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Get Physically Fit without Killing Your Budget

Gym memberships can cost over $1,000 a year. Add a personal trainer to that and you are spending thousands to get fit and stay that way. Granted, being physically fit is extremely important, but so is being financially fit. How do you balance the two? Consider some alternatives to the gym and personal trainer scene. Here are a few ideas to get you moving without overspending and also provide you with convenience of not having to travel to your gym if it’s a little far:

  • P90X: For under $150 total investment, you can see measured results in as little as 90 days. My friend Sedric has been using the popular fitness program for the last 60 days. He looks incredible and says he feels even better. The program includes 12 DVDs, an eating plan and access to an online community. The program can be purchased at www.beachbody.com.
  • Shape-ups: These revolutionary walking shoes by Skechers work wonders for an investment of less than $120. In addition to a regular walking plan, Shape-ups can improve your posture, strengthen your back, firm your buttocks, tone and firm your thigh muscles, firm your calf muscles and tighten ab muscles. My mother bought a pair and swears by them. Normally sedentary, she was attracted by the simplicity of the idea, and it has paid off for her. She walks almost daily now. Find retailers or order direct at www.skechers.com.
  • Biking: A tried and true solution to those that get bored with other forms of exercise and prefer to be outdoors, bike riding can get you fit in no time flat. For under $80, you can purchase a sturdy bike that will give you miles of affordable exercise and fun. Check out the deals at www.target.com.
  • Trail-Running: Depending upon where you live, many suburban and city areas now have urban trails that you can take to for running or jogging. All you’ll need is your desire to be fit and a pair of good trail-running shoes. Outside magazine’s Gear of the Year 2010 is the Nike LunarGlide+ at around $100. Get your pair at www.nikerunning.com.
  • Exergaming: Wii Fit and EA Sports Active both offer exercise programs which use a camera to track your movements and progress and display onscreen feedback. The American Council of Exercise chose exergaming as one of the top fitness trends of 2010. The WiFit Plus with Balance Board gives you many exercise routine options at around $130. If you don’t own a Nintendo Wii console, the initial investment will be about $200. When tallied together this may seem like a lot, but compared to the monthly gym payment, you are saving a lot of money. Shop www.amazon.com for Wii products.

When thinking of gym alternatives to save money, get creative. Think of what you can do at home or outside, like the options above. An initial investment for equipment or DVDs will save you money and time compared to costly monthly payments over a lifetime for a gym membership. Ultimately, you’ll be able to add variety to your exercise routine without killing your budget.

(photo credit: Mike Baird)

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