In 2009, I worked out exactly one time. Terrible, I know. Even worse, the only reason I did it was because my mom dragged me to a yoga class. I didn't work out again until around September of 2010. I started slowly, with exercise videos at home. Still not very consistently, though. It wasn't until January 2011 that I actually started going back to the gym and working out regularly. We get so little of time to ourselves, especially during the week that I just didn't want to spend it at the gym. Once I accepted that working out might mean I only get a few measly hours at home to myself before bedtime it was all good and I just dealt with it. For two and a half years, the gym had become a regular part of my life with the occasional home exercise DVD at home.
My home workout supplies.
Then I started The 30-Day Shred and everything changed. I only went to the gym once in a month and a half during that time. After I finished the shred, I trotted back to the gym to get back into my old cardio ways. It wasn't the same, and I just couldn't motivate myself to keep going back. I don't go to the gym much anymore, and here's why:
1) No gym commute and rigamarole. My gym is on the way home from work, and it's a 10-minute drive from my house. It's not out of my way at all -- but I have to pack a few things the night before, carry the bag to the car, carry the bag into the gym, change, lock up the bag, work out, get the bag and drive home. If I forget something essential, I'm screwed. Or I should say my workout is screwed -- because I'm not going back. When I work out at home, I don't have to bother with any of that. I come home, undress and work out immediately. Working out during the work week has always been a challenge for me, but this makes it so much easier to fit it in.
2) I get to be sexy for my husband. Sometimes you gotta shake things up a little. Seeing his wife in her underwear and sports bra doing man push ups might be just the thing. Mj says he loves it when I work out at home. He doesn't sit there and watch me like a creepy stalker, but he catches some peeks here and there and he likes it. I also enjoy watching him work out in his undies. It's win-win for everyone.
3) Less laundry. When I work out at home, I'm wearing only a sports bra and my undies. If it's yoga, I'll add a towel on top of my yoga mat so I don't stick. I just don't see the point of putting on gym clothes and creating more laundry when I'm in the comfort of my own home and nobody but my husband can see me. As the weather gets cooler, I may have to add bottoms.
4) More variety on my own time. My gym is open 24/7, so I can go any time I want to -- but if I want to do a class, then I'm stuck with the schedule that is available. I'm also stuck with what there is available for me to do at the gym. Weights, cardio or classes. When your home is your gym and a DVD is your instructor, the possibilities are endless. There are a million at-home DVDs to choose from, of varying lengths and types, and all you have to do is pop in the video whenever you want. The key is finding workouts that truly are good workouts. I just bought four more DVDs, and I'm already scoping out more. They are relatively inexpensive, and if you use them, it's worth it. I used to think I had to go to the gym to really get that good workout -- but now I know that I don't have to at all.
5) The only sweaty and possibly stinky person I have to deal with is me. Have you ever been stuck next to a stinky person at the gym? It sucks. More then once I've been about 10 minutes into my 60-minute elliptical workout when some stinky person who is either deodorant resistant or forgot to put it on rolls up next to me. I still have 50 minutes to work out, and I don't want to switch machines because it will screw up my numbers. I hope that he's doing a quick workout ... and then my heart sinks when I see him enter 45 minutes. If something stinks now, it's me; and if there is sweat on my mat, I know it's mine.
6) No classic "gym smell." My gym is huge, nice and very well ventilated -- but after not going there for a while and then going back, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It's not as bad as someone with BO working out next to you but it's just that gym smell. Well, you don't have that at home.
I got my abs back, built up my biceps and got a lot of my flexibility back -- all with exercise DVDs, a yoga mat, and a few hand weights. It is possible to get in shape without ever setting foot in the gym.
It would be harder to mostly quit the gym if I felt like I was wasting money. I've been on the same gym membership that my mom started for the family since I was in high school. It's so dirt cheap that I don't even feel bad for letting my parents continue to cover it, and I will definitely hold onto the membership. It's nice to still have the option to go to change things up. I haven't been in two months -- but I'm planning to go back today, because I kind of miss the elliptical. Let's see if I still miss it when it's 5:00 pm and I'm on my way there. Or when I've been on for ONLY 45 minutes and want to die.
When I was going all the time seeing the same people every time, and then they dropped off the face of the earth, I always wondered what happened to them. If they come back with obvious weight gain, I assume they haven't been working out. Hopefully, no one will be compelled to assume that about me. In my case, I'm still working out. Just not at the gym.
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