The debate: should you pay for a membership to a gym? Or should you buy some home fitness equipment, instead? Although this may seem like a simple question, it is mostly just a question of money. Both gym memberships and home fitness equipment can be very expensive. If you have the money, definitely buy both. If you do not … here is a quick guide to help you decide which is best for you.

Benefits of a gym membership:

· Exercising around other people can be highly motivating – it may just motivate you stay on that treadmill for 10 minutes longer (even if it is just because you do not want to look foolish getting off too soon).

· Gyms often have classes that you can drop in on. Again, there are benefits to working out with other people. Also, many of these classes are just as fun as they are good for you. And you can make it a point to visit the same classes day after day – it is a good way to get you to the gym.

· Gyms have multiple types of equipment and weights – a lot more than you would be able to fit into your home. At a gym, you have a choice between the elliptical machine, a treadmill, a recumbent bike, a rowing machine, etc. There are also multiple weight machines for you to use – each one focusing on a different muscle.

· The equipment is kept up-to-date. Your gym might have some of the newest and greatest exercise equipment available.

· At a gym, you can hire a personal trainer (and sometimes you can even get one for free!). A personal trainer can help you decide what sort of workout is best for your body type and to accomplish the goals that you have in mind. Some gyms even have nutritionists on staff.

· Some gyms have swimming pools and saunas, etc.

Benefits of home fitness equipment:

· You do not have to pay monthly or yearly fees. Once you buy your home fitness equipment, you have few other costs associated with it.

· You can hop right out of bed to go use your home fitness equipment – you do not need to make sure that your hair looks all right, and you do not need to waste time and money driving to the gym.

· You can put in a movie or watch whatever TV you choose to when you are exercising at home.

· If you start to feel sick, hungry, thirsty, or need to go to the bathroom during the middle of a workout, you can stop right then without feeling embarrassed.

· You can exercise at any time you wish, night or day.

· Many types of home fitness equipment can be easily stored away when you are not using it, so you do not have to worry about sacrificing space in your house.

All in all, the choice is completely up to you. There are many people who buy home fitness equipment, only to let it get dusty, sitting in the garage. Likewise, there are many people who buy year-long gym memberships and then find that they stop going after just a few months. No matter what, though, it is a good idea to have a few simple pieces of home fitness equipment at home – like 2 five or ten pound barbells – in case you ever feel inspired to work out but do not feel like leaving.

And if you find that you do not have enough money for either a membership or equipment for your home, why not go take a jog or a walk outside? Go on a hike, play in the park, or ride your bike. The most important thing is that you find an outlet to get some exercise, regardless of whether it is at a gym, at home, or outside.