Sunday, August 4, 2013

Excercising Without Breaking the Bank

Even though this is going to be a weekly blog, I thought I'd post another one today to get the ball rolling a little.  This topic has been recently on my mind as I just got rid of my gym membership, looking to save a little money.

As a dancer, it's important to keep in shape.  All though college I was taking dance classes so it wasn't that difficult.  But now that I'm out of college, regular dance classes is a little too expensive for me.  Not being a big fan of running, I signed up for my local 24 Hour Fitness.

Now don't get me wrong, I think gyms are great.  You can exercise in any weather, you can easily listen to music or watch TV, there's all kinds of different machines to help you, and my favorite thing is the variety of classes that make exercising a little more fun.

But this summer, as funds were getting a little tight, I decided to look at how often I was using these amenities.  My membership was $40 a month.  It's not that bad when you consider all the perks you get.  But I realized I was barely using it.  I decided to drop the membership and try jogging outside, there is a park nearby me that has a nice path.  (I mean really nearby, my neighbor's fence lines it and there's even a gate in their fence directly into the park which I can use.  Silly not to).

Here's 3 Cheaper Alternatives to Exercising Without Paying out the Wazoo:

jogging in a park1. OUTSIDE
      The is the approach I'm taking.  Like I said, there's a nice park really close to me so it only takes a few minutes to get there.  Exercising outside is much faster because you don't have to take the time to get in the car to drive to the gym.  It also seems to be a better workout.  I found myself huffing and puffing, something that never happened in the gym.  Also it's totally and completely FREE!  But, it is weather permitting.

        So this option might not be available to everyone, but usually there are all kinds of different exercise classes that you can sign up for.  While this isn't free, when you consider the costs, in California the fees are $46 a unit, each class is generally 3 units, that's $138 for a whole semester.  Generally a semester is 16 weeks which makes it $34.50/mo, yes it's not that much cheaper than the gym membership, but it is cheaper and if you're like me, you need an incentive like a regular scheduled class to bring you there, so you'll probably get more out of it.

        This is something I was wanting to do a few years ago but the cost of at home equipment was just too much.  I was thinking an exercise bike would be great, I could sit in front of it while watching TV and just go for hours!  At the time, the bikes I was looking at were around $300.  I see now on Amazon that you can get some nice ones for just under $100.  Now it sounds like a big expense, but either way you can figure that it only takes 7 and a half months of gym membership to add up to $300 and a measly 2 and a half to get to $100.  And this you can keep forever!

***Don't laugh but I also got the Shake Weight Pro and it's a great workout for your arms!***

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