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Fitness



The Cheapskates Guide To Joining a Gym

We all know that there are many ways that you can get in shape for free. Riding your bike outside, going for a run, or even doing a bodyweight workout at home don’t cost a thing. But these are all at-home workouts and lets face it—exercising at home doesn’t work for everyone. There are a lot of us who need to actually go someplace to work out.

cheap gyms

Visiting a gym allows me to add variety to my workouts  by using different equipment and attending different classes. In a single week I might try indoor cycling, Bodypump, yoga and Zumba. But a major downside to joining a gym or going to an exercise studio is the cost. Health club and exercise studio memberships certainly aren’t cheap, but there are definitely ways to make them more affordable (and even free!).

Here are five ways to trim some of the cost off of gym memberships and exercises classes:

Take Advantage of Trial Memberships at Gyms and Health Clubs
Many national health club chains like 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym and and Anytime Fitness offer free passes with no obligation and some can be used for an entire week! This is a great way to check out a gym before actually signing a contract (or go turbo for a week right before or after vacation). Additionally, most exercise studios  that specialize in yoga, cycling, and more will comp your first class or give you a deeply discounted trial period. For example, Core Power yoga studios offer unlimited yoga for one week for new students! Also, be sure to check out the schedule at your local yoga studios: most offer at least one donation-based or free class each week.


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Winning! Or Losing? America is Still the Fattest Nation with UK a Close Second

Earlier in the month, the Huffington Post reported that more than sixty percent of adults in England are overweight or obese. We’ve written about this before, but the trend seems to be growing—along with people’s pant sizes. Apparently Jamie Olivers healthy food habits haven’t caught on in his homeland. (Maybe it’s time he turn his focus back to the U.K. after working on our American health habits!) 

UK obesity

But wait. The United States hasn’t exactly gotten on board with healthy eating either: the nation had the highest obesity rate of all countriesas of March 2013: a reported 2/3 of all adults (people over 20 years of age) are overweight and an approximate 1/3 of Americans are obese. Right below the United States is Mexico, who has an obesity rate of about 25%.


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I Tried It: Snowshoeing

If you want to get a heart-pumping cardio workout while enjoying a beautiful, snowy, and peaceful landscape, give snowshoeing a try. My love for hiking got me interested in snowshoeing initially—even with the best hiking boots, it’s not always easy to get around when the ground is covered in snow. With snowshoes I’ve easily walked on several feet of snow! Best of all snowshoeing is an easy activity to master activity for people of all ages and fitness levels—you can stroll at a slow pace or even run on snowshoes! It’s one of my favorite ways to get outside in the colder months.

snowshoe3

Here are a few tips for anyone interested in trying snowshoeing:

What to Expect:
One of the really great things about snowshoeing is that it’s extremely easy to learn and you don’t need to take lessons. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. That being said, it will take probably take you few steps to get used to the feeling of wearing snowshoes and how they will affect your stride. Snowshoes can feel a little bulky at first and you may have to walk a little different than usual. The good news is that unlike some other winter sports, the learning curve is fairly minimal and it’s easy to pick up within a matter of moments.
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The Only 9-Month Guide for Pregnancy Running Any Mom Needs

By Jessica Green

As a running coach, I work with a lot of runners up until they get pregnant and then post-pregnancy. What happens to the runner during pregnancy? One year ago I was able to learn on my own what it actually means to “run through your pregnancy.” It’s not as simple as one might think. I found that creating goals and constantly adjusting to my changing body allowed me to enjoy both working out and being pregnant at the same time.

running pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to continue running through my pregnancy and enjoy it. So, I wrote down my goals and established guidelines for the next nine months, which turned into the following:

  1. Run at least three times a week as long as it continued to feel good
  2. Conversation pace—always
  3. Limit runs to ninety minutes—if I need refueling, chances are the fetus does too
  4. Any cramping means it’s time to walk
  5. Throw pace out the window
  6. Do one non-running cross training session per week with a prenatal body specialist

I recommend every woman who plans to run through her pregnancy do this. Your guidelines don’t have to be the same as mine, but make sure you go into your pregnancy running adventure with your eyes open and your mind wrapped around realistic and healthy goals and guidelines. Otherwise, you’re either going to be fighting the non-pregnant runner instinct in you every step of the way or you’re going to have to stop running sooner than you want.
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I Tried It: Downhill Skiing

As an East Coaster, I’ve always dreaded winter. But when my ski- and snowboard-loving husband and I moved to Colorado this past year—a state known for some of the best ski resorts in the worldI decided it was time to give winter a fair shot. Skiing seemed like one way to have fun and burn some calories so I signed up for a Women’s Program at a local resort.

ski

My expectations were pretty low. I’d skied once before and the experience left me a little fearful and my first day of lessons was no different. I had a hard time and just felt out of control. If I hadn’t paid for the 6-week program up front, I probably wouldn’t have gone back. But I did go back, and that’s when things clicked. I’m still skiing—and improving.

And I’m even having fun! If you’re thinking about trying downhill skiing, here are some things to keep in mind:

What to Expect:
It may take a while to figure out the basics of skiing and feel comfortable. The mechanics of skiing are based upon some very simple concepts, but they might be hard to grasp. If you don’t “get it” right away just keep trying and eventually you will! (There are a few people that pick it up incredibly fast, but they are not in the majority.)


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