Join a Gym or Workout At Home – Exercise for Beginners

workout-at-home-150x150-1-3 Should you join a gym or workout at home if you want to lose weight? Do you really need to join a gym or not? Can women lose weight without a gym membership or should you buy gym equipment and exercise at home? Which is better, yoga or aerobics for weight loss? Who says you can’t exercise without equipment?

These are just some of the questions that are often debated and discussed amongst friends and family, so it seems fitting that we begin the new year with discussions about losing weight, exercise routines, diet plans and getting fit. Personally, I hate the word “diet” in regards to wanting to lose weight and starting an exercise routine to help us get in shape and living a healthy lifestyle. For us, it’s not about being thin according to society’s standards; it’s about being as healthy as we can be in mind, body and spirit.

Several years ago, I believed that without a gym membership there was no way I could lose weight and get physically fit. I was wrong. You can lose weight by eating healthy and exercising at home, and you don’t have to buy gym equipment if you don’t want to or can’t afford to. I wish I understood that years ago before I bought and paid for a Bally’s gym membership that ultimately cost me thousands of dollars that would have been better spent elsewhere.

Joining a Gym vs. Working Out at Home

I can promise you that I will never again join a gym and pay those ridiculous membership fees. I won’t get into the problems we had in trying to cancel and drop my membership to Bally’s after a year or so, but it got ugly and we won the fight. Even though I canceled my Bally’s membership, I was proud of my accomplishments towards losing weight and getting fit.

Exercise for beginners, such as I was, means you have to start off slow.

If you think you can start out by trying to run a marathon or doing more than your body can handle as a beginner, you are only fooling yourself. I’ve yet to run a marathon, but being able to workout on the treadmill, stairmaster, rowing machines, exercise bikes and elliptical machines for a couple of hours at a time (without falling flat on my face) made me feel proud of myself.

There are a lot of men and women who say they can’t workout at home because they don’t feel the motivation to get off the couch and begin their exercise routine. Some may feel they must join and exercise at a gym to be around others who are in the same boat as they are: striving to lose weight and using the gym as a way to be held accountable. There is certainly nothing wrong with joining a gym if that is what it takes to be motivated to lose weight, get fit or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do what works for you.

A couple of months ago, we began a routine of walking almost every day after dinner around the neighborhood, and over a period of time we’ve managed to increase our endurance level to the point where walking for a few miles doesn’t leave us physically exhausted and sore. On days where the weather is not conducive to walking outside, I exercise on my elliptical machine at home and walk up and down the stairs as many times as I can stand.

At Home Workout Gym Equipment

I decided to buy an elliptical machine on sale awhile back so I could exercise at home, but also because I missed the kind of hard workout I got each time I was on the elliptical at the gym. After checking out some local stores that sell used gym equipment for cheap but not finding a good quality elliptical that wasn’t in need of repairs, I found an inexpensive elliptical that I absolutely love.

I have even developed an interest in starting boxing exercises at home to strengthen and tone up my arms, and very soon I will buy a boxing punching bag and boxing gloves and begin workouts at home with those in the garage. From what I’ve read so far, boxing exercises build shoulders, forearms, legs, hips, abs, upper back, triceps and biceps, which sounds like a full body cardio workout if there ever was one.

For people who don’t want to join a gym, can’t afford a gym membership or can’t afford to buy exercise equipment for home use, I would recommend checking out your local community center gym or rec center gyms, as these are often a lot cheaper than well-known (expensive) gyms.

Currently, I’m reading the book YOU On A Diet by Dr. Oz, which was suggested by one of my daughters who is also the yoga nut in the family. What an phenomenal book by Dr. Oz this is! Once I know a little more about what she calls the “yoga gym”, I’ll be able to understand if yoga is better than aerobics for weight loss, or not.

Either way, workouts at home, with or without gym equipment or exercise DVD’s and the like, is working great for us and we’re going to stick with it even after we reach our goals. What about you? Are you planning to join a gym, or do you prefer to workout at home? What at home exercise routines do you like best?

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