Those who exercise at home have many valid reasons for working out in their living rooms. However, being the founder of an online gym has shown me how home exercisers are sometimes scorned, as if activities that are easy for one person to do outdoors — like a casual walk around the block — or at a gym are accessible for everyone.
If you don’t have to exercise at home, you’re privileged
As I’ve been “checking in with my privilege” as a white woman living in America, it’s got me thinking about other things that people take for granted, like the ability to go for a hike or join a gym. Most of my clients have extremely limited access to those modes of obtaining exercise, so they turn to Fit2B and exercise at home.
Personally, exercising at home became my best option when I had my second child. Packing two kids up to go to childcare at the gym while I exercised or taught a group fitness class (or finding a consistent babysitter at odd hours during the day) was more hassle and stress than the workout was worth back then.
So I began doing my own thing at home, inviting others to join me. The rest is history here on Fit2B, where you can stream over 300 home exercise videos.
However, the struggle to find childcare is just one of many reasons my customers cite for needing to exercise at home. Allergies and accessiblity are also factors.
6 Reasons People NEED to Exercise at Home
Weather: If you live in a mild or moderate climate with weather that doesn’t drown you, scorch you, freeze you, or blow you away more than 3 months out of the year, that’s wonderful for you! I live in the Pacific Northwest where the smoke from the Columbia Gorge fire kept us indoors a lot last summer. In case you hadn’t heard, it also rains 8 months out of the year here, and — while I don’t mind a few walks in the rain — It’s not my favorite thing to do. I’d rather do a circuit workout indoors or some Pilates, Yoga, Kettle Bell Training, Floor Aerobics … With our videos, the options are virtually endless!
Accessibility: If you live in an area where it’s safe for you to walk on smooth sidewalks or manicured trails, you are blessed. It’s not the norm. I am privileged to have a long, gravel driveway; however, the main road has blind corners and zero shoulders, and it’s dangerous for me to walk on it. I have to drive miles to find safe trails or sidewalks. What about people who don’t have cars, whose streets are unsafe, who rely on bus transportation, who don’t have parks just around the corner?
Disabilities: While many gyms and neighborhood sidewalks are becoming more accessible to those with disabilities, most weight equipment is still unusable to someone in a wheelchair, and most cardio equipment doesn’t accommodate gait abnormalities, limb-length discrepancies, or many other physical needs. Fit2B is utilized by many who prefer to do chair exercises at home where they are comfortable, no one stares nor points, and they don’t have to trip over crowded equipment. We also have closed captioning for the hearing impaired now!
Allergies: Not even the strongest allergy meds make it possible for me to be outside during hay fever season. Just walking from my house to my car can send me into an eye-watering sneezing fit. While I have a strong pelvic floor that can withstand 17 sneezes in a row, many women cannot, and not everyone wants to live on meds. I’d rather turn on my air purifier and exercise at home.
Sensitivities: Different than allergies, I have many clients who use Fit2B to exercise at home because they are sensitive to bright lights, clanging sounds, industrial cleaning products, fragrances, and perfumes. Going to the gym can spell disaster for someone with sensory processing disorder (SPD) or for people whose systems cannot process those stimuli. Subjecting themselves to those things creates sensory overload and can require days of recovery.
Kids: I already mentioned this as it pertains to me, but this may be the biggest thing for most parents. If you’d rather spend 20 minutes loading and unloading kids just for an hour of personal alone time at the gym, and that works for you, great! However, most moms I talk to find it less stressful to exercise at home — even if their kids are climbing all over them. To these mamas, I recommend playing one of our kids’ workouts first, then it’s “Mommy’s turn” while the kids have a snack or play with a special basket of toys.
And many LIKE to Exercise at Home
Many of my clients choose to exercise at home — not because they’re forced to or because they can’t get out safely and comfortably — but because they enjoy it. They like working out in their living rooms in their pajamas with their kids copying their motions. They like stretching in bed at night. They like using their own countertops as a ballet barre.
They have discovered they can get just as good of a workout with Fit2B in the privacy and security of their homes as they can at a gym, and no strangers will be staring at their butt. No one else will be hogging or sweating all over the equipment — slobbering, yes; sweating, no. No one will tell them they can’t work out with their baby in a carrier. No one will charge them random fees.
Chime in and tell us what you think!
Is exercising outside the home or inside the home easier? Do you agree people can get just as good of a workout at home as at the gym? What are your barriers to working out at home?
2 thoughts on “In Defense of Those Who Exercise at Home”
Yes! I had a gym membership waaaaay back before kids, and had the same issue with random fees (plus just not having privacy to work out). Even without those costs, with 3 little ones now, loading us all up to go work out would be ridiculous. In our previous neighborhood, there were no sidewalks, so bike rides required a trip to a park. Now we live 30-40 minutes away from the nearest gym. We’re in the country, so walks/bike rides are less susceptible to traffic, but we currently have other issues (like a female mountain lion and her young cub coming down off the mountains due to drought and being seen roaming around here which makes the coolest parts of the day the most dangerous for my boys to be riding bikes while I’m pushing a stroller).
All those details to say that Fit2B works so much better for us. I can squeeze a workout in (at any time too!) without it being a huge production or sucking up half of our day, and I can do it freely with my kids thanks to the more tasteful presentation of the videos compared to some of my other workout DVD’s. My boys love the Fit2B kids videos too, and always come running when they hear the opening music, wanting to know if I’m putting on a “mommy” workout for me or a “kids” workout for them.
I love exercising at home— it saves me so much time and hassle. When I was a part of a gym, it was a 20 minute drive there and back, and I had to pack up my shower supplies and clothes ahead of time. So for an hour long Pilates class, it took about 2.5 hours of my day. This is way better!