuing to exercise at home. Keep it up!! Try to mix it up if you start getting bored. There is really so much you can do at home!!

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