Sure, we are all enjoying the holiday indulgences now, but in just a few short weeks, we will all have that moment when we face the scale. And the number probably won’t be one that we like. As soon as the holiday revelry is over, millions of people vow to get in shape for the new year. The fitness industry loves this because it means people will be joining the gym in droves and working out–for a few weeks.
This year, don’t be one of those who joins the gym only to go a few times. There are several low cost activities you can do this winter to shed the pounds and get in shape that don’t cost $50 or more a month.
Swim. Many local high schools open their pool to the public for lap swimming. I used to go three mornings a week for $2 each session. The pool was open for an hour and a half. You could save even more money by buying a season pass. Check with your local public school as well as community college and university. Another alternative is your local town recreation center. As a last resort, you could call the local YMCA, though you will probably have to pay considerably more to swim there on a regular basis.
Walk. If you don’t live in an area of the country where you are buried in snow during the winter, you can always walk. Plus, being out in the sun will do you good. If you do live in a cold weather climate, you could always walk at the mall. Plenty of people go there to get their exercise, and it is free.
Cross country ski. The equipment for cross country skiing is not cheap, but if you can find the skis and poles at a second hand sports equipment store or Craigslist, you can have fun and exercise on the cheap. Another alternative is show shoeing. I did this once in Vermont and, boy, was it a fun work out!
Join an exercise class. Exercise classes at the gym are pricey, but there are plenty of other places you can find exercise classes. Your local hospital may have a wellness center, and often there you can find weekly exercise classes for 4 months for as little as $50. Your local community center should also have low cost exercise classes ranging from yoga to Pilates to aerobics.
Exercise at home. Invest in a few exercise DVDs and do your workout from the comfort of your home. Before you buy any, you may want to see if your local library has any exercise DVDs that you can rent. Then you can see which exercises and instructors you like the best before you actually buy the DVD.
Many people resolve to get in shape for the new year, but you don’t have to rush to the gym to do so. Keep your cash in your wallet and use one of these low cost ways to get in shape. Even better, you don’t have to make a one year (or longer) commitment as you do with the gym.
What is your favorite frugal way to get in shape?