Is a Gym Membership Worth It?

Woman lifting weight in gym
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It’s a new year. It brings new opportunities and a fresh start. This means the same thing for a lot of people – it’s time to hit the gym.

You’ve heard it before – New Year, New Me. Every year, gyms across the country get a surge of new members in January. With the new year’s motivation behind them, they swear, “this year is the year I’ll get fit!”

But, is signing up for a gym membership really worth it? To help you decide, here are some pros and cons of a gym membership.

Advantages of Gym Memberships

1. It fuels motivation

Having a dedicated spot for workouts can do wonders for motivation. Unlike a home gym, you’ve not got neighbours, kids, or pets looking for your attention. You can simply plug in your music and get in the zone.

Additionally, joining a gym and being surrounded by fitness fanatics will motivate you. Many regularly go to the gym, making it feel like a community. Your new-found friends will encourage you, and you can take the opportunity to learn and get inspired by their fitness journeys.

2. It’s not weather dependent

Unlike the great outdoors, there’s no opportunity to blame the weather. If you’re an active jogger, you might feel put off by the pouring rain, or icy conditions might make exercising impossible. Although exercising outside is great for your mental health, it’s not always possible.

However, a gym eliminates this problem. Rain or shine, the gym is still there waiting for you. During the summer, you won’t have to worry about overheating; in the winter, you can run without the worry of ice. This means you continue to have a consistent workout, keeping a routine, which is vital for a successful exercise regime.

3. It’s got variety

When working out at home, you’ll maybe have a few bits of equipment. A yoga mat, some weights, maybe even a dumbbell. This is great, but it’s nothing compared to what gyms have in their inventory. There’s equipment and weights to help build every muscle in your body and countless machines to build your stamina. Just be careful if you have a pacemaker, as repetitive arm movements could cause some issues.

In addition, there’s plenty of variety in the kind of workouts you can do too. Simply going to the gym for a solo workout might not be your idea of fun, and an organised class could be more of your cup of tea. This is where gyms will also come in handy, as several gym memberships come with the perk of exercise classes.

Disadvantages of a Gym Membership

1. It can be expensive

The price is one of the most common reasons people avoid or quit the gym. A monthly gym membership can become pricey – sometimes as much as £100 a month. This can easily put you off if you’re not 100% sure the gym is for you.

While exercising outside or at home has its limitations, it’s much cheaper. Simply going for a run or a walk around your neighbourhood is completely free. Plus, while buying some home gym equipment can be expensive, you won’t have the running cost of a gym membership. Smaller equipment like weights and dumbbells can be reasonably cheap to buy, and bodyweight exercise costs nothing at all.

2. It can be time-consuming

Although the gym is an excellent motivator for many people, it can be very time-consuming. Travelling to and from the gym can often be more hassle than it’s worth. The commute could eat into the valuable time you need to spend elsewhere.

Plus, not all gyms are open 24/7. So, it might be better to work out at home when the motivation hits. And, with help from online fitness tutorials, you can access all the knowledge a gym could provide right in your own home.

3. It’s covered in germs

Gross or not, there’s no denying that gyms are full of germs. By sharing space with multiple people and sharing equipment, you’re exposing yourself to infection. Even if there’s a policy of wiping down equipment, do you really trust everyone to do this thoroughly?

But, at home, you don’t have to worry about who used the equipment before you. You’ll have your own equipment, private shower, and your own space.

Is it worth it?

Ultimately, the answer to this question will come down to your personal preferences. The answer could vary depending on your income, confidence, and self-motivation. Overall, you have to decide what benefits you the most.

Regardless of what you choose, it’s recommended that adults get 150 minutes of exercise a week. This can be achieved at home or in the gym, so the decision is yours and yours alone.

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