There is one budget I refuse to cut and that is my gym budget. I’m currently taking an Economics of Healthcare class, and we discuss how investing in your health when you are younger leads to higher returns because you have to spend less as you age. You are preventing spending in the future! SAVINGS! And this is especially true for me.
For the first 22 years of my life, I hated exercise. I worked out maybe 3 times my entire college career. During that time, I hurt my back pretty bad. I was spending most of my time in bed and the rest in physical therapy. Plus even when physical therapy is covered by insurance, it is expensive. NOT FUN.
Every doctor I talked to told me the only way of preventing that from happening again was strengthening my core and exercising more. Thus began my journey to find a way to do that without something I considered torture. After college, I joined a fancy gym but I didn’t have the discipline to work out on any of the machines and was convinced that when I was working out I had no idea what I was doing and was probably doing more harm than good. I was throwing money away because I didn’t ever want to go. I then started taking some classes and realized that I didn’t hate those quite as much. After experimenting a bit at different studios, I tried Bar Method and found something I not only found tolerable (my initial goal), but I actually loved! I became an official Bar Method groupie. I even started going in the morning before work when I had plans at night, which if you know me is especially shocking.
I love that I know exactly what I’m getting when I go in (arms, thighs, seat, abs, etc) but the exercises vary with each class. You can go to any teacher because they’re going to get you the same great work out, so you don’t have to plan your schedule around who is teaching the class. I get sweaty without feeling like I can’t breathe – except every once in a while, when we do a particularly crazy thigh set J.
The ab work keeps my back feeling great. I add extra mats to make sure I don’t strain my low back but can still feel it in my abs. If I am having a bad back day, I can wave down a teacher to help me modify the exercise for my injury. If you have ever seen me try to touch my toes, it is VERY embarrassing how inflexible I am. While I still can’t touch my toes (in Gaga’s words, I was born this way), I am getting a little more flexible with every stretch at the barre and I have never once been embarrassed about my lack of flexibility during class! The biggest surprise of all is being able to do push-ups! I AM STRONG LIKE BULL!
I started out doing Bar Method in Boston (went to 2 studios there for about a year, took over 100 classes) and now have been at the Williamsburg studio for almost a year! I have also been to the Scarsdale and Austin locations and with each studio I have felt comfortable knowing what to expect. I don’t mind spending every month on this because not only do I enjoy it but I’m preventing my injuries from flaring back up and costing me TONS in the future. INVEST IN YOURSELF TODAY! INSPIRATIONAL SPEECH COMPLETE!