Sunday, February 6, 2011

Keep fit and Have fun!

Hal's other hand is on her bum. 

Any Canadian who was alive in the 80’s and to some extent – the 90’s knows exactly who Hal Johnson and Joanne Mcleod are. They were this ridiculously active couple who wore matching jumpsuits and finished every commercial with “Keep fit, and have fun”. Like Rita MacNeil, they were such an inspiration to Canadians everywhere to get their fat a$$e$ off the couch and have fun. Working on my fitness is a definite priority in my life. The benefits to taking care of your health are obvious to everyone – you feel good, you get a cute butt, and you actually can save yourself some money in the long run.  Yes, we’re all going to have cancer, heart attacks, die car accidents or develop crazy mutant superpowers from global warming, but think about the costs of being unhealthy. How much is that medication for your diabetes costing you; those frequent visits to the chiropractor; or a root canal (it’s over $2000 and I don’t have health insurance so yes I did put this on my credit card back in the day)? I’m not even going to touch the mental health side of things – which is a whole other can of worms.

Incorporating a healthy routine is the biggest challenge for me living on this budget – I have cut out my gym membership, recreational sports league, and yoga classes. For the past month I’ve watched my waistline (and buttline) expand and for some reason all my jeans have become ‘skinny’ jeans. I’ve even managed to rip the a$$ out of my favourite pair of jeans – good thing I bought that $40 sewing machine. January was the month of being sick and unhappy because I was living a sedentary lifestyle and scarfing down crappy foods like pizza and beer instead of leading an active lifestyle and eating healthy foods like veggie pizza and light beer.

Oprah and Gayle, not be confused with John and Gail
Just like Oprah, I turn to Gail for guidance – although my Gail is nothing like her Gayle for a couple simple reasons: for one, Oprah’s Gayle isn’t a financial genius and secondly, I’m not having sex with my Gail. My Gail doesn’t encourage you to have a gym membership if you can’t afford it, and unfortunately I am one of those people. I get her voice in my head saying “don’t do it John, you need that $50 a month pay off your debt” and then I tuck my tail between my gorgeous legs and retreat. So what do I do if I can’t go to the gym or pay for Yoga classes anymore? Improvise of course!!

Strip aerobics y'all!
The Internet is full of wonderful things - such as my blog – that can give you a wealth of knowledge about how to do things for cheap in your day to day life. Yoga has been such a great way for me to decompress and clear my head so if I wasn’t going to be able to go to classes anymore, I would have to find a way to practice for cheap. I turned to YouTube and started doing online yoga sequences right in the comfort of my home. YouTube has more than just yoga too – besides all those hilarious autotune remixes, there’s a $hitload of exercise routines and tips at your muscley fingertips. I highly recommend clearing a space in your home to do a few exercises (perhaps some strip aerobics). You can do this for nothing and you don’t even have to leave your home and be seen wearing (shudder) sweatpants.

When you start to become a stir crazy and start collecting your toenail clippings to make a necklace for your imaginary friend Spattchio, that’s when you need to start looking for other options for staying active. There are so many free things to do outside – Frisbee, running, biking, swimming, skating, tobogganing, walking, break-dancing – just get creative and encourage a friend to come along with you.  Many cities and towns have amateur sports leagues that you can join for small fees which are great to join especially if you’re looking to make new friends (or friends with benefits) and have a good time. I joined something called the OSSC last fall and had a great time playing “all sorts of sports” with my team Victorious Secret. We didn’t win any games except for the one time I didn’t show up! Clearly my team worked extra hard when I wasn’t there to win one for me while I was sick – ha!

After all of this, you’re still looking to go to the gym or yoga studio – so what do you do when you have no money to afford it? You have some options; find yourself another source of income to pay for the membership, redo your budget so that you cut some cash out of another part of your life – drinking maybe? Or, you can do what I am currently trying to do and volunteer at the gym or yoga studio in exchange for free classes or time. Lucky for me, I have a great friend who happens to be a yoga teacher and she referred me to her yoga studio to volunteer for 4 hours a week in exchange for unlimited yoga classes each month. This is an instant savings of $160 every month! Fingers crossed that I get this one! There a lots of positives to volunteering at your gym – you get free classes, you get to know the (fit and sexy) staff and they share a ton of (fit and sexy) knowledge with you, you can add the volunteer work to your (fit and sexy) resume, and it could eventually turn into a paid position doing something you love! Check with your local gyms and yoga studios to see about volunteering – it’s a great way to stay active and save you money.

Working on your health is a excellent way to workout your bank accounts in the long term; and staying healthy is one of the best ways to save you high costs for prescriptions, surgery, and doctor’s visits. Exercise is a fantastic way to spend your money entertainment budget; you have fun, spend time with friends, and feel great doing it. Use that stoo-pid Internet for something other than reading amazing blog entries; look for some local sports teams and dabble in something new. Anything to get out of your computer chair and having fun with friends gives you plenty of bang for your buck.

That’s it for today loyal readers! Don’t forget to floss your teeth!! Seriously, $2,100 for an effing root canal.

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