There’s No Such Thing as Free Exercise


Many years ago, I started walking, then running, for fitness. I needed to exercise more and everyone told me how walking/running was such great exercise and, best of all, it was free! All I had to do, I was told, was put on a pair of sneakers that I already had and go. It wouldn’t cost me anything to get out there. Unlike joining a gym or a pool, there were no fees to pay. Unlike certain sports, I didn’t need any special equipment. Great, I thought. Free suits me. Well, several years and many miles down the road, this supposedly free exercise has turned into a monster that could easily consume my budget if I let it.

It started with a little thing. I needed better shoes. Once I s


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13 Responses to There’s No Such Thing as Free Exercise

  1. A Marino says:

    Even if you join a gym, you’re going to have to pay for all of the items you mentioned plus the membership of the gym.

    You can go overboard on anything in life. There are always people out there hoping that they can sell a new product to you. I will agree that shoes are a must. I had a friend that had a personal trainer and still hurt her shoulder causing her to have to have surgery. You can run yourself until you’re blue in the face and not get the results that you wanted including problems with overuse of the knees, etc. So, I think that in general what most are talking about is plain old fashioned walking with focus in mind and breathing the fresh air. My neighbor loses so much weight walking that she has to cut back. She said that all she ever achieved with her personal trainer of two years was a larger body and more weight. She now looks great just doing “free walking” with a friend.

  2. Crystal says:

    Yup, exercise definitely costs money. I learned that as well. Unfortunately for my wallet, I am very active! I go to the gym, walk on my own, rollerblade and bike. And every single one of those items have things you need for them. The best you can do is bargain shop as much as possible because you will be spending money. The more active you are, the more you will spend.

  3. zenith says:

    It’s not free, but like you said, it is so good for you!
    Entertainment and exercise rolled in to one.
    Good for you!

  4. kch says:

    You’re right that the direct financial cost of running can be expensive, but I like to focus more on tho positives you hit on towards the end of your post – that running is keeping you mentally and physically healthy.

  5. It’s like riding a bike. You can ride a $50 bike or a $5000 dollar bike, but there is no law against riding the former even though people automatically gravitate towards the latter. Upgrade fever is a terrible thing :-) OTOH spending money on fitness is better than spending it on watching TV.

  6. Wow, I’ve probably paid less for my gym membership and clothes! The great thing about the gym is that I can wear just about whatever because it’s climate controlled. And I haven’t had any problems with my shoes since I just use the treadmills or elliptical machines.

  7. Ivan Cadena says:

    Be sure that there’s nothing free related to fitness and exercise. Nevertheless, a good ol’ hint, swimming. It’s not so expensive, and you just need a couple of accesories (by the way, very cheap).

  8. Neal L says:

    If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk…

  9. One thing I would point out is that for you, running seems to have become more than just a form of exercise–it’s become a hobby that you’re passionate about, and hobbies often get expensive (I know mine have). To just get a basic amount of exercise, though, a person wouldn’t need to spend nearly this much money. I buy tennis shoes once a year no matter what (I wear them all the time), then I go for walks in my regular tennis shoes and my regular clothes. So walking, at least, can be free.

  10. C Johnson says:

    There are a lot of comfort supplies. You really don’t need an ipod or treadmill. I’m sure there could of been other places to stay and travel that didn’t cost a grand. Just because all this stuff is there, doesn’t mean it has to be bought. Some of the philosophy behind running is a sort of minimalist mentality. That is one of the reasons I run.

  11. Richard says:

    Come on. If you were living and enjoying life, the costs should not mean anything . Think about not being able to do what you did. There are somethings more important thatn just saving money if you have the means. If you were starving to walk,run then that is another issue.

  12. Helen says:

    I am blessed! At the local Senior Center: Aerobic exercise;twice a week ($1.00 a session YMCA instructor ),Strength training;three times a week ($2.00 a session ,also by YMCA instructor),Walking Club;three times a week (2-3 miles and free). I use good sneakers for exercise only and a pair of “Nurses'” shoes for the walking.It is now time for me to get out my snowshoes and cross-country skis for the snow.
    P.S. I just had my 79th birthday.

  13. counterpoint says:


    Congrats on yout 79th b-day.

    There is nothing wrong with spending money if it is something that improves your health and you enjoy it. It’s a non issue.

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