Finding the time, motivation and wherewithal to make it to the gym several times a week is hard work. If you’re not feeling that challenge, chances are your best intentions are hiding under the stairs gathering dust next to your trainers and sports headphones… The truth is, the gym isn’t always the most appealing solution, there are in fact lots of good reasons to exercise at home!
Maybe it’s the cost (workouts get very expensive if you take out an annual membership and go twice).
Perhaps it’s the time factor (crawling through traffic, negotiating lockers, general unnecessary faffing…).
Or maybe it’s the mere idea of gyms that makes you shudder (it’s a justifiable attitude towards public rooms full of sweaty strangers).
The good news is, there is a hopeful solution! It turns out exercising at home addresses each of these complaints, and is becoming an increasingly popular way to keep fit.
I’ve been doing home personal training for around 10 years, and enquiries are surely on the rise. But on top of that, working with people at home helps us go through their key-holes and into their kitchens and living rooms. It’s there we see and hear the same struggles, displayed and echoed by every client that works with us: time is short. Life is busy. And gyms are, well, gyms.
The benefits of exercising at home solve a majority of these problems. In fact, the benefits are so convincing, a bunch of our clients even volunteered to talk about it on camera… (Check out these video testimonials for a peak into the life of home personal training).
So here they are, then: eight reasons why we think (and our clients say) you should exercise at home:
I’ve got nothing against gyms (honest). But for a lot of people, they’re just not a fun place to be. Our clients often report back about their previous gym experiences as being a combination of too busy, intimidating, distracting, uncomfortable – or all of the above. And it makes a lot of sense. Even if you are accustomed to the gym environment, there is something a little strange about grunting provocatively in public whilst being surrounded by mirrors. (Sorry, cheap shot.) There is a genuine security, though, that comes with working out in your own space, on your own terms, making as many grunting noises as you so please. Detached house? Bonus.
The older we get, the busier we invariably seem to become. Any small amounts of free time quickly get filled with commitments that we have to juggle, whilst simultaneously hopping on one leg and trying to solve algebra. Sometimes literally. Home training solves a major problem of fitting in exercise into a busy schedule: workouts start and end at home so there’s no need to travel anywhere. It’s also much less frowned upon to start your workout without having washed, groomed yourself and sculpted your hair to look less like a Halloween outfit.
As a one-to-one home personal trainer, and a lover of people, I believe that spending a little time and money on yourself is worth the investment. If you can cut the big costs without losing the benefit, though, gym membership is a whopper. Also, ironically, the gym industry appears to be one of the only industries that actually capitalises on its members not turning up. If they did, gym floors literally couldn’t cope with the numbers. Aside from membership costs, you also save money on travel and sundries (drinks, snacks, towels etc.). Not to mention the perilous low-blood-sugar raid of the supermarket counter on the way back.
Being forcibly house-bound is at best a bit of a pain, and at worst can become claustrophobically unpleasant – especially if it’s long term. It’s not without a sense of mockery, too, when we’re told by the delivery man/electrician/plumber that we have to be at home between the hours of 7am – 5pm in case they turn up to tell you that something’s broken and needs fixing. So, while your 6 month old indulges in his/her day-time nap…or you tune into that highly inconsequential remote Skype meeting call…or you await the delivery of that slow cooker that is going to revolutionise your cooking experience…why not leap around the living room floor with sweaty determination and care-free zeal?
The only power you need to fuel a workout at home is stored in the beautifully crafted machine that is your own body. Which, if you think about it, is precisely where you want the energy to be expended anyway, rather than on shiny pieces of cardio equipment (and their flat screen TVs) that lace the gym floor from wall to wall.
Prepare yourselves, this is where it gets a little deep. The truth is, there is something about habits being integrated into home life that helps build healthy attitudes and behaviours from the inside out. This is based partly on the fact that home is generally where most people spend the most time, (especially if reason #4 above rang a few bells). But more than that – the stronger the association there is between your Home and your Health, the more of a long-term investment you are making. Gym-goers, in contrast, are more likely to experience a compartmentalisation or part-time attitude with exercise and healthy eating. Plant your roots deep, and you will flourish.
You can’t make home exercise part of your routine and not also turn a few heads. In my experience, new attitudes and behaviours can and nearly always do have a positive influence throughout a household. Moreover, making exercise and healthy living part of your home life can have a transformational effect on your kids. Check out my blog ‘How can you influence kids to exercise?’ for a really encouraging perspective on this. But suffice it to say, exercising at home can very often become a family package deal, with children’s attitudes changing faster than you might ever have expected.
Lastly, within the realm of home training we can claim at least some of the outdoors. During the summer months, more clients probably train outside in the garden than those that don’t. On top of that, local parks, street pavements – and even the occasional children’s playground – are fair game for a good workout. Why? Training outside is statistically proven to reduce stress, decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve overall well-being. Which only confirms the wisdom of our grandparents that there really is nothing like a bit of fresh air.
So there you have it. Eight good reasons why you should exercise at home. And hopefully not too biased.