It’s safe to say that people are cutting back on spending lately. It’s not extremely noticeable to me because I started to live on my own about right at the time that the economy started doing terribly. My friends and I are much more conscious of money now, but for us it has more to do with having low paying jobs and tons of bills rather than the economy specifically. However, we’ve been hearing for over a year about people eating out less, spending less on clothes, gifts etc. You can even see it at your favorite retail stores where sales seem to be more common than ever before. Today I received an article on Twitter from Fitness Magazine about how people are ALSO spending less on exercise. Yikes! And not just spending less, working out less because they are too busy. Double Yikes!
This is very scary to me because:
- We are not at a place in society where we can afford to be less active. We are already not active enough!
- The busiest people I know are working moms and dads. If they stop working out, what kind of example are we setting for the kids?
- Exercise is a major stress reliever. If we find the time, we will feel better.
All of this being said, I know we have to pay our bills and the gym is not a reality for some people. So here are my best get fit, without breaking the bank tips J
- Shop around for the cheapest gym around. Do you know that some Planet Fitness gyms are only $5 per month? One of my friends belongs to a gym where she was able to negotiate a price of $15 a month. Particularly if a gym does not post their rates, walk in and meet with someone in membership. Give the price you can spend (or a little under) and refuse to go over. Promise yourself if they try to talk you up you’ll walk out.
- Invest in some fitness equipment for your house. When I moved, I bought myself a treadmill that was about $500. Sure, it was a lot to spend at the time but it’s about the same as an average gym membership for a year. Use it for 5 years and you’ve saved $2,000! If you don’t want to make the commitment to a big piece of cardio equipment, try free weights or resistance bands instead.
- Buy a couple of good DVDs. Get some DVDs you can do in your house. Working out at home is not just a money saver, but also a time saver! I recommend any of the Jillian Michaels dvds including The 30 Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones.
- Better yet, get exercise DVDS on demand for free! If you have Verizon Fios or Comcast you are already paying an arm and a leg for your cable/internet, no need to spend on the gym too. Go to your On Demand section for a HUGE selection of Fitness DVDs from Exercise TV. Any possible exercise you enjoy whether it be dancing, aerobics, pilates, yoga etc- you will find in this section I promise you.
- Try online videos for free. Yoga Download has tons of free 20 minute yoga videos that are a great way to start the day! You can also go to Exercise TV online and find some free videos if you do not get On Demand.
- Join a team. Were you an awesome basketball player in high school? Why not see if there is a team in your town that you can join? Usually the fees for these teams are not too bad, and you will have the added motivation of people counting on you to come. Even if you weren’t a star athlete when you were younger, you can always take lessons. Last year a good friend and I took tennis lessons through our Rec department. It wasn’t too expensive and it was fun.
- Go outdoors! Yes I know, I live in Boston and getting outside in January is not always a great plan. However, I do outdoor exercise whenever I can. In the spring/summer/fall this includes running, walking, bike riding, rollerblading, jumping rope, and swimming. In the winter, you can ice skate on outdoor ponds (carefully), cross country ski, learn to snow shoe…the possibilities are endless. Winter activities do take some equipment, but ask around, you can always borrow from friends.
Do you have any tips for cutting costs but still keeping your exercise routine alive? Send them my way! I'm now off to spinning class- even though I have crazy days on Mondays, I won't skip it! Gotta practice what I preach!