The annual gym membership price was the same as the sales price of the elliptical machine. Your partner wanted the gym membership; you said you would never use it. The debate was on. Your partner wanted frills and perks; you wanted practicality and ease. When the point-counterpoints settled, you won! Now you both work out more regularly than you ever would have imagined.
Even if you do maintain a gym membership, here are seven reasons why it makes sense to keep some of your workouts closer to home:
1. Convenience trumps perks. If you put your workout machine where you practically trip over it, like the TV room or the laundry room, rather than the basement or the garage, you’ll be more likely to use it. I like that I can’t change a load of laundry without seeing our elliptical machine. The visual reminder makes it pretty hard to wiggle out of workouts since the machine is right there just waiting for me to hop on.
2. Squeeze in more workouts. If you are time-challenged already, and most Canadians are, keeping your workouts at home makes it easier to squeeze in a quick routine any time of day. For those who work full-time, a morning or evening workout at home is more convenient than a trip to the gym. You can even squeeze in 20 minutes of exercise before dinner, in a pinch, and weekend workouts take less time away from the family.
3. Save on workout gear. One thing I love about working out at home is that I don’t have to worry about whether or not my workout clothes match perfectly or if I have the latest and fanciest cross-trainers on the market. Not only do I enjoy the lack of scrutiny that comes with working out at home, I also appreciate saving money because I’m not perusing racks of workout clothes at the store. My old workout gear suffices just fine.
4. Sing at the top of your lungs. Singing in the shower is great, but sometimes when you are in the middle of a good workout and you’ve got your headphones on and your jam is playing, you just want to sing out loud. I don’t recommend you do this at the gym. But when you work out at home, as long as it isn’t naptime for the kids, you can sing as loudly as you like. Just remember to sing loudly, but keep your music volume at a reasonable level so you don’t cause noise-induced hearing loss.
5. Turn that frown upside down. Stress happens. And exercise is the best-known antidote to stress. But if you have obstacles between you and your workout, you may not seize the opportunity to work out when you need to most. When you exercise at home, you can interrupt a stressful day for a quick workout. And that quick workout can be the difference between happy parent and crabby parent or a smiling parent and an irritable parent.
6. Watch what you want to watch. Assuming the kids are safe and sound, you can double the pleasure of your workout by watching inspirational videos from TED.com or even binge-watch all six seasons of Downton Abbey. Making exercise time pleasure time is a great way to motivate yourself to keep up with your regular workouts.
7. Let your kids see you sweat. My husband and I were surprised at how quickly our tween daughter became interested in working out like mom and dad. Since she was on a break from her usual dance classes, exercising at home turned out to be a good idea for staying in shape, boosting her spirits, and tiring her out before bedtime. It’s nice to know we are setting a good example of healthy living by letting her see us sweat on a regular basis. Every time she sees us having fun and feeling good from working out, she is more likely to prioritize staying fit, too.
We can tell our kids that exercise is important until we are blue in the face, but when they see us having fun with fitness at home, they are more likely to hop off the couch and follow suit.
Author, journalist, and writing coach, Christina is pleased to be the proud owner of a modestly-priced elliptical machine that helps her stay fit, cheerful, and singing loudly where no one else can hear her.
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