Home workouts can offer positive effects but going to the gym offers many unique benefits too. Discover the most important ones.
These benefits range from more specific ones like the availability and group feeling to more general benefits of exercising that deserve a mention.
Something you do want to keep in mind is that doing weighted exercises in suboptimal ways can also lead to injuries. Make sure you don’t overdo it either.
1. Gyms make it easier to strengthen muscles
Muscles are tissues that can adapt to the challenges you put them under. In simpler words, pressuring these with enough weight and repetitions can help you grow and strengthen your muscles.
In turn, bigger and stronger muscles offer a variety of health and visual benefits.
Going to the gym makes it easier to achieve these goals because of all the different types of weights and machines you can find there.
In a quality gym, you should have no problem finding weights that are light enough to start your fitness journey or weights that are heavy enough to help the most advanced lifters build muscle.
While it may already be clear from the things above, growing and strengthening is mostly a benefit of strength training. Cardiovascular workouts will typically not offer these effects.
2. Gym memberships make you more committed to exercising
Exercising is not only about having a good workout plan. You also actually have to follow this plan to get the benefits. This is often a big challenge due to the energy preservation instincts you have.
Interestingly enough thinking about your future self can activate neural activation patterns similar to thinking about another person (1).
This may be one of the reasons why it is easy to make plans for your “future self” but actually following these plans with your “current self” can be hard.
When you start going to the gym you will likely get a gym subscription that charges you whether you go or not. You can start this gym subscription when thinking about your “future self”.
You likely want to get value out of something you invest in. This financial commitment may give your “current self” that extra push needed to stick to your workout plan.
3. Going to the gym can help you achieve a healthy weight
While modern life makes this harder, you want to avoid being overweight since it involves a lot of negative side effects.
One way to do this is by working out more and for example going to the gym.
This helps because the gym workouts will burn more energy than more standard daily activities.
Additionally, if you lift weights with a smart workout plan, you will likely also build some muscle mass. This extra healthy weight helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
These things help you get to a point where your body uses up more energy than is coming in. In this situation, you will start burning energy stores like body fat.
One thing to note is that going to the gym is not always enough to lose weight. To achieve your goals, you may also need to make changes in areas like your nutrition.
4. Going to the gym can improve your mood
Your mood and thoughts are not only the results of what is going on inside of your head. The physical activities you do can influence these things too.
More specifically, going to the gym can benefit your mood in different ways.
Secondly, from all the health benefits of going to the gym, it should be clear that this habit can help you avoid a variety of negative conditions.
It is fair to say that these don’t particularly improve your mood.
Lastly, hopefully, you know that pleasant feeling you have after a gym workout from doing something that feels challenging but it is worth it in the long term.
5. Gym sessions can improve cardiovascular health
Your cardiovascular system which includes your heart, lungs, and blood vessels is one of the many areas of your body that can get stronger by challenging it in safe amounts.
In the gym, you will have no problem finding machines like treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, StairMasters, exercise bikes, etc. that make it easy to work your cardiovascular system.
Even lifting weights could train or at least preserve your cardiovascular system to some extent if these body parts are not the fittest right now.
6. Gyms make you less dependent on the weather
In most places around the world, the weather outside will not always be great for workouts like running, cycling, and walking.
Some types of weather are just uncomfortable to work out in.
Others may increase your risk of getting sick which can result in being able to do fewer workouts.
By going to the gym for your workouts you can avoid skipping workouts due to the weather or getting sick because of a workout in the rain.
If you really like this benefit but not necessarily the other ones, you can also consider investing in your own treadmill, other cardio machines, or home gym to be able to work out at home.
7. Gym group feeling may help you push further
Humans are social animals. Even if you are aware of this effect, you will feel an urge to do things similarly to the people around you.
This can be both negative and positive depending on what behaviors are enforced.
In the case of going to the gym, the group feeling from the people around you may push you to get in better workouts.
When going for a run alone it may be easier to do a softer version of the plan you thought about in advance.
This group feeling is likely especially strong during workout classes like spin classes or similar things.
That being said, even just the feeling of people around you lifting heavy weights may improve your own weight lifting session.
On top of that by going to the gym you have the opportunity to meet like-minded people who value some of the same things as you.
Do keep in mind that pushing yourself further is not always ideal either. There are physical limits you preferably don’t want to cross.
8. Gym workouts don’t have to take a lot of time
Many people think about hours of lifting weights or running on a treadmill when they hear the words gym workouts.
Even so, you can actually complete these types of workouts in relatively short amounts of time. Especially thanks to the heavy weights and intense gym machines available.
Working out just requires you to challenge your body enough to start repair and growth processes.
This will likely still take some time but even something like 30 minutes of lifting weights can offer resistance training beginners nice results.
9. Going to the gym can improve bone density
Not everyone is aware of it but your bones are actually also on the list of body parts that can get stronger by challenging them.
In turn, having stronger bones is helpful for reducing your risk of breaking them.
This is relevant for everyone, younger individuals too, because it becomes harder to improve bone density as you get older.
Instead, going to the gym right now and then preserving this extra bone density you built tends to be easier and more effective.
10. Gyms make it easier to add variety
Another reason why people fail to stick to a workout plan is that they miss variety. For example, running 5 miles a day is something many people consider to be boring.
Even smaller gyms usually have enough machines and equipment to make your workouts a lot more interesting. You can run one day, do bench presses the next day, and use the rowing machine on another.
In combination with benefits like the group feeling, this may make it so you find it a lot easier to stay consistent with your exercise plans if you go to the gym.
11. Gyms allow you to try out new equipment inexpensively
Even if you want to get your own workout equipment at home, choosing between all the options may feel like a potentially expensive guess.
One way to resolve this issue is by going to the gym a few times or for example getting a one-month subscription.
When you have tried out a few equipment options and workouts, you can then decide what things would suit your at-home needs the best.
You could also conclude that keeping your gym subscription for all the variety is the best option anyway.
12. You can sleep better after going to the gym
Good quality and duration of sleep are important for your mood, cognitive function, and just many areas of your physical health.
One thing to keep in mind about this benefit is that moving intensely and exposing yourself to the bright lights at the gym too close to bedtime can actually reduce your sleep quality and duration.
Ideally, you would complete your gym sessions at least two hours before you go to bed.
13. Gym sessions can improve coordination and balance
Lifting weights and most cardiovascular workouts at the gym require at least some extent of extra coordination and balance.
Challenging yourself in these fitness components to safe extents can help you get better coordination and balance.
This benefit of going to the gym is not only useful during your next workouts. Better coordination and balance can also make it easier to carry things around and avoid falling down while walking or climbing stairs.