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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Can you afford to workout?

Really, we can't afford not to work out. Not only is it good for our physical well being but it plays a big part in our mental health as well.

Furthermore, if you have kids, staying fit will help all of us stay a little more sane, not only because we will have more energy to play with our lovely offspring, but it keeps us from having emotional breakdowns (at least reduces the chances) to boot.

So, when it comes to finances, can we afford that gym membership? The fees can go from one extreme to the other. Some places may have relatively inexpensive monthly dues, but they require you to pay an enrollment fee and sign a lengthy contract. Furthermore, once you do sign up, do you ever go?

So take your pick and try at least one of these suggestions!
  • Take out your old workout DVDs and have at it. Free.
  • If you have Netflix, there are a variety of workout videos you can watch instantly (some videos I like are Cardio Sculpt-30 min. and 10 minute yoga series-50 minutes broken down into 10 minute sections). 7.99 a month for online instant access. Update 9/13/12: recently I noticed there are no longer workout videos on streaming Netflix! I complained, hopefully enough people will- it was a great deal!
  • Walk with a purpose. Walk your kids to the park. Walk to the grocery store. Walk your dog. If you are accomplishing something else while exercising, its easier to find the time. Free.
  • Clean your house. Set a timer for 20 minutes and do the hard-core cleaning tasks that take some energy like scrubbing bathtubs or floors, sweeping, vacuuming etc. Free.
  • Be a guest at a friends gym. Free.
  • Pay for individual workout classes. There are many fitness clubs and community organizations that allow you to pay for one class at a time. Usually between $5 and $15. 
  • If you want to stick with an official gym membership that's fine too... just make sure you go (and it fits into your budget)! If you sign up for a new membership, ask to see if you can have a no-commitment month trial and then you can see if it will work into your lifestyle.
The key to keeping up with staying fit is to do exercises that you enjoy (or don't even notice you are doing) and to mix it up. So maybe you do a video one day, take a walk the next, and then go to a class once a week- whatever will keep you motivated!

1 comment:

  1. Great suggestions! I've actually used a few of these tips, but finally ended up making a gym membership fit into our budget. I had a large block of time to kill while my boys were at preschool - so if I want to get exercise in, this worked the best. Since we got a family membership, we are also able to take advantage of other activities like swim lessons, basketball, and soccer. It's not cheap, but the cost has been worth it so far.

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