Friday, June 12, 2009

Get Fit for Free (or at least cheap)

Wouldn't it be nice to have a bottomless bank account and have a personal trainer wake us in the morning, bring us to our in-home gym to have really fun calorie burning workout? It's a fantasy for most of us and we can read about it in the tabloids and generally the outcome isn't for life.
The truth is activity is free! We thought creatively this week about how we can save money and still be active.

  • Take a walk. According to, the average cost of operating a car for one year is approximately $7,834. Walking is free. You should invest in a good pair of walking shoes, but other than that you can do it anywhere and it doesn't cost a dime.
  • Ride a Bike. As adults, people pay for spinning classes, stationary bikes or even expensive road and mountain bikes. The cost of operating a bicycle for a year is only about $120. Compare that to the cost of operating a car, and you’ll see an annual savings of $7,714. (bicycling really works the glutes too!)
  • Buddy up. Many people wish they could learn from and work with a personal trainer; unfortunately, the cost can be prohibitive. Instead of spending $50 or more per session, split the cost with a friend and work out together saving $1,300 or more. How about buying a couple of videos and swapping with your friends? You can also check them out from the library.
  • Be your own equipment. All strength training takes is a little weight to create resistance. Since resistance equipment can cost anywhere from $10 to $10,000, why not use the weight of your own body instead? Doing push-ups, sit ups, chin-ups and the straight arm hang are easy ways to work out using your own body weight.
  • Watch TV or the Internet. Fitness classes can cost up to $1,200 per year, but some of us have private, in-home classes waiting for us 24/7, right on our TVs and computers. Check out Netflix for instant play work outs or YouTube.
  • Be your own gardener. Working on your yard or cleaning up your neighborhood can be great for endurance and upper body definition. Yard work can earn you activity points values and save up to $1,800 a year when compared to the cost of hiring someone to do the yard work for you.
  • Clean up the clutter. Housekeeping can earn you activity points values, too. And when you’re not hiring somebody else to do the cleaning for you, you’re saving thousands of dollars.
  • Make your gym work for you. The costs of gym memberships vary widely with prices ranging from free to $1,200 per year. One of the suggestions this week was to do a trial "week, or day" at each gym. You can get at least a couple week's work out from that and get an idea if you really want to join.

No matter what activity you choose, having a specific goal in mind is motivating. Write down a fitness goal that you can do, is specific, measurable and fun. Work on this goal for the next 6 weeks and see your body change!

You CAN move more for less, but it is up to you!!

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