Working out at home can often seem like the answer to our weight loss woes and our fitness aspirations. If you work out at home, you do not have to pay for a gym, trudge through rain, sleet, or snow to get anywhere, and it is super-efficient since we are already at home anyway. So why is it a bad idea for many of us? Here are three reasons:

1) We do not actually do it. Why, if it is such a great idea, do we not take advantage of it? Well, number one in my book is that as busy as we are, when we are home, we want to relax. We want home to be our sanctuary. The obligation of working out does not seem to correlate with relaxation or “downtime.” The result becomes either we work out and we resent it interrupting our little time and place of peace or we do not work out and then we feel frustrated and guilty…and probably lethargic.

2) We still spend money on it. Whether it is fitness DVD’s, streaming workout programs, home gym equipment, workout bands, or weights, we spend money to prepare our house to give us the functionality to get a good workout. The problem is those things we spent money on quickly become clutter once their novelty wears off and we often end up dusting them more than using them.

3) There is no accountability with working out at home unless we enlist our spouse or roommate. This can often lead to bad feelings when they hold us accountable and we take it personally. The people we love are usually not the number one choice for that role which is why personal training is big business. We need someone unbiased with whom we do not have an emotional connection.

The bottom line is that while working out at home does work for some, particularly those who are homebound, it is not fruitful for most of us. Whether we go to a gym, a park, or work out in our neighborhood, getting out is good for the head, the body and the heart. The social aspect proves beneficial even if (ahem…especially if) we are introverts. The fresh air outside is good for the soul. The energy in the gym is often palpable. The accountability is available. Even if it is just the people we see there every day that we may not talk to, it creates a sense of community that we strive to maintain presence in and that is helpful. Let’s save our homes as our sanctuaries and take the exercise elsewhere.

With external exercise,

Nikola Rosa