Over the years, the proliferation of new equipment has made it easier than ever before to meet your fitness needs from the comfort of your own home - but is it worth setting up an area for home exercise vs. going to the gym?
Let's take a look at the differences between these two situations.
The atmosphere of the area you exercise in is entirely a matter of personal preference, but whether you stay at home or go to the gym depends in large part on your personality.
Extroverted people tend to enjoy being around others more, so the gym is a more natural fit. There's certainly something to be said for working out among other people and watching them progress towards their own goals.
Introverted people may find it harder to work out at the gym, especially if there are fears of being judged. For these people, setting up a home gym can is often the better choice.
Another thing to consider is how easy it is to access things.
At home, you can have added entertainment, including the use of music, television, and radio that might be harder to enjoy at the gym. Many people don't enjoy focusing entirely on exercise, so being able to enjoy other benefits can make a tough workout much easier to bear.
"You're kidding, right?" Our editor asked. "I'm pretty sure anyone who's reading this article knows that gyms have more equipment."
That's true, but the amount of equipment isn't important.
For that matter, even if a gym has the equipment that's best for you - and there's no guarantee of that - there's always the possibility that someone else will be using it when you want to.
The key thing to understand here is that people's equipment needs vary based on the type of exercise they want to do. If you're trying to get into shape, the sheer variety of machines at a gym is a definite plus - but if you're simply trying to maintain good form, you may only need one or two machines.
In other words, having a large variety of machines isn't as valuable to you as it may sound. Many people like to set up home gyms with one device for their upper body and another for their lower body - and really, that's all you need.
There's really no good way to put this - gyms are dirty.
You have a lot of people bustling in and out, sweating all over the place, and touching various parts of the machine. In fact, you can reasonably assume that many other people have touched quite literally anything you come into contact with, and there's no guarantee that any given device was cleaned unless you do it yourself.
In that regard, home gyms are much better at helping to ensure proper hygiene. Most people in a house never touch an exercise machine unless they're planning to use it, so you can be reasonably confident that it will stay clean.
The value of a trainer is mostly proportional to your personal fitness goals.
If you have no idea what you're doing, having a professional create a workout plan for you can make it far easier to achieve your ideal level of fitness. On the other hand, if you're just maintaining your body, there isn't much a trainer can do for you.
In recent years, the growth of the internet has made it easier than ever before to connect with a trainer. You can follow a pre-made exercise plan, talk to trainers online, or even use apps to create a schedule.
Between proper flooring, clothing, and exercise equipment, a complete home gym will likely cost at least $1000, and it could easily be twice that if you buy better equipment. This is especially true if you're setting up multiple units (such as a pair of exercise bikes so you and your spouse can exercise together).
That sounds like a lot at first, but a gym membership could easily run you $800 a year per person. At that rate, having a home gym for as little as two years means you could be saving money.
More relevantly, though, almost two-thirds of gym memberships aren't even used on a monthly basis.
That's a lot of money to be spending if you're not even working towards your fitness goals, and having a home gym makes it easier to start working out instead of deciding whether or not you want to leave the house.
If you're trying to improve your fitness, getting a gym membership sounds like a no-brainer - but the truth is that you might be better off choosing to set up a home gym instead.
When deciding between the two, here are some points to consider:
Once you've answered these questions, you should have a better sense of whether a home gym or a gym membership is a better choice.
No answer's appropriate for every situation, so think about what would work best for you.