Fitness Resolution? Don’t Join A Gym Until February

New year, same old goals. πŸ™‚ This January, don’t sign up for an expensive gym membership with a contract, or buy a $500+ treadmill that ends up collecting dust. Yes, these might really help you achieve a healthier body, but they could also be a huge waste of money. What people should really figure out first is if they really have the discipline and motivation to stick with any exercise program.

Before dropping any cash, try one of these free fitness programs first. You don’t have to finish, just follow it for all of January. Studies have shown that it takes at least 30 days to create new habits. If you can’t even run around your neighborhood three times a week for a month, why would you buy yourself a treadmill?

I’m sure there’s more good stuff online, please share in the comments. To better health!


  1. “If you can’t even run around your neighborhood three times a week for a month, why would you buy yourself a treadmill?”

    I get what you’re saying, but it was 19 degrees today where I live and it’ll be dark by the time I leave work. January is a terrible month to make fitness resolutions. I propose we move them all to April.

  2. YES! I did Couch to 5k. That’s the reason why I started my blog. I documented every run.

    I did end up getting a treadmill on October. Sports Authority was dropping the prices on them to make space for new models. Got mine for $475. Original price was about $1500. $475 is still a lot of money, but I saved up for it. I got a treadmill because I ran 2 5k’s and both had hills. I live in a flat area, so I needed a hill workout. And a way to run when it’s raining outside.

  3. I’m with Courtney on this one. It’s freezing where I am. Hopefully, I can get a couple good ab work outs in a week and take it from there.

  4. Ah, my coastal warm weather bias has shown through. I actually like running in colder weather, but I’m sure I’d hurt myself if it was on ice or snow. I usually try to find a local high school track if possible.

  5. Most gyms will allow you a free visit or two. I’m sure most folks can find a gym that will allow them to pay month-by-month, even if it costs a little more than signing a contract. Might be the way to go for starting out. Yes it can be expensive but… you can’t put a price on health. My 2 cents.

  6. Another possibility is to purchase a game console, and a copy of Wii Fit (Wii only) or EA Sports Active (available on all three consoles).

    The console plus software should cost less than a year’s gym membership, and you can work out from your own home. If you lose motivation, you can still use the game console for games or streaming videos.

    Between the two, EA Sports Active is a well-rounded workout program that will have you sweating as you work through its program. Wii Fit is not as challenging, but the Balance Board peripheral does work with other software such as EA Sports Active.

  7. It’s in the teens where I live, with plenty of ice & snow on the ground — there are crazy nuts that ice-cycle (with studded tires I might add), but I’m not one of them. So I throw my bike on a trainer and download spinning workouts from the web for the winter. Spinning in the basement is mind-numbing, but I need the winter exercise.

    Given the advances in trainers over the years, it wouldn’t be terribly expensive to pick up what was once an excellent bike trainer at a very reasonable price. Best bet is probably to look on the poster-wall at your local bike shops.

    Also good advice on the hundred push-up and other programs. In fact, I found the DGMT! app a couple weeks ago based on that program and use it to compliment my cycling workouts.

  8. It was 8 degrees this morning, I didn’t want to, but I got up and went running before sunrise. It just requires discipline. Too many people have this idea that vigorous exercise shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It is, you have to adapt to that. Though it does get easier. I’ve been doing it for twelve years and I still hate it, but it is the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done for myself.

  9. Christine B says:

    if you do want a gym membership, this is a steal: 24 Hour Fitness 2 Years for $299.

  10. Alexandria says:


    I work out year-round and I HATE this time of year. The gym is packed and so is my aerobics class. I grin and bear it. By March or April everyone will be gone but the regulars. Less competition for space and equipment! When I hit the gym this week and couldn’t find any cardio equipment I wondered how long these people would continue to pay when they no longer shower their face at the gym.

    My own coastal bias is that I am a whimp and will only workout indoors during December/January. (Play some tennis on the weekends, but no early morning walks or bike rides – too cold for me in the a.m. – too dark /unsafe after work). But the gym is only $15/month, so no biggie. Aerobics/strength/streych/yoga class through the city is $2.50 per class. We swim almost every day in the summer, walk and bike ride, play tennis, run the track, etc. I have workout videos for the winter months too. I’d say there are a multitude of ways to keep in shape without spending very much. The more variety I have to choose from, the more I workout, personally.

    I’d argue for women the treadmill might mean more (means exercise without having to walk alone in the dark). The men may not care about that so much.

  11. Benk – I’m of the opinion that while I may be sore after a workout, nothing should hurt *while* I’m doing it. And no matter how much I’ve tried to run in sub-freezing temperatures, my lungs never stop hurting. No thanks.

  12. I cannot run outside where I live. We have 360 sunny days and I am quite light complected. 15 min outside and I am red as a lobster so… a tread mill has been my friend for over 8 years. It offers great benefits over running outside:

    1. It is a controlled environment where you know how long your run, how fast you run while running outside you will slow down when you get tired.

    2. Weather – I hear that way too often. What a lame excuse not to do your cardio. This excuse will not apply to a tread mill. 30 min a day and you are done but you must stick to it.

    3. Running is a high impact exercise. Treadmills are designed to be gentle on your knees while running in the city is not that safe due to hard payment. Plus traffic/stop lights etc….

    I hear often complains that a treadmill is boring. Well, there is a music option on your iPod. I listen to bunch of podcasts that interest me – all free. Finally, my gym’s treadmills are equipped with TVs. This makes time fly by. Since I do not subscribe for Cable at home sometimes I stay on a treadmill longer by just walking anything over 30 min just to see how a program would end. (NatGeo and Discovery have this amazing property to keep me on a treadmill)

    But I completely agree, one must commit really hard to it before investing in purchasing a treadmill or signing up for a contract. Month-to-month option would be the best for a couple of months.


    One of my favorite websites. Back when I was trying to shoot for the military, this was the website I started with. Their workouts are quite intense, but you don’t need any equipment, and they work out your whole body.

  14. @Mundo – thanks! I like trying different workouts. It keeps things fun and fresh.

  15. How timely! I’m actually a third of the way through c25k program. It’s my pseudo resolution of the year. πŸ™‚

  16. @Eric – yay! c25k rocks!

  17. Anyone completed the Hundred Pushups program and managed 100 consecutive pushups? I got through Week 6, but went back to Week 5 after failing the Final Test. I had a hard time even visualizing making the jump from the “minimum” 50 pushups done as the last set of the Week 6 Day 3 (Track 1) to 100 pushups, so that probably didn’t help. Even if I am more fit and can handle the rigor of Track 3, that’s 60 pushups for the Exhaustion Test at the end of Week 6 Day 3 (and my wrists are ready to kill me by 50). Did I misunderstand the goal of the program? I also have had a similar experience with the Two Hundred Situps program.

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