Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Exercising My Employee Benefits

A while back, I wrote about exercising and gym memberships: http://easychange.blogspot.com/2006/06/do-you-really-need-that-gym-membership.html

But frankly, I feel like these are cash cow businesses where the average joe gets milked for all he's worth and then ends up back in front of the t.v. on the couch, feeling badly that he wasted all his time and money. Bottom line: exercise is important for health, but keeping up with it is probably just as important as starting in the first place.

Personally, I knew I needed to get into better shape. My muscles literally had atrophied from doing nothing but being on a computer and barely even having to walk from my work to my car. So several months back I got a hand-me-down gym for free from a relative and was able to start working out at home. This was much better than a gym membership because it was free and it was convenient. The convenience of having it at home made it very hard for me to not exercise. Sometimes, if I get bored, I find myself drawn into it so it is a nice side-effect of having it right downstairs in my basement.

So, recently it occurred to me that I should really consider looking around at the local gyms. I've been consistently exercising at least 2x per week for about six months now and I could potentially actually benefit from going to a gym since all of the weights in my house keep me sort of stuck in the same 8-10 exercise rut. I've read in many different publications that this can often result in strange muscle tone as well. So perhaps getting a gym membership where there are other exercises that I could do would be a good idea.


Planning


Since I have a benefit at work for 150 dollars reimbursement per year, I am going to look into a place where I can join for that much or less. I'd really like to get more out of this benefit. The method I'm considering is finding a plan that I can join for about 150 dollars for a set amount of time and then cancel. I will thereby get maximum benefit out of this reimbursement.

Weather is a major factor for this plan though. I want to ensure that I am getting the most value out of this reimbursement by only using the gym money when weather would conditions would prevent me from getting "free" exercise outside. By considering a plan like this, I hope to make even more out of my employee benefits.

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