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You don't have to spend a ton to get in shape, however.
Take basketball for instance. A ball, decent shoes and a hoop are all you need. Swimming? A bathing suit and a pool.
If a gym membership is part of your family's lifestyle, there are plenty of ways to help you lower the costs of that membership.
Many gyms have monthly membership quotas, and with the economy not exactly thriving, a lot of gyms and health clubs are scrambling to make their quotas at the end of the month. That's when you should inquire about membership costs, as they are likely to be lower.
Once you get your and the family signed up... GO! So often, gym memberships are wasted – people sign up only to stop going. Go to the gym and take advantage of everything that membership has to offer. Often, there are benefits of membership beyond simple use of their facilities. Find out what those are and use them. That way, your money won't be going down the drain – and you will be staying fit.
When you exercise, bring your own bottles of water to your workout sessions, or—gasp!—use the water fountain!
And remember, whether it's the gym or the basketball court or the soccer field, you're there to sweat, not to look good. You can sweat just as well in basic work-out clothes as expensive, designer ones. Just be sure you're comfortable and your range of motion isn't compromised..
Finally, when it comes to purchasing equipment, buy used. You can typically find used equipment that is still in excellent condition. If your kids are just beginning a sport for the first time, don't spend thousands of dollars on equipment just to find that your child doesn't really like the sport anyway.
The more money you save getting in shape, the more you can enjoy all the things that physical fitness has to offer!