Can You Really Get Fit Without Going To A Gym?

By Janet Smith, PEERtrainer Health and Fitness Writer
So you have finally decided to get physically fit once and for all- congratulations! You may find yourself wondering “Now what?” and many times the first thing they do is to run right out and join the nearest health club.

Sadly, a recent study conducted by the University of Stanford's Graduate School of Business found that the average gym club user went so infrequently that they ended up paying $17 per visit! While a health club is a great option, it’s not the only option.

Before you sign that membership contract, consider whether working out at home or joining a gym will better fit your lifestyle. A health club is probably the best choice for you if you:

•    Are motivated by being around other people, or will be too easily distracted from working out when you are at home.

•    Want access to a wide variety of exercise equipment and classes.

•    Have enough time in your schedule to get to the gym on a regular basis.

•    Can afford the cost of membership and are fairly certain that you are going to continue to work out for the length of the membership contract.

On the other hand, many people choose to work out at home, and find that it is the perfect choice for your lifestyle. You don’t have to ditch the couch and turn the living room into your personal home gym to get into an effective exercise routine. Working out at home might be the best choice if you:

•    Are looking for an economical alternative to joining a gym.

•    Have a schedule that makes it difficult to get to a gym during regular hours, or just want to be able to work out anytime without leaving your house.

•    Would feel self-conscious exercising in front of others.

Keep in mind that working out at home doesn’t mean that you have to invest in large, expensive equipment. If you aren’t  in the market for a treadmill, you may find that brisk walks outside more interesting anyway.

You’ll want to invest in a few basic pieces of equipment, such as light weights, resistance bands, a jump rope and a yoga mat. If you aren’t sure what kind of workouts you’re interested in, consider checking out, renting or purchasing videos.

You can find fitness DVDs with instruction on everything from belly dancing to martial arts and step aerobics, and having a small collection will add some variety to your workouts.

Getting involved in a team or individual sport is another terrific way to get fit. Most communities offer sports lessons or intramural leagues for adults, and a lot of people find the competition to be a motivator.

But exercising on your own shouldn’t be a bore either. Invest in a bike or a pair of skates and use them to run to the store for that loaf of bread. You’ll save some gas while getting a great workout.

Related PEERtrainer Community Discussions and Articles"

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