Gym memberships are your golden ticket to weight loss and general health, right? Wrong. Gym memberships are largely a placebo effect—we think that just because we own one, we are somehow on a path to fitness glory. The average monthly cost of a gym membership is $58, but the average amount of that which goes to waste from under utilization is a staggering $39. In other words, 67% of users never use them. Don’t become a statistic. Instead, spend your money on things that really matter (like donuts… just kidding). Here are three cheaper, yet effective alternatives.
Own The Streets
This might not be the greatest time of year to discuss exercising outdoors. Nonetheless, it’s important to remind you about just how easy and accessible it is for a great workout. Jogging/running is paramount to a well-balanced workout, even if you’re main goal is to add bulk. On days when you’re not lifting heavy weights, you should be out moving around for the purpose of cardio.
There’s no reason to do this running on a treadmill in a gym. a) you’re paying to run, and b) treadmills don’t give you the as full of a workout. The moving ground causes your legs to do LESS work in propelling your body forward.
Running outdoors involves negotiating drastic variations in terrain and ground texture, which also causes your body to expend more effort and prevents your brain from going into autopilot. You have to stay “on your toes” so to speak, so that you don’t face plant.
You Don’t Have To Be A Gym Rat To Be In Good Shape
Believe it or not, there are millions of people who never set foot in a gym, and still are in great physical shape. A lot of it comes down to a healthy diet, and overall calorie intake. If you ingest more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you ingest, you lose weight. Of course there are other factors at play—things like sugars, fat concentration, etc., but generally speaking it’s simple math. Want to lose weight? Burn calories and don’t eat quite as much.
People seem to think their only hope for physical achievement is to spend 3 hours a day in the gym. This is simply not true. You can do shorter, but more intense exercises outside of the gym and still see positive results. Try running a series of sprints across an empty field. While you’re at it, do at least 20 push-ups and sit-ups in between. Pretty soon you’ll feel the burn. Oh man, will you ever.
Pick Up A Sport
The easiest way to workout, because it’s the most fun, is by playing a sport on a regular basis. This not only works out your body, but it sharpens your mind and enhances your competitive nature. Basketball, tennis, swimming, and cycling are great sports to step into. You can learn with others by finding a local meetup group (Meetup.com is a great place to start). These connections can improve your network and help you make friends along the way.
Is the idea of a gym membership sounding a little less appealing now? With so many avenues for physical success at your disposal, the idea of dumping your money into something you’ll seldom use just doesn’t make sense.