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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Gym vs. Home

Gym vs Home

Keeping in mind several previous posts – cutting down on stress (holiday or otherwise) and meeting our goals – I want to first announce our November GoalFest winner. Congratulations to Pauline King! Your name was drawn at random from those that accomplished their November goal. Please make sure you let us know which ‘flavor’ of stress-reducing-scent-therapy-providing sugar scrub you would like to receive.

As health is an important goal for all of us, especially as we age, I was pondering the best options for getting in some physical activity which for me helps meet my fitness goal and helps reduce stress. While I am working out (aka listening to my pod casts while doing some treadmill and elliptical work) I am much less stressed and also increasing my fitness level. The rest of my day seems to go smoother; my body is producing those ‘feel good’ chemicals that keep me on a more even keel; and when I get home, I am free to relax. For me, first thing in the morning and outside the house is the best fit for me. For others, it could be something entirely different. Maybe you don’t have a large chunk of time so need to fit in small bursts throughout the day or maybe you need to do it at home at the end of your day when others are busy doing something else. Below are reasons why either inside or outside the home can work for you. Take a look and see if you find some options that seem to fit with your lifestyle. I took information from personal experience and from the following links to put together this comparison – Gym workouts vs. At Home workouts.

Gym (Outside the Home) At Home ‘Gym’
Fewer Distractions
Not much else to do at the gym but work out. No family members to interrupt you since they are not just down the hall or right upstairs. On the other hand, it could be a social gathering place which could limit your workout time if you get to gabbing with friends or work out less hard so you can hold a conversation. Not a social scene so workouts are completely unfettered by having to maintain a conversation. Could be pulled away from a workout if others at the house feel they need you for something or if you see something that needs to be done that distracts you from getting started on the workout routine.
Time/Money Investment
Gym Memberships can be pricey. This could keep you motivated to continue so you get your money’s worth or it could deter you from joining as that cost is just not in the budget. Time investment – could take you longer to get to where you are working out and time spent waiting for equipment can be de-motivating. No money for membership but if you are considering home equipment, good stuff costs money. There are inexpensive ways to get a good workout though – walking, exercise tapes, inexpensive weights and resistance bands. Not investing money could prove de-motivating as you have not invested so if you discontinue working out, you haven’t really lost anything financially.
Diversity of Equipment
Your membership affords you a plethora of equipment. You should make sure you know the best and safest way to use all that equipment. It is not your responsibility to maintain the equipment in good working order either which is a plus. Unless you have a great deal of unlimited resources, outfitting your home with all the equipment in a gym is just not a likely scenario. However, diverse workouts can still be created by using different inexpensive equipment and changing up your workout routine. One good piece like a treadmill or elliptical and some lesser expensive tools either rented or bought at second hand stores (we all know how many good intentions end up on sale after the motivation has run out) should do the trick.
Seeing all those fit people around you can prove very motivating. Also seeing how the level of effort made by others can inspire you to ‘pump up the volume’. However, if seeing all those fit people makes you feel out of place or self-conscious you are more likely to stop going to the gym. You have no one but yourself to motivate you which can be a good thing. If you find yourself running out of motivational thoughts, you could always ask a friend to join in the workouts – keeps you accountable and helps share the burden of keeping the routine going. You don’t have to worry about ‘keeping up with the Jones’ when it comes to fashionable workout gear and or level of fitness. No one to judge you when in the privacy of your own home.
Group Exercises
You’re already there and the costs of classes is usually included in your membership. Definitely a plus as variety helps keeps us going when the ‘going gets tough’. Local community centers and local fitness centers do offer classes. They are not in your home but can supplement your home workouts. You can also rent a different workout tape from the library each week if you prefer to stay home and yet still want some variety.
Easier to Commit ( THIS IS THE BIGGIE)
If you invested money and have signed up for a class, maybe signed up a personal trainer, you should be motivated to keep that commitment. Who wants to throw money away! Just don’t let the travel to and fro and the social aspects of the gym derail your commitment! If working out at home allows you to commit to a routine that doesn’t rely on having additional money in your budget each month and doesn’t allow you to make excuses for going back out to workout then home is the place for you. Just don’t let the other distraction that home provides to derail your commitment.

Whatever works for you – maybe a little bit a both. Just keep moving.   -M



  1. I was just exiting email land for the morning and this popped in – 😀 Yay Me! Thank you so much, this has quite made my morning/day/week/year!! Not only did I complete my goal but I won some yummy smelly stuff!! Happy Dance!!

    Re fitness – get a puppy!** The daily walk can be augmented by the bending and swooping required in cleaning up pee and poop, bathing grubby puppy and chasing him around with the hair dryer, re-assembling broken things, retrieving stolen personal items, picking things up from the floor the second they drop, running after escaping puppy, playing innumerable games of fetch [my upper arms are now sooo trim, especially the right one 🙂 ] bending and patting innumerable times a day because he’s been a ‘good boy!’, trotting round the dog park, running after the ball because puppy decided not to, running after puppy because he’s spotted, chased down and is now molesting a complete stranger …….. Plus you will laugh like a maniac and get to meet loads of interesting people – and get more love than you thought possible and we all know that love is the best thing going for our health xoxo

    **In view of your recent loss, I hope this will not be too careless of me to say [and my sincere apologies if it is – please feel free to delete the whole silly message!]

