An article by BudgetQueen
I did it once. My husband and I blew over $600 for a year’s membership to the gym. It was a lot but I convinced myself it was cheaper than buying just one machine. I did really well at first. It was cold outside, but it was nice in there. There were televisions and treadmills. If I couldn’t sleep one night I went there — it was open at 3:00am!
I felt like a slob in my gray sweats and wrinkled t-shirts, compared to the ladies in there with outfits that had to cost more than the membership. The TVs were great, but we had to share with the treadmills around us and I always got the channel changed on me by some inconsiderate bozo – even when there were over 20 other TVs they could have watched!
But it got nicer outside and I found myself spending more time walking and biking, so that I didn’t go to the gym any more. But the management at the gym wouldn’t let me out of the contract! So I had to pay for the whole year even though I wasn’t going.
The following winter I just let myself go because I knew that I would work out again once spring came around. However, it takes a lot of time to work off the extra weight when you “let yourself go” for a while.
Instead of paying for the fancy gym (or letting myself go), I have found the perfect alternative – the recreation center. Now hear me out – I know that you cringe when you think of old days at the YMCA with the little kiddos (boys and girls) running through the locker rooms screaming at each other as you are changing. But things have changed!
With a recreation center membership, I can include my whole family for half of what I was paying for my hubby and me. There is so much to do! I can ice skate. I can run or walk the track. I can swim. I can play racquetball. I can run on the treadmill or lift weights. They have hot tubs and steam rooms! PLUS the recreation center has free spin or yoga classes that actually have room in them (the gym classes were always full). If I really wanted to, I could even climb the rock wall!
One of the great things about a recreation center is that I don’t have to commit to a full year either. If I am not a member, I can pay $4 to stay the day without getting a membership. That way I can go to a couple of different places for different scenery.
Not only that, but I have noticed that the people at the recreation center are people more like me. These people usually don’t wear yoga pants, but rather just want to get healthier. These are my kind of people. If it has been a while since you have been to a recreation center, go to just check it out. Oftentimes they will give you a free pass to come check it out. However you do it — whether you have a personal trainer – or you just like playing soccer with your kids, you are making a choice to be healthier. You are one smart cookie!