For the longest time, my husband and I debated the merits of working out at home versus working out at a gym. After belonging to a gym and working out extensively at home, I think working out at home kick’s the gym’s butt any day. Why?
Convenience. My home gym is literally open 24 hours a day. Working out at home gives me a lot of flexibility. I can workout before the kids wake up, while they’re otherwise occupied, and—theoretically—even after they go to bed. (But I’d really rather not.) And if I only have a limited amount of time to exercise, I can still squeeze in a workout.
Time savings. The gym we belonged to was only a 10 minute drive away, but that time really added up. Traveling back and forth to exercise five days a week cost me 100 minutes in travel time. That’s almost 2 hours lost a week. And that doesn’t include all the time I lost trying to get everybody’s shoes and socks on.
A workout program for everyone. I choose my workout based on my workout personality, current fitness level and mood. Some people feed off the energy of their fellow fitness-goers, but I find I can choose programs that pump me up with great music or dynamic instructors (like Les Mills Pump). Other times I prefer straightforward weight-based programs (like P90X One on One with Tony Horton) that make me feel like I have my own personal trainer.
Cost savings. Sure, it’s nice to invest in equipment—treadmill, dumbbells, etc…–but the most cost effective way to workout is purchasing a fitness program. Once you purchase it, you can use it as many times as you like. Some workout programs require equipment, like dumbbells, pull up bars and weight benches. Other programs only require your own body weight or include everything you need to complete the workout.
The family that works out together, gets fit together. My husband and I enjoy exercising together when we can, that way we can motivate and encourage–and occasionally harangue–each other. We also like to workout with our kids sometimes. Our 11-year-old expressed an interest in doing Shaun T’s Insanityto get ready for lacrosse season. He and his father can bond while they get in shape.
Good for every fitness level. Taking classes at the gym always made me a little bit anxious, because it can take me a few times doing a workout to learn the moves. When I work out at home, I don’t have to worry that some Workout Barbie next to me will get frustrated every time I lunge right, while she lunges left.
It’s not a fashion show or meat market. It doesn’t matter if the only workout gear that’s clean are the super baggy shorts that make me look like a hobo and the t-shirt that is literally 20 years old. My kids don’t care. (My husband might, but he’s usually smart enough to keep his opinion to himself.)