You can find everything online these days; whether you want to boil an egg, learn to knit, or get a body like a god.
You tube videos can take you through exercises, much in the way that a DVD would – so is there any point in paying the extra money to put petrol in the car, get a gym pass and take part in classes?
Here are some reasons why it’s probably still a good idea not to leave it all to the Internet.
- Some of us aren’t disciplined. People who work from home have to ensure they get up, dressed and do a day’s work just as they would from the office. This is why many choose to work from the office. So when it comes to exercise, when there’s no one there watching – not everyone is going to perform to their maximum strengths. I’m sure you must have put a workout DVD on at some point only to sit there watching as you devour a bar of chocolate. No? Well, maybe that’s just me. But motivation is harder to find when it’s just you and the telly.
- The element of competition is lost when we workout on our own. I know that for many, the goals are personal, but even so – that little bit of healthy competition is great for making you go that little bit further. When you’ve got someone to compare yourself to – a friend accompanying you to the gym, for instance, then you will unwittingly find yourself trying to match them for pounds lost, weight lifted and miles run.
- It’s hard to be critical of yourself. If you’re not doing the exercises quite right, you’re not pulling enough weight or you’re slacking in any way, there will be nobody there to tell you to pull your socks up. When things start to hurt, naturally we want to give up. With someone pushing you harder, it’s less likely that you’ll stop.
- Just as we don’t criticise ourselves, we don’t give ourselves that oh-so important support either. If you’ve just completed a record number of reps, or burnt the most number of calories to date – no one is going to say “well done”. You’ll feel pleased with yourself, and of course you should. But for many having that little extra boost of someone giving you praise for your achievements can mean the difference between sticking at something and giving up altogether.
- You’re not going to meet any “like-minded” people in your front room. If you join a club, a gym or an exercise class, then the likelihood is that there will be a whole host of people all in the same room wanting to achieve similar goals and all helping each other to reach and stick to them. It’s good to get out not only for your physical fitness, but also for your mental wellbeing too. You probably won’t be too inspired to push past your first fitness DVD in your own home, but if you venture out, someone might end up convincing you to run a marathon!
- Constant temptation surrounds you in your own home. Was that the fridge calling? Is it time to sit on the sofa yet? Being surrounded by these things is not conducive to exercising properly as you can’t shut off. If you’re taken out of your home environment the chances are you can focus purely on the exercise or activity you went to do. If you’re playing a team game like football, then the chances are time will go past so quickly you won’t even realise you’ve done a hour or more, and if you are running with a club then you’ll most likely be chatting the whole way around – enough so you don’t quite notice the pain of the run!
- There is a lack of expertise in our own homes in the sense that although you can look anything up – you don’t necessarily know what it is you should be looking for. There are so many resources out there, but it takes a professional to tell you exactly what kind of exercise you need to be doing, what kind of nutritional advice you should be taking, and if there’s anything unsuitable for you. This is where gyms offer a better option that going it alone. The staff are often the best first port of call to find out recommendations and be taught in the correct way how to use certain equipment, what your weight loss targets should be, and if you have any specific goals in mind, how to achieve them.
There are no rules to how you exercise, as long as you make sure you put in the effort. But if you are looking for support, motivation and a sense of achievement you may well find it easier to join a group or visit the gym.