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Exercise at Home or at the Gym?

Lean Lingo

Think of a gym as any place designed for exercise, such as a health club, a fitness center, a specialty studio, or a local recreational center. If you haven't been in a health club recently, the range of equipment and classes available might surprise you. You'll discover sophisticated exercise equipment, tennis or racquet courts, personal trainers, aerobic classes, Pilates instruction, yoga classes, and many other exercise offerings.

Benefits of at-home exercising:

  • It may be more convenient for your schedule.

  • You don't need to get dressed up.

  • The shower is readily available.

  • You don't need to drive anywhere.

  • Instruction is available through excellent videos available today.

  • You can hire a personal trainer to come to your home.

  • You can use television or Internet exercise programs.

  • It's efficient because you don't have travel time.

Drawbacks of at-home exercising:

  • It requires lots of self-discipline.

  • You are subject to distractions and interruptions from family members and the phone.

  • Is not social. (This can be either good or bad, depending on your preference.)

  • It may require you to purchase equipment.

  • It requires floor space to exercise.


If you're a woman and new to working out at an exercise facility, check out circuit training studios, such as Contours Express. They offer 30-minute fitness routines that combine aerobics and strength training with specially designed woman-sized weight machines that let you add more weight resistance as you grow stronger. You'll receive a personalized program along with knowledgeable and sincere support.

Benefits of exercising at a gym:

  • Professional, varied classes and groups.

  • The opportunity to meet other people.

  • Group motivation.

  • Professional-quality exercise equipment.

  • Encouragement to push yourself harder.

  • Extra motivation because you are paying for it.

  • Often offer courts for racquetball, tennis, or volleyball.

  • May offer indoor running and walking tracks.

  • May have swimming pool with lanes for aerobic swimmers.

  • Personal trainers on hand for consultations.

Drawbacks of exercising at a gym:

  • The hassle of getting there via car or other transportation.

  • You might need to adapt your schedule to their classes.

  • The monthly cost needs to be factored into your household budget.

  • The possible awkwardness of exercising in public.

  • Non-private locker rooms.

Even if you join a gym, it's important to have a backup plan for exercising at home. Use it when you can't get to the gym or when you're traveling or on vacation. Yes, you hear us correctly. Just because you can't get to the gym is absolutely no excuse for missing your personal exercise appointment with yourself.

More on: Exercise Tips


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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