Save or splurge on… fitness
FROM high-tech gyms with state-of-the-art equipment, to 20-dirham department store free weights, the average UAE resident has numerous options to stay fit.
Going for a run is a nice – and free option – when the weather is pleasant, but for the remaining eight months of the year, this alternative may not be viable.
If you need discipline and focus, then splurging on a gym membership, or even personal training sessions, might be a good personal investment. Eventually, it boils down to choosing the best environment that matches your personality, because that’s what guarantees a long-term interest in fitness.
Should you tighten your budget or loosen the purse strings when it comes to staying in shape? cashy weighs in.
The great gym debate
The gym might be the best option for people who need a charged environment to get them pumped up about working out.
Being surrounded by fitness-focused individuals, helpful trainers and scheduled classes could give wayward fitness-wannabes the direction they need.
If you get bored by routine and have a tendency to get stuck in a workout rut, then joining a gym might help shake things up and keep you on your toes.
Bigger gyms with international chains usually offer discounts that can push down membership fees to roughly AED 300-500 ($82-136) per month. Personal training costs extra, but perks like access to the steam room or sauna are part of the package.
:) The environment could shake you out of your laziness or boredom, especially after seeing row after row of fitness equipment and motivated people reaching their goals.
:) The classes offer varied workouts.
:) Exercise machines at gyms are more advanced, unlike their at-home versions. Weight training at gyms also allows users more flexibility to push themselves, as higher weights are available on demand.
:) The steam room, sauna, lounge area and other ancillary services can help you unwind and relax post-workout.
:( Gyms are expensive.
:( If you’re shy or uncomfortable with exercising in front of people, then joining a gym would just be a waste of time and money. Some new members may also feel discouraged if they compare themselves to hardcore patrons of the gym.
Some workplaces offer employees free access to their onsite gym. Woohoo!
:) It’s free!
:) It’s easier to incorporate exercising into your work schedule.
:) You can easily enlist workout buddies by convincing your workmates.
:( You’ll need to tote around a change of clothes and gym shoes every time you go to work.
:( It may be just short of a nightmare for some people to be seen as sweaty and disheveled in public post-workout.
No place like home
The privacy of your own home can provide the perfect environment if you are uncomfortable with working out in front of other people.
:) At-home workouts can be varied and fun, if you switch workouts before they get boring.
:) It’s inexpensive to exercise at home. You could buy workout DVDs that are relatively cheap at department stores, or you could invest in exercise equipment like a cross trainer that can fall in a range of AED 600-1,500 ($163-408), depending on the features you’re looking for. Free weights for toning and a skipping rope for cardio are the best starter-kit must-haves.
:( You could get hurt if you take on a new workout without knowing the proper form or body positioning. Without a professional watching and spotting you, novices at home should not practice workouts like kickboxing or capoeira.
:( People who are generally lazy when it comes to fitness may need an extra incentive to get moving. It’s hard to take exercising seriously if your gym is just your bedroom.
A happy medium
Most higher-end apartment buildings have their own gym facilities.
:) Gym facilities are virtually free, since the fees are already factored into rental.
:) You can also save the time you’d usually waste on commuting.
:( Proximity to your comfort zone (read: couch) can dissuade those who need that extra push to get started.
Pic credit: photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
How do you like to work out and how much does it cost you? Share with cashy...