It’s great to catch up with you again in 2011 and I hope you’ve enjoyed a safe Christmas and are all geared up for a happy and prosperous new year.

Save Money on your New Year’s Resolution!

It’s great to catch up with you again in 2011 and I hope you’ve enjoyed a safe Christmas and are all geared up for a happy and prosperous new year. If you’re like me and thousands of other Australians, there’s a good chance you may have made some New Year’s resolutions and after all that delicious holiday food, dropping a few kilos could just be one of them! One of the first things we tend to think of when trying to lose weight apart from eating the right diet of course, is joining a gym to burn those unwanted calories away. So what does this have to do with money saving tips? I hear you ask. Well while gyms are becoming very popular these days, they can also work out to be very expensive, so here are some tips you may like to consider to make sure the only burning you do is off your waistline rather than burning a hole in your pocket!

Is it really worth joining a gym?
Now don’t get me wrong, joining a gym can be very effective and motivational and if you go there 4 times a week you will probably be getting your money’s worth.  The problem is, most people don’t tend to keep up this strict regime and honestly, what starts out as a great New Year’s resolution ends up being a $65 per month commitment to a gym a lot of people end up going to a handful of times a year. is a website which has recognised that gyms very rarely publish their full membership fees on their websites, so they’ve invited everyday people all over Australia to report on how much their gym costs. According to their site, the average gym price in South Australia is $65.00 per month. That’s $780.00 per year!

If you are considering joining a gym, take a few things into consideration. Try and find a gym that offers a free trial, no lock-ins, no joining fees etc. No lock in means no $780 minimum 12 month commitment if you change your mind. After checking out, take a look at each gyms website and see if they have any special offers.  For example EFM has an offer at the time of this article which is $25 for 5 weeks membership ( 5 weeks is a great amount of time to trial something before committing your hard earned cash.

So what’s the money saving alternative? Workout for FREE!

Grab your racquet and head to the nearest court
The great thing about living in Australia is taking advantage of our great outdoor Aussie lifestyle. You shouldn’t have to go too far to find a free tennis court around your area, in fact there could be one within walking distance. Don’t forget, you don’t have to be Lleyton Hewitt to get great value out of a tennis game. No matter what your skill level you get a great cardio workout running for the ball and good muscle tone from those quick takes offs, strong serves and of course bending over to pick up your ball so many times!

Step out and start walking
Walking is 100% free and unlike some of the gym equipment at your local gym, your legs are always available when you want to take a walk. If you can get up early in the morning, walking before breakfast is a great way to set your metabolism and help your body burn fat all day. If you’re walking outdoors you also get the bonus of fresh air and some great time to de-stress by yourself. Alternatively you can invite a friend along and catch up on your social life while working out.  Also remember there are little things you can do to get some extra walking in like getting off the bus one stop early, walking to the post office to send your mail or if you have an extra family member of the four legged variety, take the dog along with you so while your exercising your also creating a well balanced furry friend.

If you really enjoy walking, SA has some great walking trails which you can find out more about at

Bring on the deadly treadly
Yes I know bike helmets flatten your hair and there’s a risk of getting caught in the rain, but cycling is a cheap and effective way to get fit. The bonus is if you have kids, your exercise regime can incorporate some valuable family time and provides a healthier alternative to sitting in front of ‘the box’.

Cycling to work will not only make you fitter, but you’ll be saving money and the environment at the same time. And don’t be too hard yourself if you can’t ride to work every day, even once a week as part of your ongoing exercise regime will make a big difference.

Trails SA also gives you information on great cycling trails throughout SA at

Exercise at home
If you’re a busy mum like me or just have a chaotic schedule, it can often be hard to find time during the week to venture outdoors, especially if the kids are young and you can’t leave them alone. Exercising at home really can be a great option so here are a couple of suggestions;

  • If you have a treadmill or exercise bike you haven’t used in years or it’s out collecting dust in the shed, now is the time to clean it up and put it to good use.  You don’t have to run a marathon to get fit, walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes three times a week is a great way to maintain your fitness. Hey, if Cesar Milan (the dog whisperer) can get your pooch to do it ( surely you can handle it!
  • Get revenge on the kids. If you have a child who is obsessed with the Wii, it’s time to give them a break and take over. Wii fit is probably one of the most fun ways to get fit right from your lounge room. It’s also another great exercise option than can be fun for the whole family.
  • Buy, hire or borrow exercise DVD’s. Exercise DVD’s are again a great option to exercise in your own time in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You can find all the latest styles from high energy workouts to muscle toning and relaxing Yoga routines. It really is an inexpensive and convenient way to get fit and you could even build your own personal library to suite the mood you’re in.
  • Get free workouts online. It’s always worthwhile searching Google for free stuff. If you search for ‘free workouts’ or ‘free exercise routines’ or the like, you’ll find downloads, videos and much more available for free 24 hours a day. Gotta love Google!

So if your New Year’s resolution was to get fit and join a gym, I hope I’ve given you some options to think about and of course as always, helped you with some money saving tips.

Happy Saving

Information printed in this article is current from: February 2011