Working out whenever (and wherever) you can is an integral part of staying healthy, and many of us never manage to do it. Therefore, I’d like to make a few solid arguments for going to the gym instead of working out from your home fitness room (bedroom). With a flexible gym membership like that of the Lewes Leisure Centre (close to where I happen to live), you no longer have to stay home when a yearlong subscription makes you weary of the elliptical. Here are some reasons I think the gym is the best place to stick to a regular workout routine.
Good intentions might kick you into gear once you’ve renewed those healthy New Year’s resolutions six months down the road, but just like before, it’s easy to let them fall flat. For many of us, myself included, if there’s no one pushing me to keep going my own motives soon turn towards a combination of fridge and couch. An instructor at the gym can act as your personal coach and give you a new workout programme from month to month to keep you on your toes. It also helps to be around other’s who are sweating it out. Everybody at Zumba class will know when you haven’t come for a couple of weeks, and you’ll definitely feel the burn trying to keep up with the new choreography.
You’re not tied down
Some years ago when my wife was pushing me to get a gym membership (she was tired of being acquainted with a growing beer gut). The only membership plans at our local leisure centre consisted of 12 or 18-month non-refundable, non-negotiable contracts, with a greater discount offered for the latter. But a year and a half is a serious, and terrifying commitment. What if I wasn’t going to commit past the first two weeks. It was enough to put me off the gym.
Since that time I’ve discovered pay as you go memberships. These are flexible memberships to gyms around the country, and they let people like me keep some freedom to occasionally fall back into bad habits. That said, the access to many gyms and venues means that I have been able to try many workouts, and (to my wife’s satisfaction) find some I’ve been able to stick with.
Less likely to get injured
I only say less, because when I lift weights I always feel there’s a high risk of me putting my back out. What is likely, is that an exercise you found on video on YouTube can do you more harm than good if you’re not a very experienced exerciser. If you do it wrong, you can easily strain a muscle, but what’s more is that you can do actual long-term damage to ligaments if you practice certain bad habits for too long. Many gyms have personal instructors on hand who are happy to take a few minutes to design an exercise routine specific to your desired outcome. Once in a while they might also come by and check on you to see if you’re doing it right. Some people just get it, but I’m certainly not one of them.
I was never a wiz at sports. I was also picked last in school and I skipped PE class every chance I got. These days I exercise three or so times a week (most weeks) to stay healthy and looking well, and to me it’s helpful knowing that someone’s got my back (literally). I feel much more motivated to keep going when I see what others have accomplished, and with a flexible gym membership I can try my hand at a number of different routines that suit me more than an hour on the treadmill.