Exercise Challenges: Big City, Little Income

Trying to find an affordable gym membership in a large city like Los Angeles, New York or Chicago can be more challenging than running a marathon in less than three hours. However, you shouldn’t let your fixed income discourage you from exercising; rather with a little creativity you can get in a decent workout without going broke.

Here’s how:

Look for Seasonal Rates. Select gyms offer reduced rates during certain times of the year. For example, a number of larger gyms (such as Gold’s and 24 Hour Fitness) waive their start up fees for new members at the beginning of the year to accommodate people who have made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. Also, many gyms offer great introductory rates to potential members during the fall and winter months. Right now select Gold’s Gyms nationwide are running a Fall New Member Special that allows you to join for just $2 and monthly membership fees are not due until January 2009.

Use Local Resources. You can stay in shape by combining exercise with adventure. For example, if you live in New York City it won’t cost you a penny to stroll or jog across the Brooklyn Bridge. You can enjoy the view from this magnificent landmark and burn calories at the same time.

Pick a Park. Most local parks don’t charge admission. Take advantage of the green areas offered in most major cities. New York is home to the Staten Island Greenbelt Nature Center, a magnificent 2,800-acre urban park, which features woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. The park also includes a fitness center (anyone over 55 can join for just $10.00 a year).

Pick a Partner. You don’t need to dole out hundreds of dollars for a personal trainer when you can hook up with an exercise buff from work or school. Working out with a buddy can offer welcome motivation and in a big city he/she can also provide another level of protection when you are exercising outdoors after dark.

Michele Cheplic writes about red-hot celebrities in POP CULTURE, fiery topics in PARENTS, sizzling recipes in FOOD, calorie burning exercises in FITNESS, and hot new kid-friendly crafts in FUN. Check out all of her articles here.

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Creating a Fitness Routine that Works for You

Preparing for Fall Workouts

Taking Advantage of Fall’s Cool Weather

Getting Motivated to Move

Ways to Integrate Exercise into Your Life

Back-to-School = Back to Regular Workouts

Getting Fit Before the First Flake Falls

How to Get Your Kids in Shape

Another Reason to Get Running

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.