One advantage of hitting the gym instead of working out at home is the array of equipment available. Instead of sticking to your stability ball and bands, you have access to a variety of weight machines, cardio equipment and free weights that are too bulky to stash in your basement. Implement a well-rounded fitness program that includes exercises to improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderate aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes five times per week. At the gym, use a treadmill or indoor cycle if you like taking your outdoor workout indoors when the weather is uncooperative. Elliptical trainers provide a low-impact option for cardio. Free group fitness classes such as kickboxing or dance are another gym-based way to fit in your cardio. Look for a gym with a pool if you prefer water activities such as swimming or aqua aerobics.
Perform a strength-training workout for all the major muscle groups of the body at least twice per week on nonconsecutive days, recommends ACSM. The options for strength-training at the gym are nearly limitless. Rows, presses, kickbacks, curls, squats and steps ups may be done with dumbbells, barbells or machines. Other smaller tools, such as balance devices, can enhance your strength-training sessions once you master the basics. Another benefit to the gym: Most employ personal trainers whom you can hire to help you figure out what equipment and exercises will work best for your goals.