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Penny-Pinching Into Shape

by Jim Rollince

The Equinox, Crunch Fitness, $15 protein shakes, and fitness boot camp in the Hamptons are making the business of exercise a market economy all its own. As the endorsement of celebrities is being used more and more to sell exercise, health, and fitness related products, the products become increasingly more expensive. Gyms are no longer simply spaces to run and lift weights; they have become spas and exclusive hangouts. Yoga and fitness camps are not just about fitness. They provide expensive entry into high society. If you are interested in exercise as just a way to stay healthy and keep in shape, listed below are a few cost effective ways to maintain your fitness and keep yourself and wallet away from expensive exercise fads.

Choose Your Gym / Work Out Studio Judiciously

While there are a host of sports clubs with healthy cafes, spa services, and apparel facilities, in addition to top of the line work out equipment, these fitness clubs represent the future of exercise marketing and branding. However, if the expensive price is not something you are interested in or willing to pay, an oppositional fitness movement has arose. This movement is centered on principles of affordable fitness for real people. To this end, more and more affordable gyms, marketing toward your everyday person are appearing daily. Franchise gyms like Planet Fitness are marketing their facilities toward those who are financially consciousness and do not like the image-obsessed environment found at most other gyms. Other financially consciousness exercise services exist, mainly in large cities. Yoga To The People based out of cities like New York, Berkeley, and Seattle are studios where yoga classes are taught for anyone who wants to participate. Instead of charging per class, Yoga To The People operates off a donation-based platform, making it so they never deny classes to individuals based on money. So when searching for your perfect gym, sports club, or class, remember not to become frustrated; the movement toward affordable fitness is here to stay and you will be seeing more and more facilities charging reasonable membership rates and attracting clientele similar to yourself.

Free Weights

For many who do not have the financial resources or the space, purchasing exercise equipment for their home is not an option. Yet, just because many homeowners do not have the resources or the space does not mean that they do not want the results. Purchasing free weights are an affordable and great way to keep your body toned and tight. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of exercises that one can perform using free weights. These exercises do not simply work to tone the arm and shoulder areas. With the Internet as a highly valuable resource, one can locate exercises targeting the abdominal muscles, gluteus, and pectoral muscles and can perform these exercises using the free weights. Free weights are a wonderful way to supplement working out with expensive machines, and still achieve the same results.

Use Groups

Exercise in groups. Whether you take a class with friends at your local YMCA or purchase a fitness DVD to do with your friends or workout partners, it is important to remember that the more people you exercise with in whatever capacity, the more inexpensive it will be. For example, many yoga or Pilates classes offer a group discount if you are able to bring with you a certain amount of people. Home exercise videos have exploded onto the market in the last three years. Kickboxing, advanced yoga, and Pilates instructional DVDs can all be purchased now. Splitting the cost of these instructional DVDs with friends makes them a cost effective and fun way to get into shape.

Jim Rollince is the head of creative writing for Gym Source – A supplier of home exercise equipment ranging from home gyms (i.e. – treadmills) all the way to exercise balls and gloves.

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