I've always maintained some kind of exercise routine through the years. I feel like I've tried it all--gym memberships, exercise videos (remember Tae Bo or P90x?), spin classes, running groups, you name it and I've probably tried it. The only consistent exercise I've stuck with through the years was running. Then eight years ago I was introduced to a boot camp style workout. I was hooked. Not only were the workouts amazing, but I met an awesome group of ladies who shared my passion for health and fitness as well as all the ups and downs that come with trying to live a balanced life.
So when the pandemic started and gyms shut down, I was a little lost. The weather was nice so I began walking and jogging outside but I could not bring myself to do a workout over zoom, by myself at home. It just wasn't the same as being in person. But after about a month, I could tell that I needed to figure something out before I lost all my motivation for exercise. So my husband and I started working out together in the garage. I bought the few weights I could find online and a couple other key items that I was used to using for my workouts--jump ropes, kettlebells, a bosu ball, slam balls, etc. It was nice to have that workout time as a couple. With our busy lifestyle pre-pandemic, it had been years since we had shared workouts.
After a couple months of this, we really got into setting up our garage as a home gym. We already had the Peloton bike and for Christmas, we added the treadmill (I am in love, love with this treadmill!). We use the Peloton app for any type of workout we need. We continued to search for dumbbells in different sizes (this has definitely been a challenge with the supply shortage of dumbbells!) and bought a rack to store them. We put down exercise mats for floor workouts. It's not fancy, but we have everything we need for many great workouts!
I still hung on to the membership for my boot camp style workout. It was hard for me to imagine letting go of something that has become a part of my life the past several years and I was hopeful that I would be able to return to the gym before long. But month after month passed and even though the gyms opened back up in my area, I just could not see myself going back while the virus was still so prevalent. And eventually, it just didn't make sense to continue paying a full gym membership for a home video--especially after investing in our home gym. So I gave it up and discovered that I am much happier having made that decision. Here are a couple of the benefits I discovered:
I work out longer. No travel time back and forth to the gym gives me more time to exercise.
I can workout any time of the day. This flexibility gives me no excuses to miss a workout!
I can customize my workouts based on how my body feels. I have been told over and over again through the years to "listen to your body". Well, say that all you want, but when you are part of a gym that sets the workouts, you are beholden to that workout for that day. At home, if I have scheduled a leg day but maybe I did a long run the day before, I can switch it up and not have to miss a workout.
I no longer spend time worrying about what I am wearing. If I have a hole in my workout pants, well, there's no one to see! And if something I'm wearing is not comfortable during my workout, I can run in and change and not have to suffer through it.
The only real downside I have experienced is the loss of my community of support. I was unsure what to do about this until I decided that I was going to create my own community of support! I set up a private Facebook group for my local friends who also have health and wellness goals. We share workouts, recipes, challenges and just the general ups and downs of life. We even started meeting up for a walk once a week. And my friends from the gym? We have a continuous text thread that keeps us connected as we have all made different workout choices during this time.
Now the only question left is where to park the car?!?