Alternatives to Buying a Gym Membership

Alternatives to Buying a Gym Membership

Advertisements of gym memberships abound. You see them on TV as smiling, obviously fit actors demonstrate the fun of running on a treadmill. You see them on billboards or in full-page magazine ads. They make you think gym workouts are necessary to achieve your fitness goals. Don't let them fool you. There are plenty of ways to get fit without buying a gym membership.

1. Home workout videos

Since Jane Fonda's first workout video was released in 1982, home workout videos have grown in popularity. Fitness videos rake in $297 million a year in the U.S., which indicates many people get fit at home. There are tons of workout video styles from which to choose, including:

  • Cardio
  • Tae Bo
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Strength training and toning
  • Dance
  • Zumba
  • Aerobics

2. Walking

Walking is an excellent fitness activity almost anyone can do — and you don't need special equipment to participate; in fact, many towns and cities have parks or walking trails you can use for free.

If you like company but can't interest a friend, you can join or start a walking club. Your walking buddies will offer friendship, motivation and encouragement when you don't think you can take another step. You can also find ads for walking clubs on bulletin boards at community centers or parks.

Remember, you don't need to walk for 30 minutes to an hour straight to reap fitness benefits. Research has shown that brief, intermittent walks add up to impressive fitness and weight loss results. Try these tips:

  • Take a stroll during your lunch break.
  • Walk the dog a few times a day.
  • Park at the end of the parking lot when grocery shopping.
  • Take a brisk walk around the mall.

3. Community recreational centers

Community Recreational Centers, such as the YMCA, have a number of advantages over the typical gym.

  • Membership fees are often cheaper, or they may even be free to local residents.
  • Fitness classes, such as yoga and aerobics, are often numerous -- if you don't like working out with a large group of people, you can select smaller classes or pay extra for private instruction.
  • Community centers often have a variety of workout options, such as indoor pools, basketball courts, racquetball and running trails.

4. Swimming

Swimming is a good workout activity that burns loads of calories without feeling strenuous. It also doesn't put strain on your joints. Many neighborhoods have community pools that residents can use when desired, usually without paying much (or any) money. Contact your local parks and recreation center for swimming classes; many of them offer also offer underwater aerobics classes.

You can obtain all the fitness benefits of a gym without purchasing a gym membership. Determine which types of activities fit your schedule and fitness needs the best, and then start working out. Here's to your health!


CATEGORIES: Home Workout, Physical Health, Fitness Tips, Swimming, Fitness Plan, Gym Membership, Alternatives