Just because you do not have the money to afford a monthly gym payment, doesn’t mean you should be a couch-dwelling blob with a penchant for Twinkies and reality TV marathons. Gyms are nothing more than businesses that know how to take advantage of people who are insufficiently motivated to get (and stay) fit on their own. They provide fancy equipment, group classes and personal trainers, all of which convinces you that paying their exorbitant membership fees is worthwhile.
The truth of the matter is that all a great workout requires is motivation and that, friends, is free.
Make Your Own Equipment
Go to your pantry right now. What do you see? Canned beans, pasta sauce and soup? Now look again. Those non-perishables are free weights and you can use them to get rid of arm flab, and you can use them to add resistance to abdominal exercises and squats. Throw two of those hand towels hanging in the bathroom (or, alternatively, paper towels) onto a wood floor, get in a forward plank and place one foot on each towel. Use your core to slide your legs toward your arms and you’ve created one of the best ab resistance exercises out there. Turn the dinning room chair (or your couch, a low table or counter) into a tricep press. Get your cardio by refusing to use elevators, volunteering for housework and running in place like you’re a maniac.
Use the Outdoors
If you take your training outside, the workout possibilities become limitless. The best treadmill has no moving belt or buttons, and it consists of your feet hitting the road and moving forward (or backward, if you’re feeling sassy and want to work the back of your quads).
No matter where you live, this great country of ours offers all kinds of terrain to explore on foot. From hiking the foothills to running on beaches, biking along familiar neighborhood blocks to stair-climbing at your local high school, even dodging people traffic on the streets of New York City (which gives you an added crunch to your core!) will get you in shape just as fast, if not faster, than a gym treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike.
Sweat to the Internet
Your personal trainer need not wake you up at 6 a.m. and yell commands in your face to be effective. In fact, you don’t need a gym trainer if you have the internet. Information on the web is sitting there, ready for you to consume it in whichever way you see fit. Every fitness print magazine has an online counterpart. Take advantage of all the workouts and tips available online and transform them into real world sweat. The added bonus is you will never get bored with your workout because you can Google up whatever you feel like, switching to something different whenever the mood strikes (or your butt burns).
Enough with those pricey gym meat heads; all you really need is the will power and motivation to press enter.
The gym is great when you can afford it. It does offer everything in one place and surrounding yourself with other sweaty, dedicated people often pushes you to try your best. However, if a gym membership falls out of financial reach, you have many fitness options at your disposal that won’t cost you a penny. Look around you and you’ll find that just about everything can be used as a workout tool. In the end, pushing against the limits of your own body is a workout that money can’t buy.
Do you have a gym membership? Why or why not? Do you work out on your own? Do you have any workout tips that you would like to share?