Working Out at a Fitness Center vs. Home
When deciding whether to work out at a fitness center or at your home, there are several benefits and drawbacks to each approach that you need consider before making your decision. The intent of this article is to discuss the benefits and drawbacks associated with each approach. The most basic question that needs to be answered is - which approach will best fit your lifestyle and, at the same time, give you the highest probability of obtaining your personal fitness goals?
Table #1 lists several of the items to consider when determining where to perform your primary fitness activities - a fitness center or your personal residence.
Working Out at a Fitness Center
There are several advantages to working out at a fitness center. First, most fitness centers typically have a large array of weight training equipment, cardiovascular equipment, aerobic classes, swimming facilities, and possibly even a jogging area. In addition, many fitness centers will also facilitate several specialty classes (i.e. yoga, martial arts, pre- and post-natal care, activities for children, etc.). Since fitness centers provide such a large spectrum of workout options, the average person can determine the specific workout regimen that works best for them through trial and error.
In addition, fitness centers typically employ the latest technology in terms of workout equipment. This is an inexpensive way for individuals that are wanting to try new equipment to see if they can achieve greater results in a shorter period of time, or for those who are wanting to add additional exercises to their cross-training routine.
If you are new to working out or are unfamiliar with any of the types of equipment found at a fitness center, always make sure to ask the personal trainers, as they will have a wealth of knowledge. The fitness trainers employed by fitness centers are an excellent resource for discussing how the equipment operates, the primary function of the equipment, and how well the specific piece of equipment works in terms of producing results.
Most fitness centers employ personal trainers that can design specific workout routines targeted to meet your unique fitness goals. In addition, they can provide advice on modifications to your current workout program and recommend cross-training techniques that will make your workout not only more exciting, but also accelerate the rate at which you obtain your personal fitness goals.
Another benefit associated with working out at a fitness center is the fact that virtually everyone there has at least one thing in common with you - they all want to take an active role in their personal health and well-being. This creates an environment where the energy and motivation levels of other individuals become contagious. Therefore, many individuals that work out at a fitness center find it much easier to stay motivated, work out 3 to 5 times per week, and obtain their personal fitness goals.
In addition, many fitness centers provide day care services so that individuals with children can bring them to the fitness center. This is an excellent benefit since it eliminates the need to find and pay a babysitter.
Monthly memberships at fitness centers are relatively inexpensive. In fact, if an individual's primary workout routines take place solely at a fitness center, then the cost of purchasing equipment for home becomes minimal.
However, there is one crucial word of caution for anyone who is thinking about becoming a member of a fitness center - signing up for a 1 or 2-year term membership will require monthly payments. These monthly payments will be automatically withdrawn from your account on a monthly basis whether you work out at the fitness center or not.
Another item to consider is the specific time of day or night that you will be working out. Just as with morning and late afternoon rush hour traffic, fitness centers have their peak traffic times as well. The peak traffic hours at a fitness center include the early morning before work, the lunch hour, and immediately after work.
If any of these fitness center peak traffic timeframes match your desired workout schedule, then it is highly recommended that you visit the fitness center during the timeframe when you intend to work out to observe the amount of member traffic.
Many fitness centers are extremely busy during their peak hours. There may be a wait time to utilize the weight training and cardiovascular equipment, and to participate in the aerobic classes.
Finally, while there are a few fitness centers that are open to the public 24/7, most are not. This being said, each individual needs to make sure that a given fitness center's hours of operation match with their lifestyle.
Working Out at Home
In terms of working out a home, there are several benefits and drawbacks that need to be discussed. One of the most obvious benefits to working out at home is the fact that you can work out whenever you want. In addition, there is no need to pack up your workout gear and drive to a fitness center. This fact alone is probably the number one reason why individuals work out at home. Most individuals lead a hectic and busy lifestyle. Hence, it is easy to see why many of us would prefer to eliminate the time needed to get cleaned up, appropriately dressed, and thereafter drive to the fitness center.
Each individual that is just starting on a fitness program will need to determine what types of physical fitness they will perform. Once the types of fitness exercises have been determined, you will have purchase the necessary gear and equipment, including strength training systems, cardiovascular equipment, exercise mats, exercise balls, workout DVDs and more. While this can be a little costly at first, most fitness equipment is backed with a solid warranty, and maintenance is usually very minimal. As such, long-term costs can be quite low in comparison to paying an ongoing fitness center membership.
Working out at home does bring the possibility of distractions. For instance, if you are a parent with young children, it can be difficult to focus on and complete your entire workout without any distractions. If your workout timeframe (i.e. early morning or late night) is when your children are asleep, then this specific distraction should be minimal. A few additional distractions to consider are telephone calls, a spouse (only if they do not work out with you), and traffic at your front door.
One item of concern when working out at home is that many individuals lose their motivation when working out alone and at home. Many individuals working out at a fitness center utilize the energy of others to motivate themselves. One idea is to look to finding a workout partner. By having a workout partner, you can draw on one another for motivation, assistance if you are weight training, advice and accountability.
However, if you work out at home by yourself, then an excellent source of motivation can be obtained through the monitoring of your results. The monitoring of your results can be as simple as noticing how your clothes fit, having to purchase smaller-size clothes, monitoring your resting heart rate, monitoring your weight, inches and body fat percentage, and monitoring your gains in strength and endurance. One point to remember is that once a goal is achieved, a new, more difficult goal needs to be set. By doing so, you will continually challenge yourself, constantly focusing on the specific criteria associated with the details of your goal.
In summary, the decision to work out at a fitness center or at home is a personal choice. With such a wide spectrum of lifestyles there is no right answer. Each individual simply needs to look at their own personal life and determine how best to go about implementing a fitness and nutrition routine that fits as comfortably as possible into their lifestyle.
The only wrong answer is not implementing any type of physical fitness or nutritional dietary routine into your daily lifestyle. While, with today's hectic lifestyles, it may seem difficult to allocate time to your personal health and wellness on a repeatable and consistent basis, you will find that once you do, it will have been easier than you thought it would have been.
Finally, individuals that make the decision to work out at home need to stay informed of the latest research related to fitness, nutrition and supplementation. This, of course, is easier to accomplish at a fitness center since all of the individuals are active in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
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