Working out at home has become increasingly popular in the last few years thanks to online workout programs and advanced home gym gear. The COVID-19 pandemic skyrocketed that popularity as gyms across the country were forced to close for some time. Now, many Americans plan to continue working out at home instead of heading back to their usual public gym.
But, is working out at home worth it? Can you still reach your goals and get the same level of intensity in your workouts as you would in a gym? Many people are finding out that you can.
With that being said, gyms certainly aren’t obsolete. There are plenty of benefits to going to your local gym, but it depends on what you’re looking for (or what you’re trying to avoid).
Whether you’re starting a new workout routine and considering a new location or you’ve been working out at home for a while and you’re not sure if you want to go back to the gym, the best thing you can do is weigh out the pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of both options.
Gyms Can Provide Motivation and Support
For many, the hardest part of sticking to a workout routine is finding the motivation to do so. Some things you can do on your own include:
- Creating smaller goals
- Tracking your progress
- Finding exercises you enjoy doing
- Making it convenient to work out
Another great motivational tool is to find a “buddy” to exercise with you. But, if you don’t want to get friends or family members involved, going to the gym is a great way to find support and motivation. Most gyms host a variety of group classes that focus on both traditional workout routines as well as the latest fitness trends like HIIT or outside workouts. Signing up for these classes will keep you from getting bored and keep you motivated to try more. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to meet like-minded people who can keep pushing you and become your built-in support system.
If you’re new to working out or need some help reaching your goals, gyms usually also have educated and certified personal trainers on staff or for hire. Certified trainers can customize a routine for you and help you with a diet plan to reach your weight or fitness goals, too. If you have any injuries or health concerns, they can adjust your plan to fit those needs, offering you support that you typically don’t get from a workout video at home.
Home Workouts Can Better Fit Your Needs
If you decide to ditch the gym and work out at home, one of the biggest “pros” you’ll discover is the ability to exercise however you want. With so many online programs and videos, there are countless opportunities to try something different. Plus, you can set up your home gym space to specifically fit your needs and your personality – a great motivational tool.
If you’re really going to be committed to home workouts, it’s a good idea to transform a space in your home to look and feel like a gym. That starts with finding hacks to make more room and decluttering a specific location. Find creative storage solutions, using shelving to your advantage, and get rid of things you don’t want or need. Even if you have a small home, you can still find ways to create an awesome workout area.
Home workouts are also convenient, which is one of the biggest benefits. So many people lead busy lifestyles today, that the biggest pros for working out at home are:
- It saves time
- You can work out any time of day
- There is more privacy
- You can go at your own pace
Whatever your personal or fitness needs might be, home workouts can help you achieve them privately and in an area you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to deal with gym intimidation or feel like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Weighing Out the Costs
You might think it’s obvious that going to the gym in person would cost more than working out at home. In many cases, that’s true. The average gym membership in the U.S. costs just over $37.00 per month. Obviously, working out at home is cheaper than that. There are plenty of free online programs to choose from. Even the ones you have to pay for usually only charge a one-time fee to let you have the program forever.
But, costs can start to rise at home depending on how advanced you want your home gym and your workout routines to be. Gyms tend to regularly update and upgrade their equipment, so you know you’re getting the best machines possible to get in shape. At home, you may need to invest in expensive workout equipment, depending on your needs and goals.
That could include things like a treadmill, bike, weights, or even gym setup equipment like mats or large mirrors.
So, when weighing out the pros and cons of cost, the most important thing to decide is whether you want to make a large up-front investment in a home gym, or pay a monthly fee and have everything taken care of for you.
There’s no one “perfect” solution when it comes to choosing a gym or working out at home. Think about your goals, your preferences, and your self-motivation to determine which option will work best for you.