How to stay fit without spending a fortune on gym memberships
Aug 6, 2012, 8:16 a.m.
In case you hadn't noticed, the prices of gym memberships are out of control these days. Even with gym discounts, joining the local fitness club can cost you a small fortune. But what if you don't have the money to spare? Is your only option to let yourself waste away on your couch, wishing you had an extra couple of hundred dollars per month to blow on a gym membership you'd probably seldom use? Of course not. There are dozens of ways that you can stay in shape and save money. Here's a short list of our favorite cheap ways of battling the bulge and building muscle.
- Go for a walk. In fact, go for a lot of walks. If you can work it into your daily routine to hit the pavement and put one foot in front of the other, you'll be doing both your body and your bank account a great favor. Walking may not seem like much, but it's one of the most effective exercises you can take up. Outdoor walking is also far more effective than indoor treadmill walking, in that you're also getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D from exposure to the sun. Good luck getting that at the local gym.
- Do push-ups and sit-ups. You don't need a gym membership and access to fancy equipment to perform two of the most basic exercises there are -- all you need's a floor and some slight padding or cushioning for your bottom. Give either one a try and you'll soon find out how incredibly effective these traditional exercises can be.
- Mow the lawn. You may already do this, and if so, kudos to you. But you'd be surprised at how many people there are out there who spend another small fortune for lawn care services, while bemoaning the fact they don't have enough spare cash to keep up with the high prices of gym memberships. But if you fire the lawn help and take it up yourself, you can kill two birds with one stone and save even more money.
- Make your own weights. You've probably seen old how-to exercise manuals that depict people lifting heavy books to help build muscle. Or lifting small buckets of sand. If so, you've seen evidence that even the old school experts don't believe it's entirely necessary to have access to barbells and dumbbells to build muscle. As long as you lift properly to avoid injury, there's virtually no limit to the household items you can use to build your muscles. Try it out -- you might be surprised how effective curling a pair of encyclopedias can be.
Whether you end up paying through the nose for a gym membership or decide to take the DIY method to superior health, it's always important to get a physical and talk to your doctor before embarking on a new regiment. Not only will the doctor give you an idea of the level of exercise you're capable of, but they can also offer some good advice on how to avoid injury. After all, the surest road to getting further out of shape and deeper into debt is the unintentional injury that can sideline you from physical activity and suck your wallet dry. Whenever possible, avoid this. You'll be happy you did.
Content Provided by Spot55.com