When you think of starting an exercise program, joining a gym is probably the first thing that pops into your mind. They may seem convenient and moderately priced, but is a gym really your best bet? Read on for five reasons why you should think twice before signing up at your neighborhood gym.

There are more scenic places to exercise

Here in San Diego, we have the luxury of experiencing mostly nice days year-round. With this temperate climate, why would you want to sweat it out indoors when you could get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather? Go for a run, a hike, or check out one of Bootique Fitness’ Outdoor Boot Camp Style workouts. Bootique offers multiple convenient locations around San Diego and all of them take place in beautiful park settings. We guarantee the view will be better than most things encountered at the gym.

Community is key

When you decide to work out at the gym, it’s usually a solo venture, and studies show you are more likely to get the results you want when you have a workout buddy. Let’s face it, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get moving. Invite a friend to walk with you or try joining a group fitness class. When someone else is counting on you, it helps to keep you motivated to attend, plus the friendly competition will make you push yourself to work harder.

Avoid injury

The importance of having a knowledgeable trainer making sure you are doing each move correctly can not be understated. If you choose to go it alone and try out those machines at the gym, it may be hard to know if you are performing each move correctly, especially if you are new to exercise. Gyms do offer training services, but at a whopping $100 an hour, you better have some deep pockets in those Lululemon’s. Bootique offers small, personalized training groups at a fraction of the cost of a gym trainer.

Outdoor workouts = energy

In lieu of exercising under the florescent lights of the gym, head outside for your next sweat session. Studies have shown that being outside for just 20 minutes can give you the same energy as a cup of coffee. Add to that the energy boost you get from exercise and you may finally kick that caffeine habit to the curb.

No more waiting for machines

If you’ve ever been to a gym in January, you know how long the lines can be waiting for that piece of equipment to free up. Don’t let your workout agenda be derailed because you had to wait for the leg press for 30 minutes. Body weight exercises, such as squats and push-up, are great for your overall fitness and can be performed anywhere. Add some free weights into your routine and you will be in tip top shape in no time.

Where is your favorite place to work out?