Monday 10 June 2013

Getting Fit(ter) on the cheap

I've been singularly unsuccessful losing weight over the past couple of years, despite tracking what I eat (apparently just recording the fact that I ate some unplanned junk food or ate confectionary isn't a substitute for actually sticking to a diet!) and doing some moderate exercise (having a brisk 30-minute walk nearly every lunchtime at work). So I decided to join the 'Crunch' gym that recently opened in a nearby suburb. While I loath and detest going to the gym (my eczema makes getting hot and sweaty a really unpleasant experience), paying in advance is a good motivator to get me to actually do some aerobic exercise on a regular basis. I joined two weeks ago and have so far stuck to my planned twice weekly sessions. At a cost for a 'basic' membership of $6.95 per week (plus a $1 direct debit fee each fortnight, plus an $8 quarterly 'admin fee') its quite affordable (around $4.50 per session) - although I still would much prefer to spend the $474 each year on a new laptop ;)

The gym is conveniently located on one of the routes I can take home from work, so I can stop there on Thursday nights for a gym session on the way home. And on Saturday mornings I can go to the gym while DS1 is attending his Chinese lessons nearby.

Although the amount of calories 'burned off' during a vigorous 30-min aerobic session (bike and rowing machine with an average pulse rate of 140-150, which is 80%-90% of MHR for my age) and 20 minutes of weight training is fairly negligible, I have noticed that a serious bout of exercise supresses my appetite for hours afterwards. So I often consume less calories than normal on the days I go to the gym.

The joining fee for Crunch gym is normally $100, but was on 'special' last month ($30), and I even managed to have that waived after I had enquired why their Google advert said 'no joining fee' (it turned out that was only if you opted for the more expensive 'premium' weekly rate, which includes attending any of the scheduled 'classes' that cost $5 each for 'basic' members). They charged an up-front 'pro rata' amount for the days from when I joined until the normal billing day (the 15th of each month), plus the 'last' month's fees ($27.80). This basically means I will have to give four weeks notice before I want to stop attending the gym. On the plus side, having effectively pre-paid for at least the coming month, there's more incentive to attend the gym regularly and not 'drop out' without making a definite decision to do so.

We'll see how long I stick with the 'new me', and if I finally can get down to a more healthy weight. Ideally this exercise and healthy eating lifestyle should be for the rest of my life...

ps. The most cost-ineffective spending on exercise would have to be our swimming pool. It costs more to maintain each year than the Crunch gym will, and we only use for about half the year.

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