You finally made the decision to exercise. You set clear goals and timelines. Now the next step is to decide on where you will exercise--at home or at the gym.
This decision is an individual one where you need to take several factors into consideration. Here are the main differences between at-home workouts versus working out at the gym:
Even though you’ll need to purchase a few pieces of equipment, working out at home is still less expensive compared with working out at a gym and paying a membership. You don't have to purchase anything expensive. Resistance bands, a mat and a few weights can get you well on your way. You also can't beat the convenience of being able to work out any time or any day that you want. It's like having a 24-hour gym all to yourself! (Health and Fitness Ohio)
There are some downsides to exercising at home. For example, there are no professional trainers at home who can help you with your program or correct you on your form. As a result, your fitness routine may not be helping you reach your goals. And if you are doing the same thing over and over again, you are likely to become bored after a while. (IndoorTrainingBikes) However, you can hire a trainer to get you started and explain the basics to you. Alternatively, you can access online or recorded workout sessions on your television. Most offer a wide variety of workouts that you can easily follow along with at home.
The gym is a better option in terms of having a lot more equipment and resources available to you. You are also likely to be more committed and consistent since you're now paying for a membership. And you may also be more motivated to exercise with people around who can inspire and motivate you to keep at it. The downside is that a gym membership is a higher financial obligation once you factor in the monthly payment as well as renewal fees and other costs that usually come with it (Mamamia).
Needless to say, exercising at home is an instant time saver. The opposite is true if you exercise at a gym that is far from home. You could be spending a fair amount of time to get there, check in and change into your gym gear. If you need to drive nearly an hour to the gym, you're already losing valuable exercise time (gymperson).
Working out at home means you’re in your comfort zone. You don't have to dress the part to exercise. People who are not comfortable wearing gym clothes or who do not want to wear them in public might find it easier to workout at home and not have to deal with the issue of wearing gym attire. (MindBodyGreen) Honestly, if you do not feel comfortable in a gym setting, you're less likely to go there and exercise.
In addition, the gym may have times where they are crowded and at their maximum capacity. This can make the gym feel congested and uncomfortable. Then there's the issue of personal hygiene. Not everyone at the gym cleans up after themselves. You could be left with a puddle of someone else's sweat on the equipment you want to use (Very Well Fit). This is never a pleasant sight and can be a real turn off for some people. During cold and flu season, going to the gym might also put you at a greater risk of getting sick.
However, some gyms have additional amenities like spas, saunas and masseuses to use after your workouts (Bodybuilding). These can help you relax and recharge so you're ready for the day. It can also help relieve your sore muscles so you have no excuse not to exercise.
Overall, both are greatest choices. Neither one should be considered better than the other. It boils down to personal preference and what will ultimately get you started on your fitness journey and keep you on track.