Practical Reasons to Skip the Gym and Find Another Way to Exercise ...

I admit to finding numerous reasons to skip the gym, but that doesn't mean I don't want to exercise. After finding myself putting off gym visits on a regular basis, I finally realized that I did want to work out, just not there. Sometimes the gym isn't for everyone and finding reasons to skip the gym just means you get to enjoy alternatives, such as exercising in a park or at home.

1. No Need to Show off

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One of my top reasons to skip the gym is being able to relax and not feel like I have to show off in front of die hard members. If you've ever walked up to a treadmill and felt all eyes on you as you set your speed, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I hate feeling like my workout is some kind of competition. I want to get fit for myself, not others. When I'm at home, I can start as slow as I want without feeling like I have to outdo the person beside me.

2. Unhygienic

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Look around when you're at the gym next time. What do you see? Everybody is sweating all over the equipment. This is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. I exercise for better health and the last thing I want is to catch something from dirty equipment. Even the cleanest gyms can't keep everything wiped clean between uses. At home, I know exactly who uses my equipment and when it's cleaned.

3. No More Intimidating Equipment

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I honestly have no idea how to use half the equipment at most gyms. Why should I pay a high monthly fee for just a handful of equipment that I could mimic at home? With an all-in-one machine, a few weights, some bands and a fitness ball, I get everything I need. At the gym, I feel overwhelmed with the various types of equipment. I actually feel kind of intimidated since I don't feel comfortable trying out new machines in front of a bunch of strangers.

4. Choose Your Own Schedule

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I love to workout in the evenings and apparently, so does everyone else. This means I rarely get access to the equipment I want, unless I go extremely early or late. I want to work out on my schedule, not everyone else's. The solution was obvious – work out at home. I set up a little area in my house and now I choose exactly what time to exercise without having to fight the masses.

5. Get Rid of Distractions

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Let's face it, the gym is insanely distracting. I can't help but notice what everyone else around me is doing. I'm always turning around to see what equipment made a strange noise. Even with music, I find myself doing more people watching than exercising. At home, I can close myself off from distractions. I can put on my favorite show or some energizing music and get down to business. My 30 minute workout finally takes 30 minutes and not the usual 45-60 minutes I did at the gym.

6. Save Valuable Time

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Going to the gym means you have a commute which equals traffic and the hassle of finding a decent parking spot. When I work out at home, I change into workout clothes and walk to the next room. I can spend more time on my routine than driving. Plus, I have more time to wind down afterwards instead of stressing in my car on the way home. The time savings alone is reason enough to make your own mini gym in your home.

7. Choose Your Theme

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With gyms, you're limited to what the gym offers. For instance, I like mixing it up between weights, cardio, yoga and dance. Even when gyms offer everything, they don't offer it every day. I'm forced to comply to their schedule. I enjoy being able to choose my own workouts and themes. Maybe I want a special yoga week or learn a new dance each week. I can do whatever type of exercise I want, whenever I want.

I do miss meeting up with a few workout buddies at the gym, otherwise, I love working out at home or taking a jog around my local park. At least once a week, I get a few friends together and we work out at each other's homes to ensure we're all exercising instead of slacking off. What are your favorite alternatives to heading to the gym?

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