Get A Work Out on A Budget

About six years ago when my husband lost his job, we sat down and looked through our bills to figure out what we could eliminate to save money. Top of our list was the membership to the local health club. We used it on a daily basis, but knew we could easily live without it. Yes, it took some getting used to, but here are some ideas I came up with.

There’s Always An Alternative
One of the main things I missed was using the club’s indoor track during the winter. Every lunch hour I’d head to the club with my Walkman and listen to music while I walked one or two miles depending on my schedule. After we dropped our membership, I searched around for walking DVDs and discovered that Leslie Sansone specializes in walking DVDs www.lesliesansone.com I can still wear my headphones and listen to music or an audio book and it’s almost like being on an indoor track again. Best part about it, I don’t even have to leave the house now.

Walking Clubs
And if you really love walking, you’ve got other options besides DVDs. Just about every mall has a time set aside for walkers, usually early morning so it’s great for a pre-work, workout. Well, as long as you don’t get tempted by all the goodies in the store windows as you walk by! I’ve even heard of some of the local malls starting stroller walking clubs where moms can get a workout while pushing the little ones in strollers. Mom gets to exercise, meet other moms, babies and toddlers get to be with mom and you don’t need to pay a babysitter. And who knows you could start a coupon swap group after you’ve walked around the mall.

Community Education
Another inexpensive way to get some exercise is to sign up for one of the community education classes most cities offer. They usually have instruction for everything from yoga to Pilates and at half the price of a health club.

There are some great exercise DVDs out there and right now, lots of them are on sale. My first recommendation, check your local library. Over the years, I’ve bought one too many I ended up hating, so now I check the library before I hand over my money. If you find one you like, try www.collagevideo.com you can preview them on the site, the service is great and you can even return DVDs… yes even ones you’ve opened! And just the other day I found this site www.consumersearch.com/exercise-video-reviews. You get some feedback on the DVD before you buy and it site lets you compare prices. And while you’re on the site, you can check out items in other categories too, such as Home and Garden, Health and Beauty.

Another Man’s Good Intentions
Is your gain. Yes, you’ll always find folks who buy exercise equipment with every good intention of using it on a daily basis and then, well, the novelty wears off. The equipment often takes on a second use, like a place to hang laundry! Drive by any garage sale and you’ll probably find some exercise equipment sitting there.

Going Out of Business
Unlucky for the business that’s going bust, but lucky for us. With more people cancelling their health club memberships these days, we’re probably going to see some clubs going out of business. Some of them will be selling their equipment and you might pick up a bargain or two.

Homemade Weights
Weights aren’t that expensive to buy, but if you’re really feeling the pinch, try using milk containers. If you go with the gallon size, you can add as much water as you want and work up to a heavier weight. I also know some people who use the supersized cans of vegetables.

Places to Buy Cheap Equipment
I’ve found good deals at Target and Marshalls. And best thing about looking for exercise equipment in the New Year is there’s plenty of choice and it’s usually on sale. Although this year, I wouldn’t be too surprised if sales are down and we see deeper discounts next month. So it might be a good idea to wait another month or two.

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