Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Myth: Working Out at Home/Working Out at the Gym is Better than Working Out at Home/Working Out at the Gym

Ah, the double-sided myth. No, I'm not going to weigh in on whether exercising at a gym is better or worse than working out at home, or vice versa. There are opinions on both sides of the issue, and studies that have come down on both sides as well. The important thing here is to get rid of the "one is better than the other" statement and remember that different people exercise differently. A 2009 article from The New York Times cited a 2008 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine which found people with home gyms are more likely to begin to exercise, but less likely to continue exercising in the long run; but the conclusion wasn't that home gyms are ineffective at keeping people engaged with exercise in the long term, and it wasn't that home gyms are better at inspiring people to exercise. Instead, the study found that what really matters is the individual's personal belief that they have the power to start and stick to an exercise regimen, whether the gear is in their basement or at a gym 10 miles away.
Essentially, those individuals who were able to really motivate themselves to work out and believed they could stick to it were more likely to benefit from a home gym. People who were less confident in their ability to stick to a workout regimen did better with a gym membership, or by making their workouts part of their routine. In the end, both versions of this myth are false, and the truth is that the best type of workout, whether it's at home or in a gym, depends on you and how motivated you are to stick to your exercise goals.