Ditch the Gym, The Concrete Jungle Will Keep You Slim. 

When you live in a city as bustling and demanding as New York, having the time or money to go to the gym, unless you have a good job-whatever that is, or mommy and daddy pay your rent, can be financially draining and physically frustrating. If you’re coming from the countryside, odds are, remaining thin and active isn’t something you had to think too hard about unless someone made you think about it. You could hop on your Schwinn and go for a leisurely bike ride, go for an uninvited walk with your neighbor’s dog, Salami, or go for a run in your neighborhood. These activities never required money, or too much of it, nor did they feel like “exercise.” They were simply everyday aspects of your life that kept you lean. But living in the city is different. You probably resigned yourself to the idea that the gym is now the only and necessary place to maintain that figure you’ve had since high school. This isn’t true!

You don’t have to spend hundreds a month to thousands a year to remain a thin homo sapien. For the majority of human existence there was no such thing as a “gym” or “exercising,” there was simply walking around, working and eating until your body told you to pump the brakes. This medieval sounding life style was what kept humans slim and devoid of the “fat” issues we encounter as a society today. In the age of Captain Crunch for breakfast, air for lunch and vodka for dinner, it has certainly placed a significant amount of stress on your body and self-esteem. You may have that job whose unspoken rule for success is having a fabulous bod and a face to match. Other jobs may not care, but if you’re working that 9AM-5PM at a salary you think is comparable to a child laborer’s wages, going to the gym is most assuredly out of the question.

Good news for you, you can always make time to keep your body naturally thin, without having to traverse through the pungent, bacteria infested city gym while blowing half your paycheck for a membership that has as many hidden fees as a landmine infested field.

If you don’t want to leave your closet-sized apartment, get yourself a yoga mat and a few free weights. Don’t be tempted to steal them from the gym, as catching your weighted body down wouldn’t take too much effort, even from the pudgy doughnut cop who most certainly didn’t pass her physical. Although it’s roughly half the size of your apartment (68”x 24”) you can place it somewhere on your litter-strewn floor. Get onto YouTube and type in any form of exercises and you’ll be amazed by the amount of self-help videos available there. Breaking a sweat is absolutely possible and if you don’t wuss out and can devote a full hour to various home exercises, you’ll be getting a healthy boost of heart pumping, calorie burning goodness, perfect for keeping that tush in check. Another stay-slim-and-keep your-grin method is heading to a public park or baseball field and running a few laps. You don’t need a professional track to run on and the soft ground and grass allows for fewer knee injuries related to running on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. Walk around the city one day at a steady clip. If you’re one of those people who enjoy having a destination somewhere if you absolutely have to walk, then give yourself a final destination and walk there, if you have time. It will save you the subway fare, get your heart going and keep your calves aching, in a good way. Take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator when going about your day. Our society is rife with machines meant to devolve humans from having to use their legs and it’s a slippery slope to take, proven by the record number of people who are overweight and obese and can no longer walk unaided.

Hopefully this has given you a few ideas on how you don’t have to spend your hard earned paycheck on weight machines you don’t need and don’t know how to use. Be proactive by staying active. Begin your day with a healthy breakfast, not the crumpets at that teashop you were eyeballing with intensity comparable of a lion surveying a herd of gazelle.

You can be good to yourself and your wallet by being smart about how you stay lean and healthy. Who knows, by saving on that gym membership you thought you definitely needed, you can now afford that acting class you think will be great for your upcoming court hearing on that ticket the meter hag gave you. Remember, marketing on T.V., Internet and print is there for a reason. To get you to spend money on things you don’t really want but have been convinced you now need. As always, educate yourself as thoroughly and wisely as you can and you won’t be so easily deceived into making unwise decisions.

May 19th 2015, written by Maria Schumann for bodono.

Maria Schumann is a writer living in NYC, please visit her blog at convincemeotherwise.me
About Maria Schumann: “I love writing poetry, breaking a sweat at bikram yoga, and reading serial killer books while cooking. I love watching documentaries and I am always game for a crazy night of poker. Understanding the importance of a healthy relationship with my body and mind inspires me to help others come to a symbiotic relationship with their bodies and minds as well. Through writing I am able to reach people with my words and hopefully inspire positivity and change.”