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Breaking out of the couch potato mold doesn't have to break the bank.

Americans are spending more money on staying fit than ever before. But breaking out of the couch potato mold doesn’t have to break the bank.

“I said, if I don’t do something today, I’ll die… how are we going to do it, we have a very low income.”
-Leonardo Rodriguez, YMCA Member

When Leonardo Rodriguez’s wife was handed a pink slip, a giant weight was placed on his family’s shoulders. The 35-year old diabetic had to make difficult cut-backs. Like many Americans, that includes gym memberships. But he found help as close as his local YMCA.

“The YMCA provides financial assistance to those individuals in our community who otherwise couldn’t afford our programs and services”.
-Ryan Smiley, YMCA Operations Manager

So there are gyms that will cut you a break if you can’t afford traditional memberships. But there are also other options you can exercise to stay in physical shape while you try to get in better fiscal shape.

Example? Skip the gym entirely. A brisk half-hour walk, or for the more ambitious, biking or jogging, are great aerobic exercises. And you don’t need to run to a health club for that. Just walk out your front door.

Or skate down to the video store and rent some fitness videos. If you like them, buy them. I bought some for less than 10 dollars each.

Need weights? One of the best things to buy used, because they don’t wear out. Look in the newspaper and at stores that specialize in used sporting goods.

Bottom line? Being in shape not only feels good, it’s the single best way to lower your medical bills. But, spending a bunch of money to get there, well, that’s just an exercise in waste. So start by learning to stretch your dollars!

Stacy Johnson

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