Do You Need to Workout in a Gym to Stay in Shape?

When it comes to making a decision to get back into shape, we’ve almost been convinced that the best place to start is to join a gym. Going to a gym to get into shape appears to be a logical choice. After all, a high-end commercial gym probably has everything you need to get in the best shape of your life—trainers, a supplement store, a variety of classes, a weight room, treadmills, and maybe even a swimming pool, spa, Jacuzzi, and massage facility.

However, there are many types of exercise routines that you can do equally well at home:

If you want to improve muscle tone, endurance, and cardiovascular health, you can go to a virtual spin class—that is, you can spin on an indoor cycling bike in your living room and watch a video with real people while following an instructor’s guidelines. In fact, the pace of a fitness routine can be as intense as if you were in the studio itself. Or, if you want to build muscle and burn fat or get big and strong, then you need to lift weights, but you can create a small home gym in your basement with a bench, a dumbbell, a barbell, and an assortment of weight plates.

So, if you’re not planning on entering a bodybuilding, building a beach body, or becoming a professional athlete, and if you don’t need to work with a personal trainer or aspire to engage in an intensive body makeover, you may not need to go to the gym at all. Here are some reasons why it may be more convenient to exercise at home:

1. You have a busy schedule.

If you spend the better part of your day at work, then you may not be in the mood to make the effort after you come home for dinner to get dressed again, climb into the car, and go to a gym. It takes time to get ready, time to travel, and time to stash all your stuff in your locker—and you could just as easily have spent all that time having a complete workout at home. If it’s too much of a hassle, there may be times when you decide not to go at all. Conversely, the easy availability of everything you need to work out at home may persuade you to devote 20 to 40 minutes to getting into shape every evening or three times a week. Moreover, if the gym is far away and weather conditions could be an issue, particularly snow in winter, then it might not always be convenient to always drive to the gym.

2. You don’t need much equipment.

If you’re into aerobics, you don’t need anything more than a treadmill, rebounder, or bicycle to get a good aerobic workout at home, and you may only need a pair of sneakers if you like to jog. The same goes for weight-lifting—a home gym, some calisthenic equipment like push up stands or pull up bars may be all you need.

3. You don’t like to workout in a crowded space.

Gyms can be crowded especially during peak times of the year and peak hours of the day. Despite the abundance of facilities, you may have to wait for your turn to use equipment or work-in with other people when it’s crowded. In addition, you may not feel comfortable working out with others. Some people prefer the privacy of their own homes to working out in public. An attractive woman, for example, may often be distracted by men interested in asking her out, an obese man might feel uncomfortable surrounded by lean and muscular men, or a shy teenager might be reluctant to ask for a chance to use a popular machine. For one reason or another, it’s possible to feel uncomfortable working out with other people in a public setting.

Home vs Gym

How much equipment you need depends on your goals. If you’re planning to build a Herculean physique, then a gym with its wide range of barbells, dumbbells, and machines is probably a better choice—because the stronger you get, the more weight you’ll be able to lift. Otherwise, if you’re just trying to stay in shape, you may not need much equipment and can just as easily achieve your health and fitness goals at home. So long as you have a clear diet and exercise plan, you can set yourself up for success at home or at the gym.

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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