Friday, September 28, 2012

The Cheapskate's Gym Membership

Source / Shoes by Asics
Do you want to work on your fitness, but feel overwhelmed and hardly know where to start? This one's for you.

See, I've always been one of those skinny people. Sounds great, but it does have its drawbacks. It means that I have never really felt motivated or interested in exercising.

Seriously, despite my twiggy appearance, I was the girl in high school Phys. Ed. who staggered across the mile finish line about ten minutes after most everybody else, and was gasping like a beached whale at the end.

In short, I've always been pretty pathetic. Lately, though, I've started to run the gamut on strange and mysterious health problems. And while I don't think lack of exercise has anything to do with it, still, it couldn't hurt to make some healthy lifestyle changes.

But how do you enter the world of exercise and fitness regimes? Gym memberships? Too much money. Home gym? No room in the apartment. And I don't know about you, but the idea of running. . .outside. . .where, like, people can see you. . .does not sound like a winner.

Well, after some thought, I have figured out the magic formula to a cheap and unembarrassing start in fitness.

Here's what you need:

  1. Legs.
  2. A DVD player -- even your laptop will do.
  3. A library  card.

Okay, if I can do this, anybody can. Here's how:
  • Browse your library for workout DVDs. I bet they have at least a few yoga and aerobics ones. This way you can try out whatever piques your interest and switch things up without the financial commitment of buying a bunch of DVDs you might not even like.
  • Incorporate fitness into your daily routine. Are there errands you could walk or bike for instead of driving? I've got a bank, post office, grocery store, and even the library within walking distance. I already walk these errands pretty frequently, but what if I always walked them and at a more challenging pace?
    • If you can't walk errands, you can still walk around your neighborhood. Trick yourself into doing it by thinking of it as "enjoying the weather" and getting landscape or exterior decorating inspiration from the neighbors.
  • Think of it as "forming new habits" instead of "working out." I don't know about you, but the mere idea of working out makes me feel self-conscious.
  • Make easy rules for yourself and get into a groove. For instance, I'm going to take a brisk 20+ minute walk at least 3 times a week and try out 1 or 2 workout DVDs a week as well.

It may sound small, but it's better than nothing, right? 

And confession: Yoga isn't as easy as I thought it would be.

What does your fitness routine include?