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Getting Fit Without Giving Your Wallet a Workout

You may wonder why I’m focusing on fitness when most of us are thinking of the fabulous feasts we will soon be sharing with family and friends during the holidays. To borrow a quote frequently attributed to Robert F. Kennedy: “If not now, when?” Consistent financial and physical fitness are long-term investments towards living a joyful life that don’t have to be put off until after you sing “Auld Lang Syne”. Finding a way to consistently remain active does not require a huge financial investment, or an annual resolution.

Here are some tips to increase your fitness level without shrinking your bank account:

“To thine own self be true” (Shakespeare): I was so impressed after touring an extravagant (and expensive) gym that offered basketball, racquetball and tennis courts that I signed up for a one-year membership before considering that I don’t actually play basketball, tennis or racquetball. Avoid paying for amenities you will probably not use. Before signing a contract, ask for a trial membership. Most clubs will give you 7 to 14 days to try out their facility. Check out things like parking and how crowded the gym is at the time you’re able to go. Shop around at several gyms to see which is the best fit.

“You can observe a lot just by watching” (Yogi Berra): A wide variety of fitness videos can be purchased for $15 or less, at virtually any store that sells music and movies. If you like the social aspect of exercise, why not plan an exercise night instead of a movie night with your friends? For date night, try out a yoga, hip-hop dancing or kick-boxing video. Also, many cable TV packages include a fitness channel that offers exercise routines and advice. Finally, while watching your favorite TV show, try marching in place or doing sit-ups or push-ups. If you don’t like to multi-task, throw in a quick workout during each commercial break.

The best things in life are free: Our government provides tons of free information to help keep citizens fit. You can find exercise videos, tips for incorporating exercise into your lifestyle, family exercise plans, templates for recording your goals and achievements and many more. Any of the sites below will provide free resources:

If engaging in formal exercise programs is not something you want to do, even if it’s free, why not go outside and play? Walk in the park, garden, mow the lawn…and most of all have fun! What’s your favorite way to exercise?




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