That is the question!
And the answer is as individual as everybody.
For me, I can't work out at home. Too many distractions and I am easily distracted when I am doing something I know I should do but am really not in the mood to do. As a result, I have to go somewhere to work out.
Gyms can be intimidating, but they shouldn't be. Don't be put off by the hard bodies and sexy outfits, they are the exception and not the rule. The majority of the people at the gym either look like you or started out looking like you. Everyone has to start somewhere!!
Start slow, if you do too much the first sessions you will be so sore that you will never go back.
Most gyms give a free workout analysis with a trainer the first time you go. Be honest with the trainer, tell them what you want to acomplish, go thru the workout they put together. But, if something is too hard to do, tell them! Don't be embarrassed, remember they don't know you very well and they do make mistakes.
Cardio - Cardio - Cardio
There is nothing in the gym more important. What is cardio? Treadmills, bikes, stairclimbers. Todays gyms have the most sophisticated equipment with video, games, music, everything designed to make you forget you are doing something good for your body.
My general rule is:
Start with 20 min cardio (minimum), then at least 20 minute workout,followed by 20 min cardio(min). That takes one hour from start to finish, not so terrible. By the time you get through complaining you will be done!!
Keep it up!!