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It’s easy to make excuses about why you can’t get in the shape you want. As valid as they can appear to be, excuses just don’t cut it. Sometimes you have to suck it up and just get on with the task at hand.

The two main excuses people have for not training or eating properly are time and cost.

It’s understandable – everyone is busy, what with the 9 to 5 hours, extra work to do at home, a hectic social life and enough family commitments to keep you going for a month of Sundays, its easy to become overwhelmed by the amount you have to do and for healthy eating and the gym to take a back seat.

Likewise with cost. Bills, food, meals out, travel expenses, insurance, and life’s “unexpected occurrences” all add up and money is tight. With rising gym fees, more and more people are giving up on health and fitness.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are plenty of quick, cost effective ways you can still get your workout in and make your way towards the body of your dreams.

Beating the Cost of Exercise

First thing’s first, get rid of your gym membership.

This may sound counterproductive, but you’re potentially paying for something completely useless. Unless you’re a competitive powerlifter, weightlifter or bodybuilder, do you really need all that fancy gym equipment that you’re shelling out for month on month?

The average gym membership in the US is $55 per month, or $660 per year. Yet 67% of people with gym memberships never use them.

That’s NEVER use them – not once or twice per month, but never even set foot in the gym. The money leaves their account on the same day every month and they get nothing for it. If you say that half of the other 33% are regular users, training two or more times per week, that still only means that 16.5% of gym members actually get what they pay for on a regular basis.

Now you’re starting to see why the gym may be a false economy.

There are several ways you can train for absolutely free, and just as many again that cost next to nothing.

If you’re a runner, forget the treadmill and hit the roads instead. Running alongside the freeway may not be as enticing as running on a treadmill in a cozy gym with air conditioning cooling you down, football on the giant TVs in front of you and your headphones it, but it’s a great deal cheaper.

Don’t forget you can go off-roading too. Hit the local park, find some woods or a trail and run that for a change of scenery. You could even switch your sneakers for a bike and get your cycling workout done as well.

A decent pair of running shoes will cost you $80-$150 and will last around a year. Bikes start anywhere from $100 and will last you indefinitely.

Don’t forget body-weight training either. Why do you need a gym for pushups, crunches, chin-ups and burpees?

Buy an exercise mat, pullup bar, ab wheel, some pushup handles and a resistance band or two and you’re good to go. At a total cost of around $150 that’s less than three months’ gym fees.

Finally if you’re a weightlifting gym rat, you will need to look at spending slightly more if you’re ditching your health club, but you can still make an awesome home gym on a budget.

A kettlebell set is a great starting point at $100-$200 dollars, or if you’re a little more serious, go for a power rack, bench, barbell and weight plates or adjustable dumbbells. This will cost around $1,000, but if you look at it as two year’s gym membership, it’s worth the investment. You could always share the cost with a friend too.

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