Every new year, people resolve to lose weight and get in shape.
One of the ways they often try to do this is to join the gym.
If you go to any gym around the country in January, you will notice that it is packed with well-intentioned people; however, come March, what does that same gym look like?
Suddenly it is much easier to use the equipment because there are fewer people waiting in line.
Resolving to lose weight and/or get in shape is an excellent goal for the new year.
Not only will you feel better, but you could likely save your future self money by proactively taking care of your health and avoiding high medical costs in the future related to excess weight.
However, joining the gym and spending a great deal of money upfront is not necessary as there are many other, more frugal, ways to lose weight and get in shape.
Alternatives to Joining the Gym
Get an exercise partner.
One of the best ways to make sure you remain committed to your goal of getting in better shape is to find someone to exercise with you. Agree with your accountability partner how many times per week you will exercise together and for how long. Then, keep the appointment religiously.
This is time for you to take care of yourself.
Follow an exercise DVD.
There are plenty of exercise DVDs available that cover all types of exercise at many different levels. You can choose from yoga, pilates, aerobics, boxing, the list goes on.
If you really want to save money, buy these used on Craigslist or eBay.
[Glen: I've found excercise programs on-demand through my cable company as well as through Netflix as well.]
Create your own home exercise routine.
Prairie Eco Thrifter regularly posts exercise routines to do at home in her series, “Skip the Gym: Sweat at Home.” You could follow a plan like this or create your own.
Buy exercise equipment.
If you would like to go to the gym primarily to use the treadmill, for instance, why not skip the recurring expense of a gym membership and instead buy the treadmill for your own home?
Chances are if you put out the word, a friend or family member has one in their basement gathering dust or in their bedroom serving as a clothes rack.
If you don’t know someone who wants to get rid of the exercise equipment you need, check out Craigslist or Freecycle.org.
This is the most basic form of exercise that almost anyone can do effortlessly. If you live in a moderate climate, you can start walking outdoors now. Those in colder climates will have to look for alternatives such as mall walking.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to join the gym, but too often, people excitedly sign up for a one year membership, spend hundreds of dollars, and then discover a month or two later that they don’t like going to the gym or it is too much hassle to drive there before or after work.
If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape, try some of these alternatives at home first.
If you are dedicated and stick with your exercise routine, then consider joining the gym. Even if you put off joining for a few months, you will save yourself the crowds and the chance that you won’t be as committed to your new lifestyle as you thought.