Should you join a gym and have lots of options, or stay home where it's oh-so convenient?

Share story

Congratulations! You’ve made that New Year’s resolution to get fit in 2019 and have decided to commit yourself to working out.

But should you buy exercise equipment and install your own home gym? Or, is it a better idea to purchase a monthly gym membership and head out of the house for your workouts? This is a big decision that will impact your commitment to healthy habits, so weigh the different options carefully.

Pros and cons of home gyms

A home gym is ideal for people who don’t mind working out alone and anyone with sufficient space for the gear and personal motivation to use it.

PROS:

• Your workout is always just a minute away and you can work out on your own schedule.

• You won’t have other people competing to use the same equipment.

• Your space and gear will be customized exactly to your needs.

CONS:

• You can easily get distracted from your routine. Kids, partner, pets and real life can draw you away.

• A home gym takes up a lot of space, even if it’s easily stored away.

• You probably won’t have as wide a selection of equipment.

Pros and cons of gym memberships

A gym membership is ideal for people with limited space in their own homes or anyone with a busy lifestyle that has them out of the house a lot.

PROS:

• You’ll have access to a wider array of equipment to mix up your workouts.

• The social aspect of a gym can help you with motivation.

• Professional trainers are available to help guide you.

CONS:

• Over the long term, gym memberships tend to cost more than buying your own gear.

• If you’re not a social person, having other people around all the time could be distracting and annoying.

• A gym membership requires a lot of commitment and motivation on your part. You have to be motivated to actually use it to get the benefit.

When selecting a fitness center, look beyond the equipment itself. Other considerations include how many other facilities your membership gives access to, and perks such as trainers and staff-led exercise classes. Don’t overlook the value of a personal trainer. Even one session with a professional can help you make the best use of your solo workouts. 

Swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools are other valuable perks. Seek out and join the fitness facility that will most effectively inspire you toward your goals.