The gym used to be the premier location for fitness. It’s where people go to lift, sweat, burn, blast, tone, strengthen and build their bodies. The gym has it all, but you don’t use it all. Maybe you don’t have the time, or you only want to focus on specific things. Reality is that the gym is optional, and it might be time to move on!
The world is your playground, and it’s time to start treating it that way. With so many options for body weight exercises, any environment can become a gym for you — your home, your office, the stairway, the park. Weights, resistance bands, kettle bells and yoga mats are all equipment you can also buy and always have on hand to take your workout routine anywhere. Once you step out of the gym, you begin to see a world of possibilities for getting fit.
Here 13 reasons you may want to reconsider your gym membership:
1. Time: Let’s be honest, going to the gym is time consuming no matter how close you live. First you have to change. Then you have to drive. Then there is traffic. Or you take a train or walk to the gym and there are delays, or the streets are crowded. It’s an exhausting process, especially since it takes just as much effort to get home afterward. Exercising at home or at a nearby park allows everything you need to be a step away. We live in a fast-paced world, so utilizing your time properly is important. Don’t travel long distances when you don’t have to. You can get the same results you get at the gym from exercising at home or outdoors!
2. Money Saved: According to Statistic Brain, the average cost of a gym membership is $58 a month. That seems reasonable at first, but the average gym member only goes to the gym 8 times out of the month. That means that, on average, $39 of the monthly cost goes unused. Annually, that’s $468. Some of the higher-end gyms average about $100 a month for their memberships. So, on average, $800 per year is going down the drain. You can workout for free and save that extra money to show off that sexy body on a tropical island!
3. Scenery Change: The world is a large, fun and dynamic place. Going to the same gym, seeing the same-colored walls and the same people day after day might not do anything for you. Your home may not change as often, but, most likely, you like the decor, and you can open your blinds and windows wide and get fresh air. If you exercise outside, every day is a new experience. The weather is always different, and there are always new sounds to experience and places to explore. When you connect with nature, you’ll feel less stressed and more in tune with your body. And that’s what fitness is all about — learning about and improving your body.
4. Freedom of Choice: Whether you’re new to fitness or just don’t have the motivation yet, personal trainers can be a huge asset for you to reach your health goals. However, the downside is that they are in control of you for that allotted time slot. If they tell you to curl, you curl. If they tell you to sprint on the treadmill, you sprint. Sometimes you don’t want to and they “motivate” you do it anyway. That’s not fair to you. If you don’t want to do arms today, or your legs are still tired from yesterday, you shouldn’t have to work on them. Not all personal trainers are militant, but it is their job to tell you what to do. Working out on your own gives you freedom to exercise any part of your body whenever you want. You know your body best, so you should be in control of what you do.
5. Germs: The gym is a breeding ground for germs. No windows. People coughing and sneezing while you breathe recycled air. Gyms provide towels, but people don’t seem to utilize them correctly. Some people use the towels they wipe their sweaty bodies with to also wipe the stations down when their finished. That doesn’t really help. Exercising outside or at home, it’s just you and your sweat and your germs. Embrace your own germs and sweat, not other people’s!
6. Guys Hitting on You: You’ve had a long day at work, and all you want to do is unwind by letting all your energy out through some weights, but “boys will be boys.” No thanks. You didn’t ask for any tips on the squat rack and you don’t care how much he can bench. All you want is to focus on your workout. You’re standing in front of the mirror doing curls and you see eyes gawking at you. Who needs that?
7. Mental Strength: People love the gym because of the atmosphere. Being there gives them extra motivation to work hard to make sure their time and money is well spent. Some people say, “I can’t push myself as hard if there aren’t other people around me.” Those are just small mental blocks. Sometimes, you need to be your own competition. Beat your old self out and let the new you take over. Being able to overcome mental blocks on your own opens up a whole new world of possibilities. You feel confident, successful and more willing to keep taking things to the next level in order to continuously reach new heights in your workouts.
8. Freedom of Wardrobe: Workout clothing is made with the intention to make you feel good while you exercise. And you should feel good. Some shorts are really short, and that’s OK if that’s what you like. Others prefer wearing t-shirts and yoga pants, and that’s OK, too. What’s not OK is being made uncomfortable because of your clothing. Everyone has their own gym style. Whatever you style is, you should be able to freely express it without stares. At home, you can workout in your underwear (or in your pj’s) for all you care.
9. Noise: People grunting, snarling, yelling. Quiet down! Exercising outside or at home brings more control in what sounds you hear. At home or outside, you can control the noise level. You can enjoy the silence, or you can blast your playlist and get in the zone with all your favorite tunes. Outside, you can enjoy the sounds of nature all around you. Kids playing, birds chirping, the rustling of leaves on trees. So peaceful.
10. Distractions: The gym is a place to work, but some people never get that memo. With television and constant chatter, most people use the gym as a social club. You won’t get the results you want if you’re always distracted. The gym is your time to forget about all your other responsibilities and concentrate only on your physical fitness. At home, there’s no one to trying to have a conversation with you while you’re in the middle of your set. Outside, there is no TV to rob your focus. Get in your zone and stay there from start to finish.
11. Machines Are Always Occupied: You have your whole workout planned down to the cool down. You have a great rhythm going, and as you head over to your next station, you see a group of people working around it. It throws off your momentum a bit. You scramble and think of what’s next on your routine and hope that the next station you want will be available. Sometimes you have to walk across the other side of the gym to jump into your next routine, and you try to come back later. Sometimes you might just stand around and wait patiently. At this point, your body starts to cool down, and your heart rate decreases, so, essentially, you’re starting all over again. There are no stations for someone to occupy outside of the gym. You have all the equipment you know you’ll need for that specific workout. Everything is available for you to use as quickly as needed.
12. Locker Rooms: Gym locker rooms can be too invasive. People talk on their cell phones, hog the bench, spray all types of scents, or display their bodies in ways not everyone is comfortable with. With exercising outside or at home, you can freshen up in the comfort of your own home. All of your favorite products and scents are there, and you can easily reset for whatever you need to do for the rest of the day or evening.
13. You’re Not Seeing Results: At some point, you might realize you’ve been coming to the gym for X amount of time, and you just aren’t seeing the results you want. Consider everything on this list and realize that it might be time for a new start. Maybe you signed up for the gym because you thought that’s what people do to get fit, but that isn’t always the case. Maybe the gym isn’t for you; it’s not really your scene. No matter what, the most important thing is to find the place which works best for you. Find the environment you want to make your fitness center. Once you do, give it your all, and get the results you want!
Ready to take the plunge? Try some of our favorite outdoor and in-home exercises, and don’t think twice about going to the gym ever again:
Outdoor 4 Minute Fat Blaster
Fun in the Sun Outdoor Workout
10 Minute At-Home Fat Blasting Workout
At Home Fat Burning Workout