How To Stay Fit and Save Money

by Emily on October 31, 2011

As a former college athlete, I find myself often missing the ease of having someone else creating work outs for you. I also miss the part where working out was fun and felt like you were playing a game and not just running miles endlessly. While you may be past your prime sports years you are not out of fitness opportunities that can get you back on a team, get you in shape, have fun and not break your budget.

If you look around within your town or city you can find multiple opportunities to work out for free or very cheaply. Last year, in the city I lived in I joined a running club. Running clubs are located throughout the country, and you can find them online on social media sites, on craigslist, and in flyers in the newspaper, or at bars, coffee shops and restaurants. The concept is that a group of people gets together and run a designated distance that starts and ends at the same location. At the end of the run, there is a socializing, which includes drinks and food, often at a discount offered by the bar, or restaurant that’s the host to the group.  The club I joined ran a 5k or 3.1 miles once a week and then hung out together afterwards. Each week the route was different and during the holidays the runs had themes in which members would dress up in costumes. At first, I was nervous to join the group, because I thought everyone would be faster than me. The group I joined encouraged everyone to participate and everyone ran at their own pace. I found myself looking forward to the runs, and wanting to go each week and run so I could see my new friends. This club was a free way to exercise and meet new people and socialize. I began to enjoy running and found that I had an automatic work out built into my week. I also signed up for road races with the group, which gave me a goal to train for.

Another way you can work out and have a great time for very little cost in your hometown is through post collegiate and adult sports teams. Many places have adult co ed or single sex soccer teams, flag football teams, lacrosse teams, basketball teams and softball teams. You can join or start up your own team for a small cost and have a great outdoor work out to look forward to each week. I have been joining post collegiate and adult lacrosse leagues for the last several years and for about $100.00 I get a great workout once a week for about 2-3 months and meet new people each year. There are even adult kickball teams you can join in your hometown or city. All of these adult leagues are especially great when you are new to an area and are trying to meet new people. If you are worried about creating your own team cause you do not have enough players, you can typically join most teams as a free agent, by signing up on the leagues website. You can also check out ads in your paper or craigslist for these leagues and teams who are looking to fill their roster. You don’t have to be the best athlete to join these teams, you should go out there and have fun and get a great fun work out in. You will not even realize that you are burning calories and that you are working out with all of the fun you are having. Even if you are a regular gym rat, you can still change up your routine by adding in a different activity once or twice a week. My favorite part of all of these teams is the uniforms. Teams often come up with fun names and creative jerseys and t shirts for all their players to wear during competition. Also, don’t worry that these leagues are a huge time commitment. Most leagues have games once a week and there are typically no practice days. If you want a team that does practice as well as play games, check out the league you join and see which skill level and level of commitment each team and division requires. Most leagues have different divisions from recreational to very competitive.

By joining running clubs and adult recreational teams you can work out and socialize at the same time. You may be surprised how into an activity you become. You can be still be part of a team as an athlete and may even get into trying a new sport or activity based on your involvement in the club or team. These groups are a great way to stay fit, meet new friends and stay within your budget.

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