Smart Workouts

It’s possible to workout as efficiently and as often as you want. Gyms are working hard to accommodate!

By FamilyTime


The times they are a’changin’ and our bodies change right along with them. To maintain our health and keep our waistlines in check, it’s as important as ever to fit exercise into our schedules.

Fitness experts figure that in the coming year Americans will be as interested in cutting the cost of their workouts as they are of increasing strength and cardio health. And so, cost-conscious programs are one of the most significant trends at gyms in every neighborhood.

Livelier Classes

Cost-cutting measures at gyms may include larger group classes or more small ones in a given day.

Anyone who has signed up for a Zumba class or another dance-style workout knows how popular these are becoming. Zumba, which integrates aerobic exercise with Latin music and Latin dance-inspired movements, claims six million weekly participants worldwide. Pole dancing is also popular with a lot of people, mainly women.

At-Home Workouts

More and more Americans are relying on small, portable fitness equipment so that they can workout at home. These may be treadmills—which have been popular for years—as well as elliptical trainers and stair masters.

Many do-it-yourselfers are relying, too, on exergames to work up a sweat. Nintendo’s Wii Sport and Wii Fit are perhaps the most popular, although the PC-based Dancetown is also a favorite.

Time and Money

Many of us demand more bang for our buck, even at the gym, and the gyms are reaching out to the community to attract participation.

It’s common to find attractive incentives, such as a free class if you sign up for others, a two-for-one offer, and other cost-effective ways to go to the gym. The hope is that once you are comfortable at the gym and like how you feel, you will settle into some sort of regular routine.

Personal trainers are offering small group sessions to accommodate those who don’t want to or cannot pay for one-on-one classes but still want a lot of attention.

Gyms also try to accommodate the time-challenged person by offering short and intense sessions (some as brief as 10 or 15 minutes); more online access to personal trainers; and integrating exergames into the gym.

Whether you are a busy mom who regards the gym as a luxury you indulge in, someone who is dedicated to working out as regularly and hard as you can, or somewhere in between, gyms are ready to welcome you. They want to make it possible to fit exercise into your schedule. Don’t ignore them: get out there and move! You’ll feel great.