How have you been doing with your New Year resolutions? The new year is a time when millions of people swear off their bad ways. No more junk food, no more lack of exercise. This is the year you will eat healthy and get in shape. At least, that is what many people tell themselves. And then they waste a lot of money by rushing out to join the gym.
Gyms are in business to make money, and one way they do this is by requesting (or requiring, depending on the gym), that people sign up for the year with automatic deposit. They know the majority of people who flock in to sign up in December and January won’t be there by March or April, but they will still be taking out your monthly payment each month.
If you want to avoid this fate, there are plenty of ways you can get in shape for much less than the gym charges:
1. Buy used exercise equipment. If you have some extra space in your house, why not buy your favorite piece of exercise equipment to use at home? Then you don’t have to get out in the cold to go to the gym, and you don’t have to fight the crowds or stand in line waiting for your favorite machine. When you are done exercising, you can take a shower in your own home. Bonus!
A quick look on my local Craigslist shows treadmills available for $50 to $100, and a nice exercise bike for $100. This sure beats how much you will pay for a one year gym membership, and don’t forget that you can negotiate the prices on Craigslist.
2. Buy exercise DVDs. There is no need to take expensive exercise classes at the gym. Simply buy a few exercise DVDs and work out at home. If you have a specific choice, you can buy it at the store, but if you are not fussy about the workout program, you can find exercise DVDs on Craigslist for as little as $2 to $4. At that price, you can buy several, and it will still cost less than one month at the gym.
3. Take a class through the Wellness Center at the local hospital. Many hospitals offer Wellness Programs that include classes on nutrition as well as exercise classes. Choices often include aerobics, yoga, meditation and tai chi. These courses often only cost a few dollars per session. Likewise, your local community center may also offer different exercise classes.
These classes are a great alternative to the gym because you still get to go out and socialize with other people. They are also a good choice if you lack the discipline to work out on your own at home.
4. Go for a walk. If you live in temperate area, you should be able to walk all winter long. Walking is easy on the joints and an exercise that most anyone can do. All you need is a good pair of shoes.
Getting in shape in 2013 is a great goal and one you should pursue. However, don’t feel obligated to make a full year commitment to the gym. There are plenty of other ways to get in shape and exercise that will only cost you a small investment, saving you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.