Choosing the right environment to train in, such as at home or at the gym, is typically a combination of personal comfort and the goals you want to achieve. You need to evaluate who are comfortable exercising alongside of, what equipment you need, when you can exercise and how much you can invest into your routine.
You may prefer exercising at home if you enjoy your privacy and don't want others staring at you as you bend or stretch. Where a gym could offer you a personal trainer, you can use a workout video or video game program as an alternative to provide professional-level instruction in the privacy of your home. The upside to a gym is you are surrounded by others who are working toward similar goals, and it may be easier to find a friend to support you or celebrate with you after you achieve a goal.
The core components of fitness include speed, power, strength, cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. The equipment and space where you work out should challenge each of these areas through aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Gyms typically offer several choices of machines and classes to give your routine variety, including multiple weight options. One reason you may prefer a home gym is you won't have to wait for machines to become available and won't be as susceptible to germs.
Your schedule is a factor in selecting a workout environment, such as if you're only available to exercise in the morning or if a gym is close to where you work. A home gym allows you the chance to workout whenever there's a lull in your day, but this constant access may require you to find the motivation to develop a consistent routine. Gyms may also be busier at certain times of the day versus others, so investigate these trends or you may not have access to the equipment you need most when you're there.
Gym memberships can be costly, but that investment could inspire you to go so you don't feel you've wasted your money. The cost of a home gym can also add up unless you gradually buy equipment as you need it. You can always begin with exercises such as walking, calisthenics or yoga that don't require money and purchase what you need when you feel ready for the next level of fitness.
Tony Myles is a pastor and national speaker on youth culture. He has been writing professionally since 2000, has a weekly health and fitness newspaper column in the Cleveland suburbs, reviews for "YouthWorker Journal" and was a featured reporter for the "Kalamazoo Gazette." He holds a Master of Business Administration in adolescent development from Indiana Wesleyan University.