Valdosta Daily Times


September 15, 2013

How my inner budgeteer struggles with a healthy lifestyle

VALDOSTA — Every morning when I drive to work I see the same woman running alongside the road. She has an iPod strapped to her arm, a midriff-baring, spandex shirt that makes me regret my once a week McGriddle habit, and yoga pants that remind me that no matter how hard I try, my rear-end will never be 17 again. Needless to say, my drive to work is a self-loathing one. Like seriously, we get it, you’re glorious. I don’t need your sweat glistening in the morning sun to rub it in my face any more.

Earlier this week, I had an epiphany. I too could be that awesome if only I chose to be. I mean, no woman is genetically engineered to look that perfect, (except for Heidi Klum who walks the runway three weeks after birth looking flawless ... She’s clearly sold her soul) it takes work. So, I decided to look into doing yoga and joining a gym. Simple right? Hah, like anything ever is.

I don’t know why a rubber mat and stretching would cost me $85 per month, but in Savannah, apparently that’s the running rate. I was flabbergasted! Even if it was cheaper, the class schedule was set up in a way that catered to people who didn’t work. All of the beginner classes were in the morning and afternoon and seriously, I’m not going to use my lunch for anything but eating. Sure, there were very few classes around 6-7 p.m., but what if you have a family? It just appeared to be really unrealistic for the average, middle-class, working person.

So, like most of my life’s problems, I took to Google. I came across a DVD called AM & PM Yoga for Beginners by Element. It was just over $10 (used for $6) on Amazon with $4 for shipping. I didn’t want to wait that long to start, so I went and found it at Target for just over $14. I also purchased a yoga mat at Target for $12.99 (the C9 Classic Grip Yoga Mat). If you are doing yoga on carpet, the mat is really not needed; however, if you have tile or wood floors, you will need a mat. I will admit though, I have carpet and doing yoga on my mat really helped me feel more legit.

I really like the AM/PM yoga DVD (and several other companies make similar ones for around the same price) because the morning yoga is designed to jumpstart your day and give you more energy and the evening yoga helps you relax and wind down. During the last five minutes of the evening yoga, I always start to yawn and can really feel my body relaxing and calming down. I recommend this DVD to any beginning yogi who doesn’t have a lot of free time or spare cash.

When I started looking into gyms to join, I was not as shocked at the prices. Depending on the type of gym you go to and the city you live in, you can expect to pay between $20-$60 per month for a regular, monthly gym membership. My husband pays $29, and that money is completely worth it for him because he’s a cop, so his job depends on being in top, physical shape. He works out five days a week, runs, eats healthy, does supplements, and the whole shebang. However, if I wanted to join the gym, another $29 is not so worth it for me. Honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing and really, all I want to do is just tone. I’m not looking to have a body like Hugh Jackman or anything. I also have never felt totally comfortable in a gym setting, and that is true for a lot of people. It can be really intimidating to be surrounded by all these muscular guys grunting and sweating, and who clearly know exactly what they’re doing.

That’s why I use Physique 57. My husband bought it for me two Christmases ago, but I really didn’t start using it again until this week when my research re-affirmed that a gym membership is not for my budget or me. I really like Physique 57 because it allows me to work out at home just using small weights, a ball and my own body weight. The best part however, is being able to do it in the privacy of my own living room. That way, when I collapse from exhaustion, I have nothing to be embarrassed about.

At first glance, Physique 57 can seem expensive. For the ultimate workout kit (which I have) that includes six DVDs and an exercise ball, the cost is $99.90. In the big scheme of things though, that’s a lot less money than a monthly gym membership, which will run you at least $360 for the course of one year. Even if you happen to catch a gym deal that pops up for $10 per month for one year, the workout system is still $20 cheaper and far more convenient.

If you don’t want to splurge for the ultimate kit, there are other options available at the prices of $59.95, $49.95 and $24.95. Just go to to view all the options and to order. It really is a great alternative to the gym. I am sympathetic to the price; it does seem like a lot for someone just starting out. If you are not serious and do not plan on utilizing at least five times a week, then maybe this is not a good option for you. There are other workout DVDs available that are much cheaper, but I cannot speak to those. I can only tell you about the products I personally use.

Maybe yoga and Physique 57 isn’t your thing exactly, but it’s just an example of how there are alternatives to pricey, monthly membership fees for a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to be rich or supported by a sugar daddy to have a healthy lifestyle. It just takes motivation and a little Googling.

Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany

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