A friend of mine recently said to me: “There are gym people and there are DVD people,” during a conversation we were having regarding exercise. I do my Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred DVDs at home and she does Jillian’s Body Shred at her gym. We often text during the week commiserating about the unpleasant things that Jillian makes us do over the course of 30 minutes.
I want to be clear I don’t think she was putting down “DVD people” in the context of our conversation. She is one of the few people I know that has lost weight and kept it off, so I value her opinion. She mentioned how she had tried to work out at home in the past and was just making the point that it doesn’t work for her. Still, I found what she said interesting – are there DVD people and gym people? Am I a DVD person?
Since this conversation, I looked online and found so many articles about the pros and cons of working out at home versus the gym, or the gym over home. I had no idea there was such a plethora of information regarding the topic, and reading some of the comments on the articles I read, it can be a heated debate. I don’t believe one method is better than the other, and I think the fact there are pros and cons to each method is pretty obvious. I strongly believe that you have to do whatever works for you, and anyone that makes exercise a regular part of their routine, in whatever form or environment, deserves a gold star.
But, I don’t think DVD people or gym people are mutually exclusive. Maybe it’s true there are people that are more inclined to home workouts over the gym, or vice versa, but at least for me, it’s a matter of circumstance. At this point in my life, working out on my own, through a variety of methods, such as DVDs, home equipment, and running fit into my lifestyle and my current state of mind. I would be fine going to a gym, and I have always thought that someday I might join one. I chose to go down the path of DVDs and home workouts mainly because I have invested in an endless amount of them from past weight loss attempts, and I wanted to prove that I could do this without spending any additional money. Some of my DVD workout programs aren’t even opened yet, and as a thrifty person, I don’t want to see them go to waste.
In some way, I also feel I have something to prove to myself – that making a change, becoming healthier, and getting in shape are completely within my own power to do so, without outside help. With this need to empower myself, I definitely push myself more at home. When I’ve gone to the gym in the past, I get easily distracted by others and I start to compare how hard I’m working against them. If I’m working out at a slower pace, I start to feel bad about myself. If I’m working out harder, then I feel all high and mighty and will stop myself from pushing harder because I don’t want to have to slow down in front of other people when I hit the wall. I hope the day comes when I stop comparing myself to other people, but it’s all part of my body image and I’m a work in progress. For now, I can focus more at home.
Interestingly enough, one of the top reasons I found online to join a gym was “less distractions” than at home. Again, it’s a matter of circumstance. In my house, it’s quiet, and since I also work at home I already know how to tune out the temptations, such as watching TV all day or playing with my dog. I give her a peanut butter stuffed Kong toy, put her in the crate, and it’s workout time. Since I don’t have a commute everyday, I use that time for exercise, whether in the morning or at night. Although, I will admit, if I haven’t worked out before my husband gets home from work, motivation goes downhill after he (aka distraction) gets home. If the day comes when I work in an office again, the gym will probably be a better fit for me as I can stop on my way home from work before I get home to a husband and dog I haven’t seen all day.
Right now, home DVDs are working for me and that’s all that matters. If that makes me a DVD person, that’s fine. I will embrace that, but I refuse to concede that I couldn’t also fit into the gym person category. Circumstances change and it may be necessary to adapt. The commitment to being healthy, in whatever form you may choose that works for you is it what’s important. For the moment I’m building muscle, losing weight, and gaining confidence at home. That might not always be the case, and someday I may need to join a gym. If that happens, I hope the gym people accept me with open arms and allow me to join their ranks.