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austerity gym

January 2, 2011

In common with many other families we’re overhauling our finances in anticipation of the tough times ahead, trying to work out what’s essential and what we can do without at a time when our income looks uncertain to say the least.

And I am struggling over the gym. I know the gym looks like an obvious luxury but I have a knee injury which means I can no longer run regularly outside. Yes, I could take up cycling, but we live at the bottom of a valley and there’s no way out but up. On the other hand, treadmills do not aggravate my knee and stationary bikes can be programmed to a manageable gradient.

I’ve also learned that a reasonable level of fitness is a frontline defence against my number one enemy, depression.  I think I can make a good case for a gym membership but before I do, I’m going to try something that’s quite a bit cheaper and definitely much more beautiful.

We live a short drive away from some of the most striking countryside in England. Here’s Higger Tor, for example, on Boxing Day.

I usually have a rule against taking the car out if it’s not essential.  I’m going to relax that and start visiting some of these places in the hope of regularly walking about ten miles a week. If I’m not fitter and trimmer after three months, then I’ll think again. In the meantime, expect more photos of wonderful Derbyshire in this space.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2011 1:18 pm

    Wow! Beautiful! It sure beats my own austerity gym: a treadmill in our basement. : (

  2. January 3, 2011 2:15 pm

    I don’t make the most of it – something I must change in 2011!

  3. January 6, 2011 8:14 pm

    I think you will love the Austerity Gym and – rather selfishly – as your blog reader, I look forward very much to photos of gorgeous Derbyshire!

    I used to go to a gym as I have lasting damage in my back, knees and feet from arthritis, and I was a great believer in the powers of programmable exercise bikes and so on… I still feel these things have a place.

    However after several years of regular, outdoor walking, I’d say the mixed terrain of actually builds all kinds of muscles which repetitive movement doesn’t touch, and the inspiration to be found in the views, the light, the colours of the outdoor world is a marvellous tonic for body and mind.

    I would recommend really good walking shoes (not very austere I know, but cheaper than an annual gym membership and worth every penny!) and also, (again, initially expensive, but longterm amazing) MBT shoes, for taking the impact damage to knees and back out of concrete walking.

    Hope that isn’t derailing, but I personally have found that purchasing MBTs has made it far easier for me to countenance walking on hard concrete! And my walking boots are wonderful on the hills.

    All best for 2011 and the rise of the Austerity Gym!

    • Joanna permalink*
      January 6, 2011 10:36 pm

      Thanks so much for this. I do have a decent pair of walking boots but have struggled with concrete for years. I didn’t know about MBT shoes but I’m definitely going to investigate further. As you say – cheaper than an annual gym membership!

  4. January 7, 2011 11:27 pm

    You are lucky indeed to have such beauty so close and taking advantage of it for walking is a grand plan. I have struggled with whether to keep on my gym membership for the last year! It is a very expensive luxury for me, but the reason I keep it on is not to use the equipment ( I hate the noise of the paraphernalia that surrounds it), but for the Pilates and Yoga classes which make a real difference to my flexibility and managing a long standing back issue. MBTs certainly make is walking around town easier, but not necessarily the most flattering footwear…

    • Joanna permalink*
      January 8, 2011 6:28 pm

      I do so agree with you about flexibility being an issue – something I haven’t worked out how to tackle yet. Not really brave enough to do exercises in the open air, even if there are only sheep watching!


  1. the view from the gym « Caim and Coracle

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