Once the New Year rolls around and everyone is done O.D.ing on sweets, detoxing and getting back into shape is a top priority.
Something that usually comes with the “losing weight” resolution is a gym membership. I’m lucky that I have a membership to the local YMCA which is relatively inexpensive compared to the other gyms in town. It also offers a discounted membership for state employees so this is a major bonus. Ever since I started on my personal journey out of debt I have asked companies if they offer discounts. Shockingly a lot of places do!
Did you know that many cell phone, gym, car rental and hotels companies offer discounts to government employees?
So while I haven’t gotten a cost of living pay increase through the state in about 5 years getting these little discounts here and there is a nice surprise.
Coming right out and asking for a discount isn’t something I did before the Spending Fast because I thought it was kind of embarrassing and I didn’t want to be The Cheapskate. Now, I want to be the cheapskate. It’s my thing. I own it now. Now, it’s totally okay with me. Well, I take that back. Sometimes, it IS embarrassing but I always figure it’s worth asking even if an occasional dirty look comes with it.
Today I’m sharing my top tips on how to stay healthy and fit without a gym membership, because it is possible.
Get in Shape Without the Gym
1. Run a stairwell Sometimes, if it’s really cold outside or if I just don’t want to make the trek over to the gym I’ll take a couple of puffs off my inhaler and I grab my old iPod to start running the 5 flights of stairs in my building. I’ll do this for about 20 minutes and it’s an amazingly good work-out. I end up sweaty after which isn’t super desirable but it’s doable because it turns out that feeling swampy grows on ya.
2. Utilize this exercise-finder site here This site allows you to click on the body part you want to work and then gives a list of exercises to do for that specific area. These exercises can be done at home. If you don’t have weights fill old milk jugs with water and lift those. Actually, I’ve heard that if you lift unsteady weights it helps to build the little muscles and produces nice results because your body has to work to balance the unsteadiness. Or, maybe I just made that up.
3. Run around your neighborhood It’s easy to forget about this one during the winter-time (I know I do) because I automatically find myself thinking, “It’s too cold. I don’t want to be cold.” Pull on the long-johns and hit the road. Also, the days are starting to get longer again and that means more day-light after work.
4. Play with kids If you have kids or know some kids play hide and go seek with them, wrestle, run around something circular (does every kid love that?). Tap into their endless energy and break a sweat.
5. Shovel snow If you’ve ever shoveled you know what I’m talking about with this one.
6. Get a jump-rope Just about every time that I’ve gone to the thrift store there has been a jump rope there. Jumping rope burns an amazing amount of calories.
7. Shoot hoops Running up and down the court is crazy good cardio.
8. Utilize Rec Centers While this tip isn’t completely free it’s awfully close. Most cities have recreation centers that are even cheaper than the YMCA. They’re definitely worth looking into.
9. Take advantage of free classes Here in Denver (they also have locations in California, Illinois, Minnesota, and Oregon), CorePower Yoga offers free hot-yoga classes throughout the week. These free classes are always a little busy so just get there early to secure a spot.
Do you have a tip that isn’t included in this list? If so, I’d love to hear it!