For the last four years, my husband and I have had memberships at our local rec center. I get mine for free as a perk of working for the city, and we pay $350/year for my husband. We love our gym, and the price can’t be beat (we checked out some other gyms before I got my job at the library, and were quoted about $600/year – each – at most of them. We’ve gone pretty consistently 3 – 5 times per week for the last four years, although over the last few weeks we haven’t been as much. I barely left the house for the first week after our baby was born, and then spent the next week just going for walks. I’m feeling great now, and we’ve started going back to the gym, but we can’t go at the same time anymore, because one of us has to stay with the baby. For the most part, I prefer outdoor exercise whenever the weather is nice. I’d rather go for a run or a bike ride outside as opposed to using a treadmill or a stationary bike – I generally just use the gym for weightlifting and yoga. I love my yoga classes, and I am so excited to be able to get back into my normal yoga routine after the modified pre-natal yoga I’ve been doing for the last several months.
I went back last week, and it was great. The only thing I felt bad about was the extra use of the car. I drove to yoga, and then came home to switch off with my husband – he went to the gym after I got home. The gym is about 4 miles from our house, and I didn’t like the idea of an extra 8 miles of driving every Thursday night. So tonight I rode my bike. And it felt good. Giving birth and needing stitches afterwards makes one a bit wary of bike seats, but I rode my bike to run errands a few days ago, and it felt pretty good. So tonight I rode to the gym, went to my yoga class, and rode home. I was on my cruiser bike with a big wide seat – it might be a bit longer before I feel like riding my mountain bike with it’s skinny, hard seat.
My car gets about 26 mpg in town. So three trips to the gym is a gallon of gas. If I bike to the gym twice a week, that means I save over 30 gallons of gas in a year. I’ve been riding my bike to my job at the library for years, and I’m pretty consistent even when the weather is bad, so I should be able to do the same thing for the gym. At $4/gallon, that’s $120 that we can put towards the principal on our HELOC instead of into our gas tank. And of course it’s better for the environment and better for me – I love when exercise just happens as a result of the stuff you’re doing anyway. Walking and biking to save gas is also a great way to coax your body back to its old self after having a baby!