7 Benefits Of Working Out At Home To Keep In Mind If Gym Sessions Just Aren't Your Scene
This might be a shock to the #fitfam — as per social media’s standards, the gym life is the only life — but not everyone who wants to work out, wants to work out at the gym. There’s a stigma surrounding home workouts, and a skepticism over whether training in your living room can actually yield results, which, TBH, is pretty ridiculous. It’s just like legendary fitness instructor, Denise Wilcox, once said: “Your muscles don’t know if they’re in a fancy home or gym.” As long as you’re putting in the work, there are benefits to working out at home, just as there are benefits to working up a sweat in a crowded studio.
Coming from someone who once swore that the only effective workout was a gym workout, I now know for a fact that working out at home can be just as intense and sweaty as an hour spent on a treadmill in a crowded fitness center. In fact, these days, I prefer to do most workouts in my office space or bedroom, because it’s just what works for my schedule. So, no, the purpose of this article isn’t to say that home practices are better than gym memberships; there are pros and cons to both sides of the fitness spectrum, and it all depends on your preference.
However, if you're someone who’s skeptical about home workouts, you might have a different opinion by the time we’re done here. Here are some of the benefits that come with sweating it out at home, according to experts.
It's Comfortable AF Because It's Your Space
Walking into an open gym surrounded by unfamiliar faces and machinery can be daunting, to say the least. Not only are you walking into a sea of strangers, but you're also moving your body and working up a sweat, and while there's no need to feel insecure — after all, everyone at the gym is there for more or less the same reasons — it's totally normal to feel out of place.
I know myself, and when I used to go to the gym more frequently, there was always a part of me that felt like I was being judged for the way I performed certain movements. Generally speaking, this usually stems from paranoia, because in reality, everyone's focusing on themselves and their own actions, not you or yours. But, sometimes you still feel kind of anxious about the whole thing, which is nothing to be ashamed of. However, if your nerves start affecting the way you perform, you might want to consider a home workout practice to make things more comfortable all-around.
"I started doing in-home workouts because I felt intimidated at the gym — and I was an athlete my whole life," fitness trainer, athlete, author, and social media influencer, Katie Austin, tells Elite Daily. "I didn't want people looking at me working out, judging me, etc., and so I turned to in home workouts. I felt comfortable working out in my own home."
You Don't Have To Commute Anywhere
Personally, even though I work from home, and the gym is literally a seven-minute drive from my apartment, just knowing I have to get in the car, drive to the gym, and drive all the way back after I'm spent from an hour on the treadmill is nearly torturous. Someone who travels to and from work every day might not want an extra commute tacked onto their daily routine, either. The solution? Home workouts, my friend, where the commute is literally seconds from your bedroom door.
"The number one reason why I love in-home workouts is because it saves me so much time," Austin says. "We're all pretty busy people, so even saving the 10 to 15 minutes to drive to the gym adds up."
It's Usually Easy To Fit A Home Workout Into Any Schedule
For the record, you should never feel obligated to work out, especially if you're juggling a hectic schedule. Sometimes life gets busy, and at the end of the work day, you just want to relax. There's no shame in that whatsoever, but if you are looking to squeeze some exercise into an already-chaotic schedule, heading to the gym might not be super convenient for you. Walking a few steps to the living room, however, is a different story.
"People with busy schedules that cannot seem to justify a gym membership or commute time to get to and from a gym may recognize that a workout regimen at home is more realistic for their schedule and budget," certified personal trainer and holistic nutritionist, Ashley Walter, who also uses at-home workouts as a back-up plan if she can't get to the gym, tells Elite Daily. "[An at-home workout] is amazing for people who want to keep up a regular workout regimen to get to their goals and can devote 30+ minutes to a workout guided from an app or online."
You're Less Likely To Catch Strange Germs
Wintertime or not, germs are everywhere, and unfortunately, you can only trust yourself to take every necessary precaution not to catch or spread whatever's going around at any given time. To be frank, the gym can be a germ-infested cesspool, but you know for a fact your home turf is clean.
"Not everyone in a gym sanitizes the equipment they use after using it," health and wellness expert of Soul Focus, Dr. Raj Gupta, tells Elite Daily. "When working out at home, you are more likely to clean up your exercise space, not have to share, and not worry if the last person who touched your weights didn’t wash their hands."
You Can Take Your Sweet Time
My number one pet peeve at the gym is when someone creeps around your space, impatiently waiting to hop on the machine you're using as soon as you finish your last rep. Personally, I don't like feeling rushed, and TBH, if you breeze through each workout, how will you ever feel that satisfying burn, or perform each movement with the right form? The answer is, you probably won't — unless, that is, you work out from home and are able to take your sweet ol' time.
"Working out at home gives you the freedom to do it on your own time and based on your ability and goals," Alexis Craig, a NASM-certified trainer and coach at Gixo, tells Elite Daily. Unlike when you work out at the gym, working at your own pace, with your own equipment or your own bodyweight, she adds, can "help you see results faster and help avoid injury [that may come with] rushing through a workout when someone is standing over you waiting, or crowding you in a class."
You Might End Up Seeing Better Results
I can't stress enough that there is so much more to fitness than aesthetics. Working out tones the body, but it also strengthens your mind, not to mention it can be an amazing stress-reliever. That being said, however, if you're interested in seeing a change in your body, the director of fitness at Daily Burn, Amanda Murdock, tells Elite Daily that, in some cases, you might actually see better results from a home practice than you would at the gym.
"Most people think that gym equipment lends itself to a better workout," Murdock explains, but the problem is that most gym equipment only focuses on one muscle group. She recommends trying to "work multiple muscle groups at one time by using compound movements like burpees, squat-to-overhead press, [and] deadlift-to-a-row. These exercises only need either bodyweight or free weights, which one can have at home, thus eliminating the need to go to a gym."
The Only Person To Compare Yourself To Is, Well, You
I know myself, and I'll often fall into the trap of comparing my progress to someone else's, and that's a huge mistake. The truth is, unless you know someone on a personal level, you have no idea how long it took them to achieve their fitness goals, and perhaps more importantly, your journey is your own. Not everyone progresses at the same speed, so the only person you should be focusing on is yourself. At home, it's naturally easier to maintain that focus.
"One of my favorite quotes is 'comparison is the thief of joy,'" Murdock tells Elite Daily. "I have been guilty of making this comparison as well — you see someone that is really strong or has the 'ideal' body type, and you start having negative self-talk. This can affect your workout by making you feel less motivated or less excited about your own strength or gains."