Going to the Gym vs. Home Exercises

It takes a lot of discipline to carry a regular exercise program at home. Although at first it seems easier than going to a gym, it can quickly become lonely and boring. Humans are, after all, social animals that benefit from group interaction at many different levels, including engaging in positive behavior from peer pressure. When surrounded by other people, who are themselves exercising, we are more likely to complete our own fitness routine, aware that someone next to us will perhaps be paying attention if we give up after the first few repetitions. The prompt availability of a wide range of exercise machines at the gym, already in place and just begging to be utilized, tends to increase the likelihood that one's daily workout will be completed.

Whether exercising at home or going to the gym, set aside the time for the full routine, don't do it just when you have an "opening." Try not to stop for a quick break on your way to the gym, or you may end up skipping it altogether. Save the pre-exercise latte or the candy bar for later, as a reward for a job well done.

Headphones and some up-tempo beat music do add some lively energy to an otherwise lackluster fitness routine and may help you squeeze out a few extra repetitions Reading or watching TV during your workout can overcome boredom during an aerobic routine. Books on tape may work well for someone who feels that the time "wasted" on staying fit should be better spent. Reading a book or magazine while using a stationary bike is considered safe, but doing it while exercising on a treadmill may cause dizziness or loss of balance and should be done cautiously, if at all.

Despite the fact that some physical fitness instructors advise their trainees that total concentration on the exercises is necessary to obtain maximum benefits, I have not seen convincing proof of that. I suspect that daydreaming during one's workout routine generates as much physical benefit as grunting through the exercises; as for myself, I often let my mind wander to my "happy place" while my body is engaged in "auto pilot."

Tip: if you perspire a lot, choose an exercise location in the gym directly underneath one of the air conditioning vents.

Fitness & Health

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Going to the Gym Versus Home Exercises

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How To Avoid Getting Injured

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