Working Out: What’s Best for Your Budget?

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Is joining a gym worth the investment? Take a look at the pros and cons of different workout options.

This post by AJ Pettersen comes from MoneyNing

As a baseball player, I have to work out a lot. Right now, I do so at a local college because I’m a volunteer assistant for their baseball team. When I’m staying at my parents’ house, I work out in their rec room. I also have friends who love going to their local gym. There are many options for staying in shape.

When it’s time to work out, where do you turn? Below, we weigh the pros and cons for various options.

Working out at home

Working out at home is a great way to save time and money. You don’t have to drive to the gym, nor do you need to pay for a membership. If you’re a runner, all you need is a pair of shoes to get started. There are also a number of ways to get a full body workout using only your body weight.

If you need more motivation, DVD trainers have become increasingly popular. Programs like P90X and Insanity have given many users great results without breaking the bank. Depending on where you buy these programs, you shouldn’t have to pay more than $150-$200.

If you want to work out at home, the options don’t end there. Yoga is a great way to exercise both your mind and body, and it’s easy to find free sessions on the Internet.

Or, you could create your own home gym. My parents supplied their rec room with a weight rack, free weights, a treadmill, a physioball, and a Bosu ball. If you’d like to do this in your house, the cost of the equipment will depend on its quality and age. Though this carries a higher initial cost, you’ll avoid the ongoing monthly cost of the gym.

Going to the gym

The gym is a great place to get an all-inclusive workout. Though it varies by location, many include fitness classes, weights, a pool, a spa, and sometimes basketball and racquetball courts. For avid exercisers, the gym is a great way to get a diversified workout.

Of course, the gym carries a monthly fee, which can be anywhere from around $15 to more than $100 per month. Typically, you get what you pay for; the pricier gyms offer expansive areas with more classes and perks, while the cheaper ones may only offer a small weight room and some cardio equipment.

What’s best for you?

Deciding where to work out depends completely on the level of fitness you’d like to attain, your financial situation, and your personal preference. I’ve seen a number of people benefit from using DVDs and simple body weight workouts in their homes. I’ve also seen people get great results from the many options provided by a gym membership.

If you want to work out at home, be sure to try out different things to avoid getting in a rut. Scour the Internet for exercises that appeal to you – YouTube has workouts that would fit a wide range of people.

If you prefer going to the gym, you need to find a place that suits your wallet and your needs. Take into account the monthly cost, and compare it to the features. Then decide what your priorities are. Are you most interested in lifting? Cardio? Classes? It’s also a good idea to search for a gym that has members like you. Places that attract similar people will most likely satisfy you and your needs.

Stacy Johnson

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