To Gym Or Not To Gym, That Is The Question…

Good health & fitness habits can and should be considered a life-long commitment. Although I’m certain some people do, one should never sit back and say, “I’m no longer exercising” and let their health and fitness go completely to the wayside. The effects of a sedentary lifestyle can be seen and felt over an extremely short period of time and for someone with Type-1 Diabetes especially, it can cause damage to the body that will not only make life difficult but could potentially be deadly, as well.

That’s why it’s important, whether you have Diabetes or not, to maintain a reasonable level of fitness in one’s life. It can get difficult at times, with the stresses and rigours of life often getting in the way. The irony is working out will usually help to alleviate some of those concerns and stresses. But like the little engine that could, getting oneself started can often be the issue. However, once you get started and have a healthy combination of workout types, the rewards can be phenomenal. W

hen I say workout types, I mean that everyone should incorporate resistance training and cardio somewhere in their routine, despite what some diehard fitness folks may say. Weightlifters will obviously swear by resistance training, runners, swimmers and the like will swear by cardio and martial artists will swear by karate classes. And although that’s a normal instinct, everyone should have a bit of everything, despite what they “specialize” in. So, that raises an important question: What’s better? At home or at a gym?

Over the decades, I’ve had the opportunity to do both. I’ve had fitness equipment at home, I’ve done karate at home and I’ve paid tuitions and fees to do either of those at professional locations outside my home. I often go back and forth like a balanced scale rocking from one end to the other, and I’ve come to find advantages and disadvantages to either one. And now I’m going to share some of them…

1. Cost: Obviously, there’s a certain amount of inherent cost to joining a gym or karate class. And with the rising cost of everything these days, membership fees and tuition costs are going up as well. Without accounting for inflation, I spent thousands of dollars on karate tuition over the decades, and in recent years, I would have knocked out the same amount over a period of about five years instead of twenty. Training at home means you don’t have to pay for the locale and can work out at your leisure, on your own schedule and when you choose. But working out from home may lack a few things, bringing me to my next point…

2. Resources: There’s no arguing that your local gym will have equipment that the average person would likely never have in their home. I stand by the concept that one can get a solid sweat by doing a body-weight-only workout, but there are definite advantages and benefits from using specialized equipment that either helps with certain lifting techniques or promotes better growth. Of course, the caveat is that depending on how long you train for, you may be able to invest membership fees into purchasing your equipment, which you then own.

3. Environment: I’ll be honest; training in a dojo is far superior to training at home, alone. Besides the fact that there’s only so much you can do by yourself (kind of hard to fight with no opponent), there’s also the ambiance to consider. Training around other people can be more pleasant than training alone and certainly rewarding. Especially if there’s aspects of your fitness that you need help with. Google can’t always answer everything, right?

4. Autonomy and Cleanliness: One thing that can get annoying when training or working out at a commercial location is the possibility of others using the particular piece of equipment you need/want. This is especially annoying when they’re not really using the equipment but congregating next to it in order to chat. You wouldn’t think so but this same concept happens within a dojo, depending on the class. At home, you don’t have such disadvantages. And lastly, working out at home allows you to use your own shower without the fear of whoever else’s funk you may get on you, using public facilities.

So, there you have it. There’s some good and bad to either method of training. Working out from home or in a public facility has some good, some bad and some ugly. No matter which method you choose, it’ll likely cost you SOMETHING and will require a significant commitment on your part. ☯️


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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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