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Abandon the Gym

Fitness at home = fitness for life

In my youth, I believed that fitness was a goal realized only in the hazy, drywall-ed sweat of gyms and their treadmills. That a healthy body lay at the bottom of a hanging television set and headphones, drowning out the grunts and groans and clanks and buzzing of electric knights and mirrored, duck-faced fitness selfies.

Spandex never was or will be my thing (well, minus a few stints at competitive mountain bike racing, that is).

But still, I believed that a gym membership was the only way to get and stay fit.

I NEEDED the gym, I felt, because:

  • It would force me to work out (the combination of money spent + the act of being there seemed to promote some measure of accountability).
  • It would be the only way to “get away” from the other demands that family, children, work, and friends presented to me; if I didn’t physically remove myself from their reach, I feared, something more important would always intercept and interfere with whatever fitness goals I had carefully crafted.
  • I believed that an exceptional workout would mean pushing myself to my absolute limit for HOURS. It meant hours on a treadmill, then time on an elliptical, then time circling an endless barrage of weights and machines, then time in a darkened cardio hallway. Fitness was serious work, after all. And it demanded early mornings, late nights, and consistent pain and suffering (the good kind).
  • There was so much variety. Classes. Machines. Rows and rows and day by day. I would never fall into a rut with this much variety…right?

There are many positives to a gym membership. And for some, a gym membership can be powerful fitness tool.

But this, unfortunately, was not my experience.

Why Your Gym Membership Will Most Likely Gather Dust

Come January 2, gym memberships will skyrocket…and less than three months later, fewer that 7% of those original members will still be consistently utilizing that membership. Despite my best intentions, my history as an athlete, and my commitment, I still fell within this group. Why?

Escape the rat race – literally
  • Gym memberships cost money – sometimes a great deal of money. But spending $$ does not equal motivation or guarantee results.  We purchase a gym membership out of habit and, in doing so, feel as though we have truly done something good for ourselves. Purchasing a membership, however, and using it effectively are two very different things. That monthly fee does not provide motivation or encouragement; it doesn’t guarantee results; it simply establishes a false positive which can actually work against your fitness goals.
  • Gyms provide variety, people, and equipment which can seem like support. But gyms are inherently isolating (plug in your headphones and zone out) and fail to cultivate the sense of community necessary for lifelong fitness and wellness. Without additional fees, you will find no training or direction which often means that the variety of a gym is underutilized. You will fall into a pattern and a rut, using the same machines, the same routine, day after day.
  • Gyms often claim to be the solution to the problem of “fitting in” fitness within an already packed schedule of work, family, and friends. In fact, gyms add to this problem. It takes time to get ready and drive to a gym; it takes time to get changed, store one’s items, and find an appropriate machine; it takes time (particularly during peak hours) to wait for a specific machine to open up or for equipment to become available. And that extra time NOT working out adds up and eats into the limited time already allowed for personal wellness and fitness.

In short, a gym membership is a surface solution that does NOT address underlying issues nor does it resolve the factors that may have prevented you from realizing your fitness goals in the past. It gives the illusion of doing something, but it alone does not provide the tools, support, or flexibility necessary for fitness to become an integral part of your daily life.

Why are home workouts the answer?

Flexibility

At home workouts are marked by their inherent flexibility. They can be completed at anytime in the comfort of your own home. There is no need for extensive planning or commuting; there is no need to prepare. Your life and your home become the platform from which fitness is developed and realized. Because of this flexibility and accessibility, it is much easier to commit to and stick with a fitness program. The time saved by an at home workout translates to more time to be spent working out and makes it much easier for time strapped families and individuals to fit fitness into their daily lives on a consistent basis.

Adaptability and variety

The only thing limiting your workouts is your own imagination. At home, you can adapt both your space and your workouts to your needs, time availability, expectations, and goals. There is also endless variety with at home workouts. Rather than falling into the rut of treadmills and television screens, an at home workout program promotes creativity while building knowledge. Not only will you get a great workout, you will learn about fitness and learn how to incorporate fitness into your daily life – no matter what.

In fact, fitness should NEVER be confined to a gym or a treadmill. Fitness is and should be EVERYWHERE. It should be an active and integral part of your life, something that you pursue and engage in spontaneously – from a quick run on the beach, to an impromptu yoga session, to dancing the night away, to taking the stairs. Let the world show you the endless opportunities for wellness and activity in your life!

Family Affair = Fun

Isolation is the #1 enemy of any lifelong fitness and wellness journey. You will NOT succeed in your fitness goals without the support of others. What’s more, if your fitness journey takes you away from your life, your family, and your friends, you are LESS likely to stick with it in the long run. Fitness should fit in to your life – not steal from it.  Fitness should be fun and celebratory, a bit of spice and adventure; it should inspire you in every moment. What’s more, fitness should be a family affair, a lesson taught to our children and shared with others. This isn’t something we HAVE to do; this is something we GET to do – and it is so much fun, we get to do it together.

Community

The true solution to the accountability issue? Community. A community that supports and inspires your fitness journey is your ticket to realizing your fitness goals. That community will provide consistent accountability, will inspire and motivate you, and will provide guidance and support through the challenging times. Generally, we tend to think that at home work outs lack community – nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, at home, you have access to your greatest support system and the ability to build an incredibly active and engaging community. There are no headphones or “zone outs” here! This is your space, your time, your journey, and of course, your community.

Combating the Myths of Fitness

  1. You do NOT need to work out for hours at a time to get incredible results.
  2. You do NOT need to isolate yourself from others to find motivation.
  3. You do NOT need to spent thousands of dollars for personal training to learn about your body or to effectively implement a fitness program.
  4. You do NOT need expensive equipment to get into the best shape of your life.

    two men racing in a fitness challenge
    Fitness works better together (and when it’s fun)

What do you need?

  1. You NEED community.
  2. You NEED creativity.
  3. You NEED flexibility.
  4. You NEED knowledge.
  5. You NEED adaptability.
  6. You NEED support.

And here, we are all about bringing that support, community, knowledge, and more back where it belongs – HOME.

Are you ready to begin a new kind of fitness journey? If so, click here to learn more about our upcoming fitness challenges.

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