If going to the gym is part of the fitness routine that works for you, that’s great, but plenty of people manage to stay in good shape without it. Sometimes a gym membership can help you stay motivated, but it also entails a few downsides.
Find out more about the biggest reasons to quit the gym, and decide for yourself if you’re ready to take charge of your own exercise routine outside of it. From saving money to other important benefits, here’s why you might do better on your own.
1. You Can Get a Great Workout Anywhere
Even if you’re used to the equipment at your gym, you can work your muscles in plenty of ways at home or outdoors. All you need to buy in order to make it work are a few kettlebells for strength training, because you don’t really need to be at the gym for cardio. Spending time exercising outdoors, from hiking to jogging, can be healthier, and maintaining an active lifestyle helps. Pilates, yoga and dance are all good options when you don’t feel like leaving your bedroom for a workout.
2. You’ll Stop Comparing Your Progress to Others
One of the best reasons to quit the gym is the fact that you’ll be less likely to compare your progress to other members and feel bad about yourself. When you stop comparing and just focus on being your best self, you’ll be happier.
3. You Can Reduce Distractions
Forget about watching TV while you exercise. Thinking about what you’re doing is always much better than a mindless, mechanical workouts. By working out at home or outdoors, you’ll also avoid other distractions, from the temptation of juice bars to other people chatting about their own problems.
4. You’ll Be Able to Redefine Your Goals
When you’re going to the gym, your goals are set for you. Even without comparing yourself to others, you’ll feel the pressure to get the perfect bikini body or to slim down and replace too much fat with muscle. One of the right reasons to quit the gym is to stop measuring your progress in numbers and feeling like you’re constantly underperforming.
More: When It’s OK to Skip a Workout
5. Avoid the Crowd
Unless you manage to wake up really early or prefer to work out late at night, you’ve probably dealt with gym overcrowding. It’s not pleasant, and you’re wasting time sitting in line and stressing about taking breaks that are too long because of the equipment availability.
6. Save Time
Even if you live close to your gym, you’re still wasting time packing your bag, changing, then changing back. If you decide to be your own trainer at home, you’ll be able to skip all that fuss and save a lot of time. Being able to set your own pace at home and to avoid waiting around for anything that’s out of your control is one of the most important reasons to quit the gym.
7. Gyms Are Designed to Keep You There
You can be healthy and fit on your own terms, but everything at the gym is designed to convince you that you absolutely need it. You’re not only being conditioned to push yourself too far to keep up, you’ll also convince yourself that since you’re a card carrying member, you don’t have to do much to stay active outside of it.
8. You Can Choose What Works Best for You
Paying for a class or for a personal trainer to get detailed information about your workout might be a waste of money. From fitness enthusiasts who post entire workout routines on YouTube to full-length exercise videos created by professionals, you can get everything you need online, for free, and that’s one of the most obvious reasons to quit the gym.
9. Significantly Reduce Health Risks
Even with the obligatory wipe down, gym equipment is crawling with germs, and the locker rooms and showers aren’t any better. From MRSA and athlete’s foot to folliculitis, there are plenty of germs to be shared at the gym.
See also: 10 Signs You’re Overtraining
10. Your Trainer Might Be Giving You Wrong Info
Experience is the most important thing a trainer can offer you. If you’re paying for a trainer that has only been in this line of work for under two years, you might not be getting quality advice. That can be one of the reasons to quit the gym, especially since you can access workout video tutorials from pros online in your own home.