    1. Yay You is right, Pauline!! Dancin’ along with you!

      M and I both agree with you about the gymnastics involved in caring for an energetic youthful animal – I think I slowed down along with my aging buddy, not even realizing it! M wrote the post (as evidenced by the use of the word “fart” in a cartoon – I think such noises are best left undiscussed! Can you tell I don’t have children?!), but I’m responding because we wanted to make sure you knew that I found nothing careless about the joy (and trim upper arms!) you receive from Siddy! I was thinking that if we get another dog I might start with something a little older, calmer – right up until I heard about the thin arm thing!

      Hope you have a flavor in mind – I’ll be shooting you an email soon to get your order! -El

      1. I went looking for the link to the lovely smelly things and couldn’t find it I remember looking at the time and being rather impressed with the array. Can you send the link through?

        I always think I’m talking to you El – thank you for clarifying your voices somewhat 🙂 I did wonder at the ‘fart’ joke!

        I was intending to get myself an older dog, also a female – a tender and subservient temperament I thought would be nice for Orlando………. Alas! I met Siddy and all my fine dreams went out thew window. But I do, as you so rightly noted, have a slender upper right arm 🙂

          1. Good enough to eat! Please may I have a coffee?

            And yes – just the one – but I am learning to throw with my other arm and bringing that one up to shape as well – else I will be permanently lop-sided

          2. Hahaha – I thought this went with the last post with the food. Coffee makes so much sense. Coffee – it’s not just to drink anymore! Can you email me your address?

  2. I hope to always be able to fit into my ‘sweat pants!!’ ha ha! I loved this post’s message and yet, did read Pauline’s comments about your recent loss of a pet, so will add my condolences to hers.
    I find going to the library and blogging, walking less than a mile motivates me in the freezing cold. Today, it is drizzling wet drops, so am planning to leave before the temperature drops.
    Oh, happy dances always bring a lot of relief from stress, along with burning calories! Yippee!!
    Glad that your contest brought you a winner, a sweetheart of one, too! smiles!

    1. I know El appreciates your condolences – thank you.

      Where would we be without sweat pants! I shudder to think about it. Happy dances sounds like a perfect workout. I agree our winner is indeed a sweetheart. -M

  3. Love Pauline’s idea; doggies can be great exercise-inducers! And the comparisons were terrific, M! (I know M wrote this because I cannot envision El “…first thing in the morning…getting outside of the house” for the purpose of exercising. 😉 )

    It sounds weird, but holiday season is actually a motivator for me to stick to health practices. I hope I will be able to do that this season!

    1. Too funny Natine – the things we know and love about our siblings :)! My siblings may be surprised to know that I am up and out early for exercise but right now it is really something I look forward to – BIG surprise!
      I hear you on the holiday’s being a motivating time for me. There are just too many temptations to give in to all of them and my vanity kicks into high gear when it comes to socializing which is a big part of the holidays! You can do it Natine, I have no doubt!

  4. Congratulations, Pauline! I’ve had gym memberships in the past, but they’ve never worked for me. Once I get home from work, I don’t want to head back out, especially in the winter when it gets dark early or it’s raining. Working out at home works perfect for me. When I come home from work each day and head upstairs, the first thing I see in our bonus room is my treadmill. If I don’t get on it, guilt sets in. I can run in the comfort of my home, catching up on the news or reading my Kindle, which lays nice and flat. When I’m done, I don’t have to drive home, I just shower and go about my evening. I never miss a day…it’s very addicting once you get into the habit. I hope anyone reading this who has a piece of exercise equipment being used to hang clothes or just has dust, will commit to a month. Work out diligently and you’ll be hooked on the feeling you get when you’re finished. There are days when I come home from work and the last thing in the world I want to do is run, but I promise you, I feel 100% better when I’m finished.

    1. I can say the same thing Jill (about gym memberships) – and the guilt associated with not going is awful!!! I think since I am coming to work everyday anyway, using the equipment here is a no-brainer (although I’ve worked here almost 10 years and I’m just now getting around to seeing that!!!). I disappoint myself almost every time if I wait until I get home but it sounds like the perfect fit for you. Nice job – keep it up. I’ll have to try using my Nook on the machine to see how that works for me too. I do love catching up on my podcasts too though. -M

  5. Oh, the tug of war to go or not to go. To be self-motivated at home or not. Once I started on the elliptical, I was good. After I wore the darn thing out, I got lazy. I was startled recently with who was in my mirror in front of me. Ugh. Must get another elliptical. Have made plans with a friend to walk at least twice a week. Hope you can walk as fast as me.

    1. Pretty darn impressive to have worn out your elliptical!!! FIERCE!!!! Making a commitment with a friend is a great way to go too. I can usually talk myself out of a walk but if I know I would be messing up someone else’s plans too I hate to do that!
      Watch out for those mirrors – they get me every time :)!! -M

  6. Congrats to Pauline! Exercise is the fountain of youth . . . and a great stress buster! Enjoyed your funny quotes.

  7. I have good intentions each morning to get up and walk at least 2 miles, but my covers are too heavy and I can’t get out from under them! I too have looked in the mirror and see nothing but growth, YUK! I am using the holiday season as an excuse keep eating all the delicious sweets. I am not one to buy a membership to a gym so I guess I just need to wrestle with those covers and get walking.

    1. Now that is hilarious Tresa! I think we can all relate to that – thanks for the chuckle this morning. Again, beware of the mirrors – they are not our friends!!! Maybe walking a little later in the day would help. The covers would have less power then 🙂 -M

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