Resolution #7: Break a sweat: YES. Break the bank: NO!

The average price for a gym ranges from $400 a year to well over $1000. Helping our family adopt sustainable behaviors means cutting out waste, and that translates into slashing wasted money, time and energy on overpriced gyms. We wrote up a few ways to challenge Mom & Dad to save time & money and connect with family, WHILE getting healthy, getting fit, exploring nature, and learning how to work the body without paying to be surrounded by all those steamy mirrors, flashing lights or the motivational mantras from a personal “trainer.” Here are 5 ways to tell your gym to take a hike!

While some are more useful than others (and many are useless entirely) there are literally millions of videos from fitness trainers and self proclaimed body sculpting gurus on YouTube (our quick search for “fitness” resulted in well over 1,000,000 videos.) We leave it up to you to decide on whether they can help her, BUT it seem obvious that if Mom’s real goal is to learn great ways to workout her abs and her butt without paying an arm and a leg… well, Google could be a great place to start. We want to help…

This year we can help Mom & Dad understand the true cost of the gym, and the REAL eco-economic benefits of avoiding extra traffic driving to their workout. Seriously, what if they could drop the pounds without waiting for popular machines, or signing up for crowded classes, or schlepping around an unsightly bag of sweaty gear this year…?

Here are a few ways to challenge the entire family to get heart rates up and get body weight down by learn a few new tips about feeling (and looking) better … AND every one of them can be done at home, in the garage, living room, bedroom or where you can find the space… and there are many more that you can do together outside, as well. Challenge your family to try these this year!

  1. Get a move on: invite Mom & Dad (and everyone else) to take the first step and go for a good old walk! You may want to walk fast, or jog, or perhaps run/walk works best for you… and for some, straight up running will satisfy that craving for a more intense endorphin buzz. (Of course we cant forget to mention… the fun eco-economic value of their bike, skates, blades, and so many other ways to coach them to slim down and fatten up the family GMP fund!)
  2. Get a groove on: unplug that Wii and just dance, shake that booty, move junk to the funk, jump up, step out, and skip, squat or just get in to a new rhythm of intensely fun aerobic dance! Help Mom (or Dad!?) declare victory over extra pounds by moving to the beat.
  3. Make the most of our size: while they have it, you might as well help them put it to work…. working out with the resistance of our own body weight against the forces of gravity can do a body a lot of good! Show the family how everyone can lift, push, press, pull, curl, curve, crunch, dip, and thrust our bodies off the floor to help give our form the shapely contours we want and our muscles the healthy elasticity they need to move us through life well.
  4. Team up to slim down: smash a birdy ( aka. shuttlecock,) shoot hoops, share a volley, or get creative with martial arts to focus on our fitness, and to share the vision of healthy eco-economic living with friends and family…
  5. Breathe in the calm of “OM sweet OM:” many Moms (and some Dads!) feel like driving to a studio and paying for a part time guru to guide them through a yoga class or meditation session makes it “real” or better, but we hope to help you to inspire them save the hundreds or thousands of dollars in annual per class fees and invest this money in a family trip to india instead! With our help by this time next year your family might entering the world of Brahma from the place it all began.

No matter what you do to help Mom & Dad get fit, don’t wait, as there is nothing more valuable than their health. However, we think that taking a few added steps to discover new exercise practices, workout methods, resistance regimes and relaxation rituals can achieve everything they hope to without spending so much money on gym memberships, and time staring into a mirror… instead of the eyes of a family member, or getting healthy with a friend or loved one.

Resolution 4: Go “Off Gridding” for a weekend

Resolution #4 Go “Off Gridding” for a weekend with your family. It’s the first real week-end of 2011. Try to get everyone on board and off the grid. See what happens by not using any resources from the “grid” or the systems that normally support your lifestyle behaviors, toys, getting around town, or keeping in touch.

Think about the following:

  • What toys require power: TV, games, iPod
  • How do you get places: car, bus, bike, legs
  • What heats and cools things: the water, your home
  • Most importantly, what does all that cost?!

Go off grid with as many as you can, and just chill at home with family and friends. All of these can be shifted towards renewable sources, in the long-term, but in the short-term, changes in behaviors can result in major savings in each category. But it YOUth ideas, good planning, strong leadership, a pinch of visionary creativity, and your passion to get started. Go for it! Once a year, a quarter or every month.

Resolution 3: Suck it up, Turn it off!

Resolution 3: Suck it up, Turn it off! Has it been snowing or raining a TON where you live, don’t get casual and send money down the drain. Reduce your family shower time and water use by 50% or more by posting reminders in the bathroom or even the shower. Teach them how to read a water bill, show them how to visualize the 2+ gallons of water per minute that pours out of the shower, and remind them that it is simple, easy and fun to stop being such a drip. The savings really add up! Set a goal – how about $150 per year off the water bill.

What do YOUth do to $ave water?

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