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Stay fit, save money

 | July 19, 2012

Burn calories, not your wallet.

Getting yourself to exercise should not be difficult. More importantly, it should not be putting a hole in your wallet. With the present economy woes, it’s not surprising to see more people re-thinking their pricey gym memberships and fitness class enrollments.

What then, are the alternatives? Plenty, apparently. Read on to find out.

The Y:The Y is a great place to start if you like the feel of the gym and the facilities it provides (pool, yoga class, etc) without the frills. Memberships are often a fraction of what a typical gym would cost, where you can pay daily, weekly or yearly so you can control what is being spent and how.

The community: Check out neighbourhood clubs and activities. The Taman Tun park has a free yoga class the first Sunday of every month, as well as tai chi and qi gong sessions. Similar activities are also held in many parks across the nation. And there’s nothing like getting a good workout in the great outdoors.

The library: Check out the fitness DVD collection at your library. Besides books on exercises, the DVDs can help you discover basic exercise routines you can master within the rental period.

Online videos: SparkPeople touts itself as a weight loss programme supporter. But even if you’re not planning on losing the pounds, it has great (and free!) workout videos for beginners, intermediates and veterans. Sign up to access anything from hula hooping to cardio dance, pilates to Bollywood cardio dance and even a 1-day bootcamp workout. Other online websites to consider include workouts.self.com and youtube.

Trial memberships: Many gyms or exercise programmes offer a trial class where you get all the benefits of membership without the fees. It’s a great way to learn from a trainer moves you can later replicate at home. For example, Fitness First offers a seven-day pass that anyone can register online. Celebrity Fitness also offers the same, with an option for a personal training workout or a pilates session.

Group effort: Study shows that exercising in groups will benefit you more and get you more motivated. You can join running or cycling groups that are usually free, or start a group yourself. It’s a great way to socialise and meet your health targets. You can do this outdoors or free some space in your home for some easy pilates or tabata exercises.


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