My Frugal Frugal Ways

December 18, 2007, 12:24 pm
Filed under: exercise

80% of the people with gym memberships would actually be money ahead if they had opted to pay the day use fees instead. My church is holding their annual rummage sale and they asked that no one donate exercise equipment. Seems that all that equipment really does is give the UPS driver a good work out as he delivers and subsequently picks up the returns. Neither infrequently used gym memberships nor home exercise equipment that sees more service as a coat rack are typically frugal choices. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work for some. Obviously, 20% of those with health related memberships make good use of them. And I’m sure there is at least one person out there who uses his cross trainer religiously.

But companies make money selling you the latest and the greatest. They don’t want you to use the same exercise bike for 20 years. And you do have to renew your gym membership once per year so it’s really money spent with no tangible gain. What is a frugal person to do?

The first thing to decide what is realistic for you. If you’re shopping for exercise videos, lets you preview 743 different selections. I found that very helpful because, although exercising to salsa music sounded appealing, after previewing the video, I realized it wasn’t for me. That doesn’t mean it won’t be beneficial for others. It’s just not me. So shop around. Try various inexpensive methods of getting your exercise. I have a friend who has a piece of exercise equipment sitting in her house which she rarely uses. But she loves walking and gets lots of exercise doing it.

We have some pretty outrageous winter weather here so most of my exercise needs to happen inside the house. I bought a stability ball, a set of weights, a good pair of shoes, three exercise DVD’s and an inexpensive step aerobic thing which came with its own DVD. My favorite DVD includes 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of strength, and 20 minutes of flexibility. If my time is limited, I do the cardio and 10 or so minutes of the strength. I rotate the four DVD’s so that I’m doing a pretty strenuous workout one day and one that is less taxing the next. Think I probably spent a total of $100 if you don’t include the shoes and I use it all. It’s made a huge difference in my energy level and, after three months, I’m quite a bit firmer. I can see that I’ll add to my collection from time to time to break the monotony but I don’t think anything will end up collecting dust or going to rummage sales.