Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you shouldn't exercise at all but these reasons to ditch the gym might encourage you to exercise at home rather than taking out a gym membership for another year. I used to be a member of various gyms for about fifteen years before I decided that I was done with paying money needlessly. So, here are some of my reasons to ditch the gym.
One of the most obvious reasons to ditch the gym is the cost of membership. Gym memberships are expensive and sometimes they're difficult to get out of if you're committed for a year. In England, the average gym membership is around £368 a year (~$600). And that doesn't take into the account the fuel to get there and the many other things you might be tempted to buy when you're there. So think of the money you could save over ten years if you ditched the gym!
At the risk of sounding like the neurotic TV detective, Monk, the gym is actually a breeding ground for germs. Bacteria can spread around the gym very easily, through people not wiping down surfaces and not washing their hands after going to the toilet. Although you will often see people with a towel to wipe their sweat and the machines, you actually need two towels: one to wipe away the sweat from your brow and one to wipe the machines. Also, you have to take a hand sanitizer with you just to be super sure.
Going to the gym can be dull. If you're going from one machine to another and you have a set routine, not only can this be boring, but your body will get used to the same exercises and it won't have any impact after a while. If you're not quite ready to ditch the gym, speak to a personal trainer about ways in which you can maximize your workout time.
I used to find that my gym was super busy at the times I could go and I used to wonder why they kept showing people around and encouraging them to join when there were already queues to get on the machines that I wanted to use. It was frustrating. However, gyms often rely on the fact that once you have taken out the membership, there is a high chance that the novelty of exercise will wear off and you'll be like one of the many others who have let their gym key card rot at the bottom of their bag.
If your gym is not on the way home or is a little out of the way, getting there can be inconvenient. And fuel isn't getting any cheaper so there are those other costs to consider too. It can mean the cost of getting to the gym is going to add up over time.
Many people see the gym as a social hub, which is great but this can be quite distracting when your time is limited. Of course, it's great to catch up with people but your primary reason for being there is to work up a sweat, not to exercise those jaw muscles.
You don't actually need a gym to have a great workout. In fact, you don't need any equipment at all. All you need is some space and maybe a YouTube video or two to set you off. Also, don't forget, there's the great outdoors too. How about going for a nice brisk walk or a jog or even spending the money you would have spent on a year's membership on a nice bike.
Now, those hardened gym bunnies out there will be horrified by the above claims I'm sure and there are many people who will disagree with my reasoning but I love working out at home and saving money in the process. How about you: to gym or not to gym?
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