When you decide it’s time to start a fitness program, one of the first decisions is where you’re going to work out. Should you go to a gym/health club or should you simply work out at home? There are some great reasons for working out at home that include:
- Privacy – nobody watching or bothering you.
- No travel time – less time added to the workout means it fits more easily into your schedule.
- Cleaner and less germs – Some gyms are not on top of their cleaning which may gross you out or at least turn you off. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons women quit clubs. At your own home it’s as clean as you want it to be and if there are germs around, at least they are your own.
- Always open – You can workout when you like 24/7/365
- No gym membership expense – sometimes the price of health clubs can be difficult to swing.
- You can wear whatever you want (or nothing at all). It’s nobody’s business but your own.
Having listed some of the potential benefits of working out in your own home, there are some downsides too. Many people that have the good intention of working out at home, run into some stumbling blocks. Here are a few of them and some suggestions as to how to work around them:
- Home gym equipment is often made poorly, may not work well, and can break easily (especially machines). This can leave you unmotivated to continue. *Either spend the money and get better quality equipment or use very simple equipment (tubing and dumbbells can work great).
- Since your gym is always there, you think you’ll get around to it but rarely do. *Create a schedule that you will stick to.
- You can be easily interrupted. I know I said no distractions, but maybe you have kids, pets, or a phone that keeps ringing. *Once you set a schedule, make sure everyone knows that’s your time. Close the door and turn the phone off.
- It can be tough to motivate yourself on your own. *Once you set a schedule for yourself, track of the days that you work out. Then, set up little goals and rewards for yourself. i.e. if you get your workouts in for two weeks, you get to have a massage.
- Even if you have equipment, most people don’t really know what they should be doing for a workout. Sure, you can do an exercise video or stream a workout, but it’s not really tailored to your individual needs. *Hire a certified personal trainer to create a workout that meets your specific needs. Then, bring them back every few weeks for progressions and variety in your program (as well as double checking your form).
Going to a gym or health club works for a lot of people, but if that’s not where you feel comfortable, no worries. Working out at home may be a great option for you. In the end, it doesn’t matter where you work out as long as you do work out.
“I have to go workout.” is often said with a groan. Typically people don’t want to do it, but they feel that they have to do it. It’s like going to the dentist or doing the grocery shopping, a chore. This view, exercise as a chore, does not make you feel all warm and fuzzy about it. Chores, inherently, are things we would prefer not to do. Here’s the kicker, though, a simple change in prospective can turn how you feel about exercise to something positive. “In every job that must be done, There is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game.” (from A Spoonful of Sugar, in case you weren’t sure.)
Now, I’m not suggesting taking a spoonful of sugar, just that you look at exercise as something positive, a gift to yourself. Imagine getting up early. It can be positive or negative depending on what you are going to do. If the boss wants you in early to finish some work, getting up early might be a chore. If you are getting up early to get head to the beach, it’s a gift and you’re happy to get out the door. Reframing our self talk from “I have to” to “I get to” is a start. The “have to”s are when we focus on the thing we are going to do. i.e. “I have to do 30 minutes of cardio.” or “I have to go lift weights.” The “get to”s, on the other hand, focus on the benefits we gain from the act. i.e. “I get to become stronger which will make my daily activities easier.” or “I get to improve my health which will help me be around for my grandchildren.” or even “I get to take class with my friends.”
Mindset matters. Take a week or two, and try this out. As you prepare yourself for your next workout, find a couple of “get to”s that helps you to look forward to it. It doesn’t take long to see that because you “get to” workout, your health, your physical and even your mental capabilities are all going to be better for it.
I’m going to leave you now. I “get to” teach a fitness class to some of my favorite people. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.
“Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need” was a book I read on networking by Harvey Mackay. The premise is that, because both digging a well and building a network take time, if you wait to start until you need it, it is going to be too late to help you.
Recently, it occurred to me that many people do the same thing with health and wellness. They wait until they have problems before they seek a solution. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as having said, “An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.” and that certainly holds true with our health.
Now, while it’s never too late to start, it can be a lot more difficult fighting your way back from injuries or illness than if you had begun before there was a problem. Proper nutrition and exercise can help with so many health and wellness issues, that the sooner you start, the more likely you are to avoid or postpone them.
If you’re not currently working toward better health and fitness, what are you waiting for? Move more. Better your diet. Manage your stress. Dig your well(ness) before you’re thirsty.