Get fit at home!
Over the past 10 years I’ve gone through different exercise phases and workout at home routines, depending on what else was happening in life and how the priorities stacked up. At the moment I love working out at home and I love all the at home fitness programs available these days. But is working out at home better than the gym?
For myself and my fitness goals right now, it’s a resounding YES! But let’s have a look at the pros and cons of both.
The sweat factor
Many years ago, I used to go to the gym. And I did enjoy a lot of things about it.
What I didn’t like, was the sweat. Sweaty people, sweaty machines… other people and their sweat in general. Or my own sweaty gym bag for that matter, filled with sweaty gym clothes to deal with when I got home. I don’t miss the sweat at the gym that’s for sure.
One of the best things about a workout at home routine is you only have to deal with your own sweat. And the washing machine is right there. That’s a win.
Now of course, this one varies depending on how far away your gym is. Perhaps it’s just a short walk and you incorporate that into your daily fitness routine. Or maybe you enjoy the drive to your gym and it’s all part of the commitment and getting in the zone process.
If it works for you, that’s awesome. For me, I didn’t like having to get in my car. I didn’t like having to pack a gym back, I didn’t like dealing with traffic and I didn’t like the extra time it took.
If I can get fit at home and avoid all that, I’m doing it.
I want to work out NOW!
With so many 24/7 gyms around these days, this one is less of an issue. Or if you like to workout before or after work, and not at some crazy time when the sun isn’t up then this won’t be a problem for you either.
But I didn’t like working around open times. I didn’t like busy times. I didn’t like having to wait for the treadmill (and then wipe off someone’s sweat).
If I happen to wake up at 4am and want to workout, I want to catch that motivation and squeeze as much exercise out of it as possible. If I have to wait until 6am when the gym opens, there’s a fairly large chance that motivation has gone back to sleep.
Getting fit without a gym is entirely possible and is helped by the fact that your lounge room/garage/home gym is always open.
I need what?
Okay so when it comes to equipment, the gym wins out. There are generally a range of machines that you cannot (without spending a lot of money) replicate at home.
But… think about what equipment you actually need in order to get fit at home, do you need alllll the machines? They do add variety and depending on your fitness and strength goals, the gym may be the best option for you. But there are plenty of workouts at home with no equipment, or minimal equipment anyway.
I wrote about ways to exercise at home with no equipment and simple replacements you can use instead of dumbells, gliding discs and mats. You may need to invest in a few pieces of equipment, but then you’ve got them for life and don’t have to wait for your turn.
But the couch is right there
What can you do when you go to the gym? You can workout. Anything else? Not really. What can you do when you’re at home? You can watch tv, fold the laundry, send some emails, read a book, tidy the kitchen, prep dinner in the kitchen, eat in the kitchen. Oh, and you’re meant to be working out right now.
One of the difficulties in creating a workout at home routine is that there is always. So. Much. Other. Stuff. To. Do. It can be difficult to motivate yourself and get your workouts done.
Whereas at the gym, there are generally less distractions and you are surrounded by motivated people all working out! Or if you take an exercise class, even better. Once you’re in that room and the music starts – that’s it – it’s very hard to leave.
I like to exercise at home first thing in the morning so that it’s done and ticked off for the day. Here are some tips and tricks for staying motivated on the treadmill and my tool to find the best online workout routines.
I think it’s harder to get motivated to get to the gym, but once you are there, the gym wins out.
The little people
If you have little people in your life that you are responsible for, they will likely play a big role in whether working out at home or at the gym is best for you.
Exercising at the gym may be better for you if it has creche facilities, and someone is watching your little ones while you sneak in a session without them. For others, working out at home is the better option as the kids can tag along or join in, or possibly amuse themselves from the comfort of home.
This one is a tie!
Count the pennies
What about the money? Is it cheaper to workout at home or to go to the gym?
At first it would appear obvious – of course it’s cheaper to exercise at home because you don’t have to pay gym fees! And there are many free workouts online and free exercise like running outside or body weight exercises with no equipment. But you may find on your fitness journey that you want to try an online workout program, or you want to invest in some gym equipment.
Generally though, a workout at home routine will still be cheaper than the gym.
Variety is the spice of life
In regards to workout variety… I’m calling it a tie.
I really love the variety of classes at the gym, all the machines – there’s plenty to keep you amused. But workout routines at home can have loads of variety as well – whether you’re doing some online yoga classes, a high energy HIT workout, going for a walk or a run… there is still plenty to choose from, depending on your health and fitness goals.
The verdict on working out at home or the gym
So that’s it, my summation of pros and cons for workout at home routines and whether it is better than going to the gym. It all depends on your fitness goals, what you enjoy, what makes you feel motivated and what fits in best with your lifestyle. For me, exercising at home is a winner!
Workout comparison table
There are also other types of exercise that don’t fall in the ‘workout at home’ category that aren’t in a gym, such as yoga or pilates classes, bootcamps, outdoor exercise, and probably many more. I’ve put some of these in a handy table so you can weigh up what’s the best option for you.
|The Issue||Workout at Home||Workout at the Gym||Bootcamp/Outdoor exercise||Exercise Classes (gym/yoga/pilates)|
|Sweat factor||Only your own||Other people and sweaty equipment||Other people but you get fresh air||Other people but less sharing equipment|
|Commute||No commute||Likely commute||Likely commute||Likely commute|
|Access times||Any time||Varies – limited or access any time||Limited times||Limited times|
|Equipment||Need to buy or improvise||Lots of equipment (but might need to wait your turn)||Equipment provided||Equipment provided|
|Children||Possible factor||Possible factor||Possible factor||Possible factor|
|Cost||Low cost options||Medium cost options||Varies||Varies|
|Variety||Run, walk, cycle, online workouts, weights and more||Row, cycle, run, walk, climb, free weights, weight machines and more||So much variety – whatever your trainer puts you through!||Specific to your personal preference – HIT, aerobics, weights, yoga, pilates and more|
|Motivation||Self-motivated. Try an online fitness program for extra motivation!||Self-motivated. Get some gym buddies for extra motivation!||Trainer to motivate you!||Instructor to motivate you!|
Workout comparison table pdf
I hope you found this workout type comparison table useful. You can access a copy of the free workout comparison table pdf!
And remember, you don’t have to ‘all or nothing’ it! Mix and match your workout and exercise types throughout your week, or try workout at home routines for a couple of months and then try something else! Enjoy fitness and enjoy the journey.
Do you like to exercise at the gym or at home? Do you struggle to get motivated at home without the group vibe? Or do you love the flexibility of home workouts 😊
Frequently Asked Questions
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