Who needs the gym? Why you should workout at home

As we navigate life in the pandemic, things that seemed strange a year ago have become the new norm. Social distancing, masks, and capacity limits help keep everyone safe. When it comes to heading back to the gym, though, masks and other restrictions can make working out difficult, which is why more people have been discovering the joys of exercising at home.

Let’s face it: Before the pandemic, gyms were not the most hygienic places. Shared equipment, locker rooms, community showers, people who don’t follow the rules, and overcrowded classes are all ingredients for an unhealthy environment. Think foot fungus, pink eye, strep, and all those other icky germs that tend to make the rounds at gyms. It’s like a kindergarten classroom. At home, you don’t have those worries. So, when you think about it, do moms and dads really need a gym membership?

Mom working out with her todlers joining in
Ulza/Shutterstock

Working out with kids is possible

If you have children, you’re already thinking that a home workout is not feasible. It is. As a busy parent, the best time to do a workout is before anyone gets up, and that includes your significant other. That quiet time in the morning before the day gets cranking is an ideal time to schedule a workout. All you need to do is set the alarm 30 to 40 minutes earlier. Including the kiddos — especially if they’re older — works, too.

It’s cost-effective

According to Money Crashers, the average American pays around $58 a month or $696 a year for a gym membership. A 12-month membership to Beachbody on Demand (listed below) is $99. The cost to join Team Body Project is zero. It’s free. Working out at home can actually be a money-saver in the long run.

You don’t need that much space

You don’t necessarily need a workout room to have a place to exercise. A basement finished or unfinished works. The garage is another spot to get a workout in. In the end, all you really need to do is push the coffee table out of the way.

Minimal equipment is necessary

Basic equipment like a yoga mat and hand weights from 3 to 8 pounds is all you need for most online workout programs. If you have the space for an exercise bike or an elliptical, there are options spanning price ranges. A lot of people love their Pelotons, but not everyone can afford the price. Echelon is a budget-friendly option for exercise bikes and offers online classes like Peloton.

Mom and son doing an online workout
Sergil Gnatiuk/Shuttterstock

Online workout programs

Virtual instructors can be just as engaging as an in-person one. If you crave one-on-one interaction with a personal coach, many online workout programs offer it as an upgrade or have communities where you can meet other people using the platform through Facebook or Instagram. Free trials are typical and a smart way to see if you like a program before purchasing.

Beachbody

This program offers 75-plus programs to choose from including Beachbody’s popular T25 and 21-Day Fix. All the programs also include a food component. Membership gives you access to the entire program. One-on-one coaching is available if you want it. Workouts stream through Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, and your smartphone.

Walk at Home

Leslie Sansone started this indoor walk program over 20 years ago. A new cast of energetic walk leaders get participants moving through indoor walks that work the whole body. Walk at Home has an extensive library of videos available for free on YouTube. Its Walk-at-Home app has a small monthly fee and streams on phones, laptops, tablets, and smart TVs.

Team Body Project

Daniel and Alexandra Bartlett are the faces behind this online workout platform. The program is free to join. Workouts are also available on the Team Body Project YouTube Channel. A workout program is tailored to your fitness goals. It features a large social media community and actual users in many of their videos. Upgrades are available, but you’re not pressured to unlock them with fees. Workouts stream through phones, laptops, and tablets devices.

Denise Austin

Austin is a fitness guru who has been in the industry for ages, though she doesn’t look it. Her fitness app features workouts and eating plans. Austin doesn’t have much on her YouTube channel in terms of workouts.

Apple Fitness+

Something new for Apple Watch lovers is this workout program now available to stream through its app on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV. Yoga, core, strength, cardio, and workouts for treadmills, exercise bikes, and more are available for a fee.

Head outside

If you were never a fan of gyms and don’t think you’ll like working out indoors, walking, running, and biking outside are fitness activities that have stood the test of time. Fitness trackers like FitBit, Apple Watch, and the app Runtastic log miles and more. For motivation, start a walking or running group with other parents. Knowing there are others waiting for you on the corner helps you stay on schedule. Younger kids can go along in the stroller or you can meet before the kids get up.

The only drawback with outdoor workouts is the weather, but you learn to adapt, and it’s a way to chat with friends and exercise.

There are quite a few perks to home workouts. Even with pay programs like Beachbody and Apple Fitness+, you are saving money when compared with a gym membership. At home, you don’t have to worry about child care or germs. Home workouts are actually a win-win all around, from overall health to the family budget, especially with quality online programs to choose from.

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