When the weather prevents you from going outside, exercising indoors can help you maintain your program of consistent physical activity. Two options for indoor exercise are joining a health club or creating an exercise facility/space at home. Here are tips to help you decide which is best for you.
First, consider convenience. If you are looking at a club, consider how far it is from home or work. Chances are you are more likely to use a club that is 10 minutes away by car versus one that is 30 minutes away. Convenience counts at home as well. If you can’t leave an exercise bike out or don’t have a space large enough to move to aerobic videos, chances are you won’t use them at all.
Cost is also an important issue. If considering a health club, investigate the initial costs, payments and membership renewal fees. Other organizations which offer low cost exercise programs include Jazzercise, the local YWCA or YMCA and the International Dance and Exercise Association. With home exercise equipment, cost comes from the purchase of equipment — machines, mats, weights, bicycles, etc. If considering a home exercise facility don’t forget to figure in the cost of equipment maintenance and repair.
It is important that you exercise consistently. When considering whether to join a club or create an exercise facility at home, take into account how much time you can spend exercising. If you are considering joining a club, remember that you have to gather workout clothes, drive to the club, workout, shower and change after your workout. Be realistic. If the extra time needed to go to a health club isn’t there, exercising at home is probably best.
If you don’t like exercising in front of others or don’t like health clubs, then don’t join! Some people find it more relaxing to exercise at home on their own. Others gain extra motivation from exercising with others and enjoy sharing “exercise talk.” For continued success, select the exercise environment that’s most compatible with your personality.
Try This Activity
To help you determine the exercise environment that’s best for you, complete the chart below. For each of the characteristics listed, place a check in the column of the exercise environment that best provides the given characteristic for you.
| ||Home||Local Program (Y, Jazzercise)||Athletic Club|
|Convenience|| || || |
|Cost|| || || |
|Schedule|| || || |
|Personal Preference|| || || |
|Special Features|| || || |
And don’t forget your walking program! Continue to walk 4 times per week, 40 minutes each session. Try carrying a light weight (1-3 lbs.) in each hand when you walk. And if you have the urge to walk longer...do it! As always, monitor your heart rate and adjust your level of exercise as needed.
Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.