5 Reasons to Skip the Gym and Work Out at Home
The amount of workout classes to take (even geared to hot or cold temps), gyms to join (including eco-friendly options), and personal trainers to hire is endless. Our money, time, and energy, on the other hand, are not. Enter the home gym. Many people would argue that working out in the comfort of their own home just doesn’t seem as effective — after all, it’s much easier to sink into your couch than hop on the elliptical directly to its left. Tom Holland, an athlete, author, and exercise physiologist, however, is not one of these people. These are his top five arguments in defense of at-home fitness routines.
1. Comfort: Say goodbye to exercise-related impostor syndrome. Working out at home, you needn’t feel stressed about dressing in designer athletic gear (still wear appropriate footwear though, Holland cautions!) — or, even more anxiety-inducing, having people gawk as you maneuver complicated machinery, sweat profusely, etc. That being said, you still need to hold yourself accountable and actually give it your all. Holland recommends setting “simple yet quantifiable weekly goals,” such as completing 150 total minutes of cardio per week or choosing specific times to work out and sticking to them. “Frequency and consistency are the key metrics,” he confirms.
2. Flexibility: Amid friends, family, and work, trips to the gym usually fall by the wayside. But if your fitness routine can be performed at home, you’re able to cater to your own schedule in the way that’s most convenient for you. “Only have 10 minutes now and 15 minutes later?” Holland asks. “Your home gym is only steps away, and, yes, those workouts do add up.” Holland says he still considers mornings to be prime workout time, since it’s “much less likely [there will] be distractions at 6am than at 6pm.”
3. Time: Say you do cardio for 30 minutes and strength training for another 30 — that’s an hour of exercise. But when you’re doing it at the gym, you need to factor in the 20 minutes it takes you to get there during rush hour and the 10 minutes it takes to find a parking spot in the always-packed lot. All of a sudden, you’re at 90 minutes. In this hurried world, saving yourself that half hour by working out at home can be huge. “Since you can be finished with your workout at home in the time it takes just to go to the gym, I recommend focusing on shorter, more frequent workouts,” Holland instructs. “Aiming for four workouts of 15-30 minutes during the week and one longer workout of 30-60 minutes on the weekend is a great weekly goal to get started.”
4. Money: This one is the most obvious of the bunch, but the amount of money Americans spend on monthly gym memberships — $34, which goes up to a whopping $155 when you factor in things like personal trainers and gym accessories, according to a survey by MyProtein — is still pretty unbelievable. Your home gym is a heck of a lot cheaper, and if you invest in the right equipment, over time it will pay for itself. Holland says a cardio machine (such as a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike) and equipment for strength exercises (such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands) are absolute musts. However, he emphasizes, “The ‘best’ cardio and strength options for you are the products and technology that get you excited and that you will use the most.”
5. Media: Ahh, yes, our favorite part of working out: catching up on gossip mags, listening to our favorite artist’s new album, and bingeing season three of Queer Eye. Whatever media you prefer while getting your move on, being in your own home allows for maximum enjoyment of it. Dedicate the flatscreen to your fave show, blast a new playlist from the speakers — you name it. Of these options, music is Holland’s go-to. “Most people want to dissociate while exercising, thinking about anything other than the task at hand, taking their mind off of the exercise itself to make it more pleasurable,” he admits. Some studies have even found that tunes can maximize your workout.
And besides, some gym equipment is 48 times dirtier than our toilets. So… we’ll stay home.
RELATED: 7 Tips to Actually Enjoy Exercising
(Photos via Getty)