Friday, 13 April 2012

Home workout vs the gym

CC courtesy of The U.S Army, Flickr
Today you've probably caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and did not like what you saw. That's why you're here on the internet trying to find the best option out there to lose the weight. I can tell you from experience that your diet will be 90% of your weight loss and the other 10% will be exercise. Of course, in order to keep the weight off you'll have to overhaul your lifestyle so that you're constantly eating well and looking after yourself and not go back to the foods and sedentary that got you here in the first place.

This post isn't about diet (that'll be covered sometime later) but it's about what you can be doing to get yourself active. You're probably also wondering whether you'll have the greatest results at a gym or at home. Well, I can't give you a yes or no style answer to that as there are quite a few things to consider:
  1. Equipment: do you have any equipment at home? Even if you don't there are plenty of body weight exercises you can be doing. You can also make your own equipment at home too (a more detailed post on that will be coming soon), for example you can fill up water bottles with water or other substances (sand or gravel?) to create your own set of dumbbells. If you've got a bit of spare cash or use Craigslist you can pick up some cheap weights. What about cardio? You can get outside and walk or jog, you can skip in your front room or do intervals. Of course, the gym has all of this readily available to you often 24/7.
  2. Time: do you have the time to get to the gym? If you do that's great. If you don't then workout at home where you can keep an eye on the kids or whatever. 
  3. Cost: can you afford £30 a month (or thereabouts) membership to a gym? That's £360 a year, every year. You can easily pick up some decent equipment for £100 or fewer and that's with you for life or until you've used it so much it doesn't function any more.
  4. Socializing: are you a social butterfly or do you prefer to keep you exercise habits to yourself? Going to the gym can be a great place to meet like minded people. If, however, you'd rather keep to yourself then you might be better off working out at home, at a far away gym where people don't know you, or maybe in the dead of night when most people are asleep.
  5. Do you need a trainer?: if you're completely new to exercise you might benefit from getting a personal trainer or taking some classes to show you the ropes. On the other hand, there are fitness videos that will guide you through each move but it would be best to workout with a buddy who can make sure you're doing it right. Either way it's up to you.
So let's just quickly list the pros and cons of each:

Gym Pros

  • All your equipment is there
  • You can potentially have access 24/7
  • Access to personal trainers
  • Some gyms offer alternative facilitates like saunas for you to relax in
  • You can meet other people

Gym Cons

  • It's expensive
  • It takes up a lot of time
  • They can be dirty if not kept clean by the other users
  • They can be intimidating

Home Pros

  • Workout in the comfort of your own home
  • 24/7 access
  • Can do a wide variety of exercises
  • You wont feel insecure as it's your home
  • It's your equipment and not covered in germs
  • You don't even need equipment, you can just use body weight

Home Cons

  • You may have to buy some equipment
  • You don't have immediate access to any professionals
  • There's very little social aspect
So there we go, all the possible pros and cons of home workouts vs the gym. I personally love working out at home. I have built up quite a bit of equipment including a stationary bike, weights, pull up bar, push ups stands, stability ball, resistance bands, different types of mats as well as all my martial arts equipment.

So where's your favorite place to workout?

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