Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are a rising crisis in America. Like with anything else, most Americans seek quick fixes to cure these problems rather than calculated and sensible methods. Besides the obvious silly route of diet pills or fads, one of the biggest mistakes Americans make when trying to shed pounds are rushing out to join gyms. Ultimately, many people join pricey gyms and then unfortunately stop going after the first week or two (a stand-up comedienne once quipped “a gym is a PE class that you pay to skip”). The key problem with sedentary people joining gyms is that the exorbitant membership fee does not cover motivation. Instead of throwing money at the problem, here are three alternatives.
DVDS and Videos
There is a certain stigma about workout videos, due to the mental imagery of spandex leotards and a big haired Jane Fonda. Listen up: a lot has changed since 1982! Many workout DVDs that are popular on the market now are actually the at-home versions of the classes at pricey Los Angeles and New York gyms, such as Crunch Fitness and Barry’s Boot Camp. The options for video subjects are endless – tae-bo and kickboxing, yoga and pilates, and even niche subjects like maternity and geriatric. Most DVDs are priced from ten to thirty dollars, which is a fraction of what a membership at Bally’s would run. My best advice is to rent DVDs from Netflix or Blockbuster, so that you can try a wide variety, which aids in weight loss as your muscles never get accustomed to a certain workout. Oh, and if you think that these DVDs and videos are just going to be low-impact leg lifts, you couldn’t be farther off – the Barry’s Boot Camp workout, for example, burns a whopping 600-800 calories.
Running and Walking
When you really break it down, it is mind boggling to think that people will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to run on a treadmill when they had a perfectly good sidewalk all along. People are so quick to make excuses, such as “I’m too out of shape to run” or “it’s too cold outside”. Well, a few weeks of walking will ease even the most out of shape person into a jogging regimen, and there are these wonderful things called scarves and coats. Out of shape people seem to view running as an exclusive sport reserved for the thin, but it is key to remember that joggers and runners are made, not born. There is no such thing as a “running talent” that you come into the world with, it is an ability that anybody can cultivate. Another excuse frequently used is that one is too overweight and will be embarrassed on the jogging path. This is ludicrous, because there are a wide variety of people on any American sidewalk or trail, and you have a much better odd of being the only large person at an exclusive gym. And ultimately if you don’t like your new walking or running regimen, you haven’t lost a dime.
Incorporating Fitness Into Your Day to Day Routine
It’s silly to think that people who always take the escalator over the stairs want to pay to use a Stairmaster. You may not get a Jessica Alba body from taking the stairs or parking farther from the store, but you will improve your cardiac health and make your next jog or workout video session a heck of a lot easier. Remember that an active lifestyle is not something you turn on and off – it’s a 24/7 commitment. Active and fit people don’t just run an hour a day, they move quickly in all venues of their lives, and often will use a quick ten minute walk to improve a low mood, the way a lot of people will use a cigarette or a bag of chips.
Still Want To Join A Gym?
There are certain perks to a gym or health club, such as access to a pool or a myriad of weights. But if you see a gym as a quick fix for a longstanding weight problem, you’ve definitely missed the mark. After two months of DVD workouts and walking or running, you probably won’t see the need to spend money on something you’ve been getting for free all along.