There was a time when fitness was an exclusive reward of going to the gym. It was an idea that saw the masses signing up for all manner of membership packages, regardless of the now apparent limitations of the gym concept. One of these limitations, it transpires, is that we are all just too time stretched to fit regular gym visits into our daily routine. We start work early, and finish late, and when we don’t we probably want nothing more than to enjoy our homes, family time and any vague embers of a social life that the aforementioned work pressures haven’t yet extinguished. Subsequently, the gym is not the catch-all solution to an active lifestyle that it once was. Of course, there are many people for whom their monthly investment pays off, but nobody can deny the current trend towards a more flexible, home-based approach. With the likes of Kayla Itsines having converted hoards of long failing gym frequenters to the garden fitness approach, the face of fitness has now changed dramatically. The days of pounding the treadmill in hamster wheel fashion have been replaced by the considerably ‘greener’ (literally and figuratively speaking) workouts of the present, and most likely the future.
These flexible home-based routines - defined by quats, lunges, burpees and the like - are popular primarily for the convenience they pose.
The workouts can be done anytime, anywhere... and best of all, they’re free. First thing in the morning or last thing at night, squeezing in a workout is as simple as flinging open the back door. As such, the trend has removed most of the genuine timing stumbling blocks to exercise that the majority of us have encountered at some point. Not only this, they’ve resolved one other very important deterrent. Self-consciousness. If there’s one thing your garden offers you that the gym can’t, it’s privacy. It’s an attractive prospect, particularly when exercise is sought for self-esteem that - ironically - can be suppressed further by some gym environments.
Through these unique qualities, garden workouts have created the potential for consistency. This, in itself, is as important as the workout content itself, which in most cases is inspired by the popular HIT approach. It’s fast, energetic fitness, fuelled by fresh air and freedom. Freedom in attire...and to perspire. From messy sweats, to sweaty mess... the choice is yours.
So, when it comes the DIY vs gym debate, it’s worth considering that the grass sometimes really is greener at home!