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Free or Affordable Fitness

While living in Vegas I noticed a very large and ornate building going up on our side of town.  From the prestige and ornamentation of it I guessed it to be a courthouse or temple.  But as it neared completion it revealed itself to be a gym.  That’s right, a sweaty, smelly gym, except it wasn’t.  This was the gym to end all gyms, a gem of a gym.  It had a four story climbing wall and a specialized juice bar, not to mention the full spa and massage rooms.  I had thoughts like “Where can I buy a diamond studded sports bra?”  There was an open house of sorts and I stopped by to see the alluring club.  This gym was so nice I could instantly see how it would coax me into exercising, that is until I saw a price list.  A monthly membership was just about double my rent.  I stopped, dropped, and rolled out of there!  The good news is, keeping fit does not mean an emaciated wallet.  Here are some ways to keep your health up and keep cost down.

Exercises using your own body weight.  Don’t underestimate good old lunges, push-ups, or even dance. Who needs fancy equipment when you can just use what God gave you?!  In fact, using your own body weight for exercise not only lets you improve specific muscles, it works your overall body, meaning you’ll have better core strength and balance. Sometimes going back to the basics is better than any current fad or fancy fitness fluff.

Making your own equipment using household items.  Need weights to lift? Guess what? Your house is full of heavy stuff you can lift. Weight is weight, be it a fancy weight set or simple milk jugs filled with water or, if you’re feeling strong, sand. Use those annoying phone books they seem to keep printing (who uses those anyway?) for stair steps. With a little creativity, you’ll realize you’re living in a gym already (hopefully with less sweat and a better smell).

Use public parks, trails, and other free amenities. Next time, instead of heading to the gym, go to a public park. You’d be amazed at all the ways to work out with the things you’ll find there. Try doing pull ups on the monkey bars (but first make sure there aren’t any kids around, you don’t want to be embarrassed and it’s just creepy). Many parks have walking/jogging trails you can use. The possibilities are endless. These days, many cities are implementing the new idea of adult fitness parks geared specifically for grown people to use for working out.  Free, fresh air fitness!

Play sports with out equipment.  If you think about it, there are plenty of sports that require little or no equipment to fully enjoy. Running, kickball, yoga, touch football, soccer; all of these can be done with little more that yourself and maybe a few friends. So, get out and play around a little. It’s the most fun way to get in shape.

If you do want to join a gym or fitness club there are ways to save some dough.  Remember your neighborhood YMCA—tons of great facilities and classes at a reasonable price.  Look into smaller clubs or specialty gyms.   Maybe you don’t care if the place has rows upon rows of elliptical machines if all you really see yourself doing is swimming laps.  Often universities will allow non-students to use their gym, track, fields, courts, pools, and weight rooms for a small fee.  Many great fitness spots have family passes so everyone in your house can get in on the action and makes it cheaper overall.  Check any websites local gyms may have, they will advertise any special offers there.

What do you do to work out for pennies? Any other tips for saving money while spending calories?

Article publié pour la première fois le 28/01/2014

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