With the holidays more than a month behind us, are your home exercise machines already gathering dust? While these machines can promote regular physical activity, your thighs won’t firm up by simply looking at your home gym – you have to use it!
In the United States, it is estimated that consumers spend approximately $4 billion a year on home gym equipment such as stationary bikes. However, a consumer survey found that nearly two out of five people use their equipment less than they had expected to upon purchasing it.
Behavioural psychologists are fascinated by the apparent contradiction between people’s desire to get in shape, the purchase of equipment and the subsequent failure to use it. For example, some studies indicate that purchasing exercise machines does not appear to have an influence on the likelihood that the individual will take up physical exercise. Then again, other research suggests that owning home equipment decreases how persistent people are at exercising regularly.
This does not mean that buying this type of equipment is a bad idea, but rather that owning an exerciser is not the most important factor in exercising. Above all, we must be motivated to commit to exercising and target an activity that we enjoy, while setting realistic and attainable goals. Having the body of a goddess is not a realistic goal; it would be better to set small targets such as bringing our body mass index (BMI) back into the “healthy” range. We must also be regular and persevere in our efforts.
Therefore, before investing in costly exercise equipment, take the time to think about whether solitary exercise really fits your needs. If you don’t crave or enjoy solitude, you may be better off joining a group activity or convincing a friend to walk with you. When in doubt, why not consult a physical fitness specialist? These experts can help you find the type of activity best suited to your fitness level, lifestyle and tastes.