As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Buying My Way In Shape

This article was written by in Health. 12 comments.

In January, I wrote about one of my goals for this year: getting in shape. Now that I’ve posted a recent photograph of myself, you can see that getting in shape is a worthwhile issue. My lifestyle is sedentary, involving a large amount of sitting at computers and driving (commuting). My girlfriend already expressed interest in a bicycle for her birthday, so before looking for apartments today, we shopped at Sports Authority and selected one for each of us.

I think solution has the best chance of being productive. I haven’t been able to motivate myself to work less at night and wake earlier to go running by myself. She would rather bike than jog or run, so I believe bicycling will be a way for us to motivate each other to get into shape. I’d still like to get in the habit of running before leaving for work in the morning, but I’m not convinced I can gain the time to do so until I finish my masters degree.

Two new bicycles, a trunk-mounted rack for my car, and a pair of locks: $500.

Could we have saved money buy buying bicycles from eBay or Craiglist? Probably. The store provided us with a wide selection. I have short legs so the chances are low that searching used listings would have yielded me something that fits me correctly.

We didn’t have time to finish shopping. We’ll still need helmets before we do serious riding; the protective gear looks to be about $20 to $30 for each of us.

Published or updated May 21, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Uncle Foobar

I’ve had some real success with sparkpeople.com and doing food and exercise journaling.

The site is easy to use; you have to devote some time to it, but they do have a pretty big database. They start you off slow: walking once a day, 8 glasses of water, sharing your goals with someone.

Try it out! If you do sign up, use UncleFoobar as the referral; i get sparkpoints, this boodle system they have you do to keep involved on the site.


Reply to this comment

avatar JR

You might think about incorporating your apartment search into your goal of getting in better shape. Can you find an apartment where you can walk to work? If not, can you walk to public transportation? Even a few blocks adds up, and people who take public transport always end up walking much more.

Also, take a look at the neighborhood to make sure there are stores and businesses close by. I think it’s less of an issue in the east, but on the west coast it’s a problem. We have lots of zoning laws that end up creating residential ghettos, where everyone MUST drive everywhere, even to get a few items for dinner.

I travel a lot, and the differences in the way other cultures shop, eat and travel is profound. American cities are (for the most part) not designed in a way that encourages healthy habits.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes

Thanks for your comment, JR, that’s a great thought. If I choose to live with my girlfriend, we will have to find an apartment between Queens and central New Jersey, a distance of at least an hour and a half’s drive. We will both have to commute by car.

We looked at a nice apartment this weekend which does have the necessities in walking distance and is close to by what looks like a great state park on the cliffs of the Hudson River.

Where I live now is more isolated; I have to drive (or take a bus with an inconvenient schedule) to get anywhere.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes

Foob — I signed up and I’ll take a look around the site. Thanks!

Reply to this comment

avatar J.D. @ Get Rich Slowly

Flexo: one thing that has been helping me (because I, too, need to get fit) is the site Fit Day. It’s a free, web-based service that allows you to track your food consumption and your exercise. Once you get used to it, it’s very handy. Give it a look.

Reply to this comment

avatar wormbuff

Maybe not appropriate for everyone, but I highly recommend getting involved with a social exercise group. The advantage of exercising with other people is that if you schedule in at least one “required activity” a week, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to find the energy/motivation for other activities the rest of the week (and it’ll hurt less too). Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and see new things.

These groups come in different flavors, though two of my favorites are (obviously specific to Baltimore):

Baltimore Sports and Social Club (baltssc.com)
Running/Walking, Eating and Volunteering Group (www.baltimorecollegetown.org/asp/activity_detail.asp?activityID=405)

The first is a local club with your basic football and softball, but also sports to the like of kickball and dodgeball. Their motto is “for people who enjoy sports, but LOVE to socialize”. Hehe… it’s skill levels are Social, Extreme Social, and Super-Extreme Social.

The second is a local club that gets together every Saturday at a different locally owned eatery. They walk or run (people split off into different groups) the week’s course (there are direction sheets handed out at the start) and everyone reconvenes at 10:00am for a tasty breakfast/brunch. Definitely good if you’re motivated by food in general, and new eateries in particular. This is one of my favorites :)

Cycling clubs are a little more varied in terms of personalities and socializing, but are good ways of learning the ropes.

Regardless, I’d recommend a “flat tire” kit for your two new bikes (pump, patch kit, levers) as well as the usual chain lube/water bottle/etc. Good luck!

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.