One month into 2015, it’s time to take a look at how our New Year’s Resolutions are holding up. First up? Fitness, which as we discussed earlier, is among the top priorities each year. I myself decided to test whether working out at home or in a gym was more conducive to keeping on track, both for myself and among my friends and family. Here is what I found:
Not surprisingly, one of the main factors to influence a steady fitness routine is the buddy system– having a workout partner significantly increases accountability, with a side bonus of enjoyment. This is possible both at home or at the gym, though requires a certain amount of space to implement. For apartment dwellers, it may make more sense to meet at a class than to negotiate yoga mats in a living room. If your buddy is very busy or prone to flake, however, making it convenient by taking turns on who hosts can keep you on the straight and narrow.
Determining a few personal preferences can also go a long way towards maintaining your goals, such as: do you enjoy the social element of exercise, or would you prefer to sweat in private? Does your home environment allow you to carve out the time and space to work out, or does getting out of the house hold an extra appeal? Are you new to working out and want guidance from a trainer, or are you familiar with a routine that works for you?
Here is a quick roundup of the biggest perks discovered along the way:
Convenient, time-saving, no commute (or traffic!) to contend with. Music and volume control, no wait time for machines. The ability to eat well post workout, provided you have stocked your kitchen with healthy deliciousness. Seemingly endless options between DVDs and online fitness classes, many of which are free. Privacy (no small thing if you are challenging yourself with a new routine and want to vent at the screen without giving offense!)
At the gym:
Access to equipment and amenities (steam room, spa!), along with trainers and spotters. If located at or near your workplace, it can slot easily into your routine. For my friends with hectic schedules, and some with kids, the gym becomes their dedicated “me-time,” a precious commodity in any day. The competitive boost of working out in a crowd, and for some, the benefits of meeting people with similar interests.
For myself, I’ve found that working out at home works best for me, with a visit to a fitness studio thrown in from time to time. That way I skip the guilt of an underused membership, but can still expand my repertoire and make it fun with a variety of friends. The most precious of exercise is any that gets me outdoors-whether a long walk or run, rock climbing, or (soon I hope!), paddleboarding. While I may miss out on a steam room, an Epsom salts bath and a homemade smoothie off-set the loss.
Above all, setting achievable goals is key- no one needs an added stress in their day. Experiment to find what you like and what is achievable (I’m looking at you, friend who wants to work out 5 days a week after a stretch of no exercise at all). What works best for you is always the way to go. I would love to know-how do you manage your fitness routine?