The recession has affected just about every category of the American lifestyle, from shopping to dining to entertainment. Now, add fitness.
Folks are shunning high-end gyms and pricey personal trainers, and snapping up lower-priced items, like mats and workout DVDs, says a recent story in The Wall Street Journal. They're also getting more creative in maintaining their workout regimens, from using a personal trainer for group sessions, to streaming free exercise videos from Netflix, to turning to TV for shows on yoga, pilates, kickboxing, you name it.
That trend is a very good thing. "Psychologists say any regular workout -- whether on a fancy machine or in a parking lot -- is a good one in a recession, when people are more likely to experience a loss of control that can lead to excessive eating and drinking," according to the Journal.
So, I say, be as creative as you like in your workouts; just keep at it!
But what about those people who really need a gym environment (the structure, the setting, the equipment, the classes) in order to stay on an exercise program? Well, here's the good news: Many gyms are offering incentives to join, as well as flexible payment options. But what if you're already a member? Well, I'll bet you can talk them into a deal in order to keep you. That'll give your bargaining skills a good workout!