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WORKOUTS – HOME OR GYM?

GENERAL BENEFITS OF EXERCISE

Choosing a lifestyle of fitness – or not – seems to me a far more significant decision than choosing a venue. This article will first speak of the benefits of any exercise program. Then I will go into a contrast of home workouts vs. gym workouts. (I have done both for many years).

But why work out at all? Paraphrasing the Mayo Clinic, here are the reasons:

  • Exercise burns calories. We can avoid weight gain and accelerate weight loss by working out.
  • Physical activity boosts HDL cholesterol and decreases triglycerides. Exercise helps us avoid strokes, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis and many other diseases or conditions.
  • Exercise improves our mood and relieves stress
  • Workouts boost energy and improve our cardiovascular systems
  • Regular physical activity promotes better sleep

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends these minimum levels of exercise per week:

  • 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. Or some combination of both. This would involve walking, running, swimming, bicycling or the like.
  • Doing strength training at least twice per week. This would entail weights or other forms of resistance.

HOME VS. GYM

Currently, I do all my workouts at home, even though I have a gym membership. Our global Covid crisis and common sense mitigation have been factors, but I have grown to generally prefer home workouts. Looking back, I have most likely spent as much time in health spas, YMCAs and Nautilus / bodybuilding clubs as I have spent at home for workouts.

Here are my conclusions, per these considerations

  • Expense – Gyms are expensive and no equity is built as we pay membership dues. At home, there may be expenses for equipment, but these expenses can be controlled. We may begin by using our bodyweight as resistance, thus totally avoiding expense. Also, there is no cost to take a walk around our neighborhoods. As we progress, we can add equipment on a gradual basis.
  • Time – I personally do a 20-30 minute home workout every morning before breakfast. When I went to gyms, I would often devote 2-3 hours to the venture. Driving back and forth, waiting in line for machines, showering and changing clothes were factors.
  • Socializing – There is no doubt that outside gyms offer us more social outlets. It is also true that many people can benefit by the energy of those nearby. But there is one unfavorable aspect to consider – too much socializing. I have seen people in gyms spend far more time talking to others than moving their bodies. It has also been instructive when I would ask someone how their workout went. I would often hear “I spent at least an hour in the gym”. My follow-up question might then be “What did you work on?” and sometimes there was no answer.
  • Technique – Gyms usually have assistants to answer questions, though they may vary widely in their level of expertise and even their availability. I have found over and over that workout technique is generally not very difficult. We pick up and move something or we move our feet. Our progress lies primarily in the realm of motivation. Wherever we go to exercise, it is crucial to check with a physician before embarking on any new program of physical activity.

Summarizing “venues” – a workout is a workout, wherever done. A gym person would do well to have a backup home workout plan, whereas a home workout person can always take a break and get a bit of social interaction from a gym.

EQUIPMENT RESOURCES FOR HOME WORKOUTS

After an introductory period of outside walking and indoor push-ups, crunches and planks, we may feel the need to interpose more variety into our home workouts.

Here are a few choices from Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See “affiliate disclosure” in my upper menu. Check these links and then scroll around from there for similar options:

Bullworker devices have been favorites of mine for several years. These products are small and portable, yet adaptable to the needs of both newcomers or veterans. Bullworker offers us both isotonic and isometric modes of exercise. See the Bullworker website below:

My favorite source for sporting goods or workout equipment has always been Dick’s Sporting Goods. I was their customer for decades before I became their associate. Check their site below and look for current discounts throughout their inventory: Shop with confidence!

CHECK 17 VITAL BODY METRICS

The FitTrack Dara scale will measure the following as you simply step on it with bare feet:

  • Body weight
  • Body mass index
  • Body fat proportion
  • Muscle rate
  • Body water percentage
  • Bone mass
  • Body metabolic rate
  • Protein rate
  • Metabolic age
  • Visceral fat index
  • Subcutaneous fat
  • Standard weight (where we should be)
  • Weight control
  • Fat mass
  • Weight without fat
  • Muscle mass
  • Protein mass

Here is the FitTrack link

CONCLUDING

I have attempted to present a somewhat impartial analysis of home vs. gym features and benefits. Bear in mind that my niche is home workouts, so therein lies my preference. My goal is to consistently do a daily routine, finish it and go about my day.

This has seemed especially important in recent times. People have told me that they miss working out since gyms have been closed. Yet outside walks, crunches and push-ups can produce remarkable results and cost nothing. Adding a few pieces of equipment can be done very reasonably.

Whatever path one chooses to pursue a fitness lifestyle seems far less important than the decision to do so. From that point, it is only a matter of staying motivated. You will never be disappointed in pursuing that lifestyle!

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Be well and stay safe!

Richard

4 Comments

  1. I believe that a home workout is as effective as a gym. We have to be prepared to put a little time and effort into our workout at home. It does require some discipline. And it always has the advantage that we fit our exercise routine into our schedule, rather than trying to manage our schedule around getting to the gym.

    • Ann, great points! I work out every day at home, but more briefly than at gyms. Playing music helps…Richard

  2. Thank you so much for the informative article.  One of the great things about being in the Military is the use of free gyms on base.  I do like that you tried to be impartial though, even though your niche is at home products.  Even if one has a gym membership, I believe it would also benefit to have some of these things at home too.

    • Jessie, thanks for your comments and for your service! I remember well the excellent military provisions for sports and exercise…Richard

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