It’s January, the month of New Year Resolutions. The two most popular ones every year are exercising and losing weight, or a combination of the two. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and if you are working on it right now, I’m cheering for you! In today’s post, I want to help you decide whether to join a gym or not. So here’s a list of pros and cons of joining a gym in 2019.
Things to consider before joining a gym
1. Structure and accountability
It can go two ways – you can go there, not talk to anyone, not have a plan and waste your time. But there are better ways: you can talk to a trainer, join a class or do your own thing on the gym floor but be prepared. Having a plan when you leave your house is going to make your session much more productive.
One of the reasons why I love going to classes is that someone else is going to plan it. I just have to book it in the system, add it to my calendar and show up.
So whether you work with a trainer, join classes or have your own programme, I strongly suggest you prepare your week on Sundays – book your sessions and add them to your calendar – there’s a better chance you’ll be there if it’s part of your schedule.
Unless you have a lot of equipment at home, a gym can offer more workout options. Free weights with many different loads, resistance machines, Yoga and Pilates equipment, classes of all sorts, and in some cases pool and spa area.
For runners, the indoor treadmill can be a good option during rough weather and can also help with organized running workouts like intervals because you can set the pace on the machine.
3. The social aspect
If you don’t want to exercise alone, the gym can be a good place to be. If you’re a regular of a specific class, you’ll definitely get to socialise with other regulars and maybe, eventually, make friends.
Some classes also have partner exercises or challenges, so you can at least interact with other people.
Plus, having an enthusiastic trainer can be very motivating and you can get more out of your session than if you did it alone.
Ok, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – gyms are not free. But they don’t have to be very expensive either.
Check with the company you work for, many will have some benefits you can use. I had one where I could get a gym discount, but I also had a money benefit that could be used for wellness so I chose to spend it on personal training sessions.
If you really want to make it work, you can. Cut some other spending and check for any unused memberships that you’re paying for.
The best thing about investing in your health: you save money in the long term. Getting sick is really not cheap!
If it takes more than 20 minutes to get to the gym, it’s probably not worth it. When you check for gyms, also consider your office, not just your home. A quick 30 minutes class can be a good option for your lunch break. Many gyms that are in office locations will have express classes around noon.
Some gyms will also be multi-location. That means that if you travel around the country, you might have access to a gym near you, wherever you are.
If you’re only interested in classes, check the timetable before joining. If the schedule doesn’t suit you, it’s a waste of money and sometimes it’s not very easy to cancel!
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you joined already, I have a few tips for beginners at the gym in this post.
Not liking the gym at all? If you want some high intensity training in your own home, check out my review of PIIT28.