I see where you’re coming from. A treadmill is only good for running, while a gym membership will allow you to use a variety of fitness machines and give you a better workout. However, a home treadmill might be a better choice, and here’s why.
It will save you money. Yes, a treadmill is a lot of money upfront, but then you’re done paying for it. A gym membership makes you pay anywhere from $20-150 every single month. They also have sign up fees, which is still a significant sum you have to pay upfront.
You can use it whenever you want. Gyms usually aren’t open 24/7, but your home is available to you any time of day. Even walking for 5 or 10 minutes occasionally is better for you than nothing. You won’t want drive all the way to the gym for a 5 minute run, but you can hop on the treadmill while you’re home from work for your lunch break or during commercials while watching TV.
Only 20% of Americans actually use their gym membership. “Use” is considered going to the gym 1 or more times a week. (source: Hidden Costs of Gym Memberships). A treadmill is in your home, so you don’t have to worry about buying a cute outfit to work out in, driving to the gym, and setting aside 1 hour to do a 30 minute workout. The trick is to actually use the treadmill a few times a week.
The choice is yours, but I recommend a treadmill. Yes you can always just run outside, but when the weather’s bad, a treadmill still works. A treadmill is also great for multitasking while running, like reading or watching a movie.
At the end of the day, you should choose the fitness option you will use. If a home treadmill will turn into a storage area, then don’t buy one. If a gym is something you’ll actually use, then go ahead and spend your money. But if you feel like either would get used, then save money in the long run and buy a treadmill. Just make sure you are doing some strength training too!