Frugal Living » Is It Time to Leave the Gym?

Is It Time to Leave the Gym?

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The idea of improving your health by increasing your exercise time is enticing. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of pounding out those routines at the gym. That’s where all the buff and strong athletic types hang out. What happens when the time involved in getting to the gym, arranging your schedule around established classtimes and other time wasters takes more out of your life than it gives back?

If that’s happening to you, maybe it’s time you took a look at leaving the gym behind and bringing your workout routine home.


How many times have you shown up at the gym an hour or more before the scheduled starting time for a class in order to secure a spin bike or a spot on the floor for the yoga class? Is your commute time aggravating and excessive? If spending an hour at the gym takes significantly more than an hour of your valuable, limited time, maybe it’s time to reconsider the cost versus payoff of your gym membership.

The argument is often made that belonging to the gym provides motivation, inspires you to push harder or keeps you on track towards your goals. In truth, motivation is motivation. Either you have it or you don’t. The expectation of a positive outcome in terms of strength, flexibility, weight loss or overall fitness can be motivation enough for you to chart your own course and develop a fitness plan to meet those needs.

Of course, if the gym is a major venue for your social life, you may be all too happy to wait for your turn in the hope that a spot opens up on one of the treadmills. In that case, there’s no need to read further.

For those looking for options, the twenty-first century has brought with it a wealth of opportunities for individuals to reach far beyond the scope of what is locally available in terms of education or fitness. Your local gym associate may very well be a struggling college student hoping to earn extra money counting repetitions for you under the guise of being a personal trainer.

He or she may have minimum interest in your success or failure and even less ability to influence the outcome. Requirements for claiming to be a personal trainer can vary greatly. In contrast, some of the best professional personal trainers available in the industry will offer their services and knowledge via their websites, apps, DVDs or publications. They are yours, once purchased, to be used and re-used at a time and place that suits your convenience.

If the cost of purchasing equipment for your home is a deterrent to moving your fitness routine from the gym to your home, consider a few salient points. The cost of a gym membership is a staggering figure over the course of a lifetime. That’s even before you factor in the cost of commuting back and forth to the gym or random charges such as child care fees. Cost average those expenses over a couple of years and you may find it very realistic to make a lifetime investment of a few hundred dollars in some good quality pieces of equipment.

If you’re still not convinced to make the leap into the purchase of an ellipticalor treadmill out of fear your commitment to the home workout program may not be strong enough, take note of the fact that there are many workouts and exercise programs that require little or no exercise equipment. I had zero equipment at my disposal when I lost 100 pounds.

You can be on your way to mastering the basic poses of yoga with nothing more than a DVD or app and an empty space on the floor. For a few dollars, you can throw in a yoga mat to complete the look.

A couple of different sizes of free weights can be the start of a bodybuilding workout. You can increase your workout gear slowly, as you start to see the positive results of your labors.

One of the biggest roadblocks on the road to fitness is the time commitment involved. Sure, an hour of exercise three or four times a week would make a huge impact on anyone’s fitness level. If that hour involves the time juggling required by going to the gym for your fitness program, that one hour can easily grow to two or three hours and become more of a burden than a benefit. Suddenly, three hours a week has become eight or nine hours out of your already hectic life. That’s a time commitment that can crush even the best intentions.

If fitness is your goal, don’t limit yourself to the structured guidelines of the gym. Take a moment to investigate some of the excellent, time-saving options available to you in the comfort and convenience of your home. It could make all the difference in the world.

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