I firmly believe in the importance of getting enough exercise. My own motivation lies in the fact that my grandfather died of a heart attack and a few years ago my dad received a triple bypass followed by a pacemaker. I would like to break the cycle.
When I was in the Army, exercise was always push-ups, sit-ups, and running, but it doesn’t have to be boring or expensive. I love mountain biking, long family walks around town, and have recently completed a few 5Ks. The great thing about those is that you don’t need much for equipment.
You don’t need a gym membership and you don’t need an expensive home gym, but plenty of people are paying incredible amounts of money to get in shape. I found some statistics about the fitness industry in an article on Bloomberg. According to research from the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the average cost of health club memberships rose from about $43 per month in 2011 to about $54 per month in 2015. That’s in increase of about 25% in the US in four years. Here’s a few more takeaways:
I will admit that I’ve spent my share on exercise equipment. Some of it I even used. I can make a case for our elliptical machine. It has held up well and 12 years later we still use it. I also have a freestanding heavy bag that I probably don’t use as much as I could, but I love it. My son also uses it to practice some of his tae-kwon-do.
If you just want to get started on some kind of exercise program and don’t want to build a home gym in your basement, I suggest you start with your phone. There are a myriad of couch-to-5K programs, fitness plans, yoga videos, etc. that cost little to nothing. Look around your neighborhood too. Online or local running groups are great and you’re bound to find one that meets your interests. Even the company I work for has an online running group with people from all over the world.
Running especially can be an inexpensive exercise once you make the initial investment in shoes. Good running shoes are not cheap and I would encourage you to go to an actual running store where that is their specialty. Yes, I suppose you can run barefoot, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a serious barefoot enthusiast.
If you’re looking for some running motivation, I’m happy to make an unsolicited plug for my friends at Grit & Stride. You can also find them on Facebook. If nothing else, check out their great photos of Chicago.
Whatever you plan to do for exercise, please make sure that you check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough first. They say that your fitness level in your 30s and 40s will directly relate to your fitness level in your 70s and 80s so get going.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2022
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