Let's face it: Exercising at home often gets a bad rap. But when you consider that half the battle of working out is just getting to the gym, sweating it out at home starts to sound pretty appealing. Plus, there are plenty of advantages to cranking out a workout in your living room or garage including time, money and privacy.
And while health clubs and fitness studios offer up motivation in the form of instructors and fellow gym-goers, there's no reason you can't crush a workout without leaving home. But if you're having a difficult time breaking up with your gym (or at least taking some time off) here are 10 reasons you should consider ditching the gym in favor of at-home workouts.
1. You’ll Still Get a Challenging Workout
The nay-sayers will tell you there's no way you can get a really good workout in your living room. But guess what? Home workouts can be just as challenging if not more than working out at the gym, says fitness trainer Corey Phelps.
Her philosophy? "Simplify to amplify." Phelps believes that ditching all the fancy equipment can help you reconnect with fundamental movements. Try this back to basic body-weight workout from Phelps.
- 20 air squats
- 20 push-up
- 20 Supermans
- 60 seconds of mountain climbers
- Repeat for 4 rounds
- 20-second plank
- 10 seconds of rest
- Repeat for 8 rounds
Read more: The 20 Best Body-Weight Exercises
2. You’ll Have Less Room for Excuses
Or at the very least, you'll feel pressure to reduce the excuses. Exercise physiologist and Nautilus, Inc. fitness advisor, Tom Holland says the fewer barriers there are, the more likely you are to stick with your fitness goals.
"Even if you hop on your treadmill to walk while watching your favorite TV show, you are burning more calories than if you were sitting on the couch — or doing nothing at all," he says. And if your excuse for skipping out on exercise has anything to do with lack of time, give Holland's 8-Minute At-Home Abs Workout a try.
3. There's Never Any Wait
"At home, your workouts are all about you," says Lisa N. Folden, a licensed physical therapist and naturopathic lifestyle coach. You can complete every exercise you want, right when you want.
"There's no waiting on what's-his-face to finish his sets, and you don't have to stare Suzy down until she finishes on your favorite treadmill," she says. You can fly through your routine and get on with your day. Holland agrees: "There can be distractions and wait times for equipment at the gym, but working out at-home allows you to focus on yourself."
4. You Won’t Accidentally Photobomb Someone's Instagram
If you've been to the gym in the last five years, you've likely seen gym-goers snapping selfies in the mirror. And if you happen to be planking right behind someone who decides to strike a pose, there's a good chance you'll end up in their #flexFriday shot.
Even if you're not worried about your booty showing up on Instagram, Holland says if you want privacy, working out at home is for you. "If you're okay with sharing mat space, fighting over cardio machines and working out in front of strangers, then the gym is for you. But if you want privacy, stay home."
5. You’ll Feel More Comfortable
While the fitness pros make certain moves look easy, mustering up the confidence to bust out a burpee or crawl like an inchworm is not something everyone wants to do in front of strangers.
But when you work out at home, you can try moves you would never dream of doing in front of other people. "Positive exercise experiences are incredibly important, especially for beginners," says Stan Dutton, a trainer from Ladder, a fitness app that helps you find a trainer.
Plus, Folden says working out at home placates your inner introvert. "Even the most outgoing person values some alone time," she says. And let's be honest, for many people, the gym can be an incredibly intimidating place to be. That's why Folden says it's easier to enjoy your workouts at home without the worry of who's looking at you or who's distracting you with their grunts or gym selfies.
6. Your Calendar Will Thank You
Unless you have a boss who pays you to workout during the work day (lucky you!), finding time for fitness is a real challenge. That's one of the main reasons so many people opt for an at-home workout — it's more convenient.
There's no need to plan your schedule around the gym or class schedule, fight traffic on the way there or spend an hour looking for parking. "A more flexible schedule can translate into more frequent workouts and consistency," says Phelps.
7. You’ll Decrease Your Germ Exposure
Have you ever been waiting to hop on a machine, and then the person using it leaves without wiping up the puddle of sweat he left behind? Yuck, right? Germs are all around us, but at gyms, where sweat is flying all over the place, Folden says you're very likely to come in contact with a stranger's bodily fluid. Even the most thorough people miss a spot when wiping down a machine. Avoid all of that and work out at home the with germs you already know (and love).
8. You Can Save a Ton of Money
Sure, some gym memberships are cheap, but many aren't. Folden says you can expect to save anywhere from $20 to 80 per month on gym memberships by working out at home. That's as much as $960 over the year! Her recommendation? Use a fraction of that to buy yourself some awesome workout supplies or a subscription to a streaming workout service.
And Holland agrees: "You don't have to spend endless amounts of money on a gym membership when you can invest in products featuring coaching technology." There are fitness apps for everything from yoga and Pilates to strength training and boxing. Plus, most offer several workouts that vary in time and levels, which means, there's something for everyone.
9. You Can Wear Whatever You Want
Do you have a fabulous sports bra you've been dying to wear, but aren't quite ready to go "sans shirt" at the gym? Then it's time to let it all out at home. One of the reasons Phelps likes working out at home? "You can wear whatever you want — including working out in your underwear... freedom, sweet freedom!"
10. You Can Maximize Your Family Time
This doesn't work for everyone, says Folden, but for some, workouts at home can double as family time. "Working out with or even around your kids gives them the benefit of being in your space (because let's face it, they love you)," she says. It also gives you the benefit of knowing that you're modeling healthy habits for them to follow. That's why Folden says it's a win-win!