Working out from home has recently been all the rage as compared to going to your local fitness centre or gym. Previously, gym memberships were skyrocketing with the health club industry growing at a staggering rate of nearly 9% annually and generating $94 billion in revenue! All of this success however has proven unreliable in the face of the pandemic.
With restrictions remaining in place for the foreseeable future, people needed a more convenient and reliable method of getting a good workout while also saving on time and money. Home gym sales have soared over the course of 2020 with the NPD estimating revenue of health and fitness equipment at $2.3 billion in the US alone.
All of a sudden, it seemed unnecessary to have to drive to someplace to get your workout when you can have gym and fitness equipment shipped directly to your door within a matter of weeks to install our own personal home gym in your basement or garage. By doing so, people no longer had to be subject to rules about booking in advance, social distancing regulations and having to wear a mask while working out.
Why Home Gyms Are So Important
With people living increasingly sedentary lifestyles in which now the only thing required everyday to work is to get out of bed and sit down at a desk in the next room over behind a computer screen, the health effects have been drastic.
Obesity rates have risen as a result of the pandemic with people being cooped up in their homes and increasingly plagued by the conditions that come with increased obesity rates such as increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Rates of anxiety and insomnia have also increased amongst the general populace with financial burdens and stress becoming a greater concern.
What home gyms excel at is being available 24/7 no matter the season. What this exercise does is improve your cardiovascular health by decreasing the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. It also decreases rates of anxiety and insomnia as shown with exercise decreasing levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone with regular exercising leading to more and better quality of sleep compared to those who didn’t exercise.
How Home Workouts Work Against Us
People can sometimes find it difficult to focus on long-term goals compared to immediate pleasure or discomfort. Moving the gym into the home simply reduces the long list of excuses a person can use to take a day off but it doesn’t change our inherent behaviour.
Exercise is hard, especially for beginners. It’s uncomfortable, it makes you sweat, it forces you to push yourself to the limits and leaves you a tired mess in the end. When only thinking of the present, who would ever opt for that?
Your brain is a massive machine made up of billions of neurons that consumes about 20% of your body’s energy even though it only constitutes 2% of your body’s mass. Your brain is greedy, but it also tries to conserve energy whenever possible. The aches that you may get after a good workout are a result of your muscles being broken down and then repaired into newer, stronger ones. Unfortunately, that also takes a lot of energy and the brain isn’t a huge fan.
Your Own Worst Enemy
Our brains today are still the same ones that patrolled the forests, savannahs, and plains tens of thousands of years ago and it still believes that that is where you are. It believes that food, especially high-fat food is in short supply and that saving energy is the only way to survive. Nowadays however, with our abundance of food, we need to fight this habit in order to stay healthy and not succumb to being binge-eating couch potatoes.
When going to exercise, although your conscious self knows that the workout will do you good at the end of the day, your unconscious self doesn’t care for such future goals. Instead, it simply wants to relax and take in life’s pleasures. Gym equipment unfortunately doesn’t fit into that picture.
Rest Now, Work Later
Another problematic aspect to working out from home are the constant distractions. Although far more convenient, a home workout doesn’t offer you the same vibrant atmosphere as your local fitness centre. Perhaps you’re running on your treadmill at home or doing bench presses when you’re called upstairs by your spouse to help take out the garbage or to help the kids pack for after school activities.
At home, there are a million more distractions, all ones that your brain takes as a quick ticket to get out of having to do work. Another great aspect of the fitness centre is the environment.
It has been shown that people tend to be far more productive when they see others around them being just as productive. Have you ever had the energy and motivation rush into you as soon as you enter your gym to see others just like you working out. The very sight of them working out gave you the strength and motivation to do the same.
Getting the Most Out of Your Home Gym
At the end of the day, working out from home is a sort of double-edged sword. On one hand, you have the power to control when and how you work out with any restrictions placed on you which in theory gives you the ability to have longer, better, and more efficient workout sessions.
On the other hand, exercising from home brings in psychological problems of constant distractions, lack of motivation and laziness that trample many people’s efforts. It is this that makes exercising from home so difficult, your own mind. When you see others sweating bullets all around you, it motivates you to do the same but when everyone around you is eating dinner, sleeping, or settled down to watch a movie, you’ve suddenly lost all your drive.
What is crucial is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and learning how to stop yourself from getting in your own way to achieve the results you know you’re capable of. For any workout, you need high quality yet affordable gym and fitness equipment, visit Fitness Avenue to find a variety of different gym equipment machines, weights, accessories and more!