I've noticed a subtle thickening around my waist and hips, over the past six months or so. My doctor says that some weight gain is normal as women age, a comment I'm trying to ignore. It's probably no coincidence that this began around the time I terminated my gym membership while simultaneously beginning to socialize more (meaning, I eat---and drink---"out" more than I used to). I certainly don't want to spend any more money on a new---larger---wardrobe, so what's a gal to do when she's trying to budget AND lose some weight?
In the summer, it's not been difficult to get myself down to the track for a run---free exercise! And yesterday, I spent a grueling few hours in the front yard making a dent in the weeds that have suddenly sprung from the earth. I probably did the equivalent of a hundred lunges and squats yesterday, just pulling, gathering, and depositing in the green waste can.
Now, though, I'm starting to worry about fall and winter, when it's literally dark when I get home from work, meaning I can't just run down the street to the (unlit) track, let alone run on the paths in Mt. Tabor park. Is it better for me to spend the $35 a month on a gym membership, to avoid having to spend more money on better fitting clothing?
At this point, I'm saving money on food, since I'm trying to eat smaller portions, with more fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than the tons of pasta, rice, and noodles I generally eat. I'm also cutting back on my alcohol consumption, which is saving me a pretty penny. But I'm still not debt-free (I still owe $1800 to my credit card), and I wanted to use the gym membership as a 'reward' of sorts, when I was able to finally close that card out.
Although I haven't yet decided on the winter gym membership question, here are some habits I can develop now, to help me save money on exercise:
- Use free weights; I actually already have these, in 2 lb and 8 lb (ouch!) weights. All I need to do is get into the habit of using them regularly.
- Utilize the internet. There are actually short 'podcasts', or online videos, that go through exercise routines that I can do at home.
- Buy a jump-rope. Even if I can't run (and I LOVE running), using a jump-rope might give me the same cardio workout, possibly in less time. And it's CHEAP!
- Check out an exercise DVD from the library. It might be fun to check out a different DVD every week, so I have some variety in my exercise routines.
So there it is. There may be some alternatives to restarting my gym membership; at the very least, I'm going to give it a shot and see how I feel.