Eleven Reasons Why I Love Working Out at Home

I used to be a religious gym-goer, but now I am a convert. I found home workout programs that I really love, cancelled my gym membership and have never looked back. People often tell me that they like going to the gym. To be honest, I feel quite the opposite. Here are 11 reasons why I love working out at home.

1. Home workout programs are more effective. I used to go to the gym 5 days a week for an hour at a time for years, but saw little change in my body. When I switched to short, effective home workout programs, I started to see my body change and become leaner and stronger. Many of the workouts that I do at home are 30 minutes or so and they are led by some of the best trainers in the country. The programs are first tested on hundreds of participants and are proven to give results. Furthermore, when you go to the gym, no one is talking to you about nutrition. So you may burn 500 calories at the gym and come home and eat pizza and fries and quickly negate the calories who worked so hard to burn. The workout programs that I have been doing all come with nutrition guides that tell you exactly what to fuel your body with and also come with easy recipes to follow to help you get the results you are looking for.

2. Working out at home saves me money. With home workouts, I am not bound by monthly contracts nor do I pay initiation fees or for classes or personal training. Gym fees can easily add up to $500 a year, not to mention the cost of gas and the time lost commuting. I pay for my home workout DVDs and it’s a one-time investment. Unlike some yoga studios where you pay $12-15 each and every time you go to class, I get to keep those DVDs forever and can do the workouts as many times as I like without paying an extra cent. Also they are there for my husband to use whenever he likes.

3. I save time. Even though my gym is just a few miles away, the time it takes to go back and forth to the gym door to door is about 15 minutes. By that point I could have been half-way done with my home workout.

4. I compete with myself and no one else. When I used to work out at the gym, sometimes I worried about looking funny doing certain Zumba moves or looking weak having to do push-ups on my knees. In the comfort of my own home, I don’t have to worry about any of that. I compete only with myself every time trying to improve my form. I can dance as silly as I want. I can push pause if I need to as well to catch my breath.  Some people say they love the community aspect of working out at a gym, but I have found on-line challenge groups to be more rewarding and engaging. I have been a member of many gyms and can honestly say I have made only one or two acquaintances at any of them. But on-line I have connected with so many people who I have truly gotten to know well over time.  Some of them I consider to be close friends.

5. My kids can join in. Instead of being dropped off at the gym childcare area where my kids have picked up illnesses, working out at home my kids often join me in part of my workout. They love to jump in and move their bodies, especially if I am doing a dance, yoga or boxing workout. Not only is exercise great for their growing bodies, but I love setting a positive example for them and showing them that exercise is fun and something to be done for a lifetime. Plus it is a conversation starter for us. They often ask me why I exercise and I tell them that it is because I want to be strong and healthy and live a long time. Now working out at home has become a way for us to spend time together instead of more time spent away from each other at the gym. As I like to say, the family that works out together stays fit together.

6. No waiting for machines or waiting in line for a spot in class. Some of my favorite classes at the gym would fill up fast and if I didn’t get there early I wasn’t going to be allowed in. It was only fair to those who got there early, but it made me angry. I didn’t have time to waste getting to my class really early just to stand at the door waiting to be let into the studio. I also did not like when all the elliptical machines were being used and I’d have to wait for someone to get off. To me it was more time wasted. I didn’t go to the gym to stand around. I was going there to sweat.

7. I get to skip the sometimes questionable gym showers and locker room. I have only ever been to one gym where I actually liked the locker room and showers and it was an incredibly expensive gym to belong to. But most gyms leave much to be desired with the showers and amenities. Working out at home, I get to be in the comfort of my own master bathroom when I shower and have my shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, hair products and body and face lotions all accessible to me. (Ladies, I know you can relate. We all have a rather complex set of skin and hair products that we use on a daily basis).

8. I don’t have to work around the gym’s schedule. As an emergency physician, I work odd hours in the ER. Sometimes I work til 11 pm and I’ll come home and do a midnight workout. Other days I start at 6 AM and I’ll wake up at 4 am to exercise. But since I work out at home, I don’t have to worry about the time and whether or not the gym is open or closed. I can always get my workout in and pick whichever DVD I like.  I don’t have to go by the gym’s class schedule and rush to the gym hoping to catch a 5 pm spin class.  If one day, I am in the mood to dance, I’ll play a dance workout.  Another day I may feel the need to stretch and relax and then I will do a yoga workout.

9. I don’t have to get dressed in workout gear to go to the gym. Most days I do put on the appropriate gear, but days where I am pressed for time, I may work out in my pajamas. Working out at home, I can wear anything I want. Sports bra, old t-shirt, old scrub pants or long johns. Hey, anything goes at home, right? I don’t have to worry about looking cute or having crazy gym hair or running into someone I know when I work out at home.

10. I never have to worry about the weather. Living in Chicago, winter seems to last forever. I don’t have to rely on Mother Nature to give me the right conditions to go out for a run or to play tennis. Plus even when I had a gym membership, the thought of leaving my warm bed on a blustery winter morning to get in my cold car and walk outside in the snow from my parked car to the gym was often times enough to stop me from getting it done. It’s hard to get results when you make up a list of excuses about why you just don’t want to do it.

11. I don’t have to pack a gym bag. Packing a gym bag takes time and I would always forget something. Socks, a towel, my water bottle or sometimes my kids would take my lock out of my bag. There were a few times I remember having to work out in gym shoes with no socks because I didn’t have everything packed. Talk about unpleasant! But now since I do home workouts I don’t need to worry about forgetting something, or going to the locker room and locking up my valuables.

Exercise is so beneficial to the body and mind and is so crucial for a healthy life. Whether you decide to work out at the gym, outdoors or at home, find something that you can stick with. For me that is definitely a home workout.  If you’d like to get fit with me in an on-line challenge group, please email me at archana@mightymommd.com