Mar 24, 2013

Gym membership alternatives

I've heard lots of friends say, "if I pay for a gym membership, then I'll work out". I've also heard many of those same friends say later "I went for a few weeks, but now not really. I'm gonna try to go again soon" or even other says "yes, I belong to a gym, but (they chuckle) I don't really go".

I read an article once that will probably stick in my brain for a long time. It was explaining how we can all work out regularly without joining a gym. The author talked about parking in the back of the mall parking lot to gain some extra steps, or intentionally taking the stairs instead of the elevator, basically integrating small forms of exercise in our everyday life. And while its a very nice idea, we all know that parking in the back of the grocery story parking lot will not transform our bodies and put us in shape, in fact, we'll probably just get frustrated when we realize how many groceries we now have to lug to our car. But, the concept of working out without a gym is a notable one.

Workout materials are actually integrated in many of the services we already have and use. For instance, there are workout programs on Netflix, On Demand, Hulu, and all over the internet. Not to mention the numerous app for your phone, tablet or desktop with all kinds of workouts.

I just started using the free Andriod App called c25k free. The app is based on the Couch to 5k website where a person who isn't at all in shape can do their walk/run program that will help them run a 5k in 8-weeks time. I like it because 1) It's free 2)It's not that challenging but challenging enough 3) It's a 30-minute workout. If I just go for a run, my workout is going be very short because I have no endurance. But this program has you walking for a period, running for a period, alternating back and forth, and slowly increasing the time spent running, so the time I spend working out is longer.

This app isn't a good fit for everyone, but there are plenty of options out there, and not just for running. There are apps for biking, yoga, kickboxing, you name it-there's an app for it. Here's one list of some highly rated workout apps to try. Didn't find what you're looking for? Simply Google "workout apps" or "free yoga apps", there is a lot of information out there.

Besides saving money on the gym membership, working out at home or near your home helps out in other ways. It saves you the time and gas it takes to go to the gym everyday. I really appreciate being able to start my workout the second I step out the door - it's a real time saver. I also enjoy being outdoors and breathing in the fresh air while I work out.

Now some of you may be chuckling at this point, and saying "hey, I don't need an app to run, I can just run" (my boyfriend included). Please, by all means, go for a run. I, like many others, do not have a passionate love for exercising and working out. I would love to be that person who can't wait to get up and run in the morning. Maybe I'll get there, but I'm certainly not there today. In the meantime, I will use my free app which will spoon feed me exercise. Sadly this is what I need to get in shape. But I think plenty of others are in a similar place.

Do you have a workout app that's worked for you? Please post it below in the comment section!

This post is linked to The Thrifty Home Penny Pinching Party.
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