Friday, 30 August 2013

Taking in your skin

I hate exercise and have been through all of the excuses under the sun so as to get myself out of it. It's too hot out. Too cold out. I hate getting sweaty. The sofa is so comfortable and gym membership costs so much.
my gym
And yet I know exercise is so important - not just for our health but, on a more shallow level, our beauty and wellbeing too. Regular exercise has been proven to tone our bodies, help us lose weight, improve our skin condition, ease stress, make your hair healthier, create more collagen to stop wrinkles in their tracks, ameliorate sleep patterns and reduce bloating. But with autumn and winter just around the corner, the motivation to get outside and go for a run is bound to diminish. 

It was the motivation to exercise ALL year round - not just on days where it was sunny enough to go and chase some squirrels around my local park - that motivated me to join a gym in January (well, that and the post-Christmas flab). But unlike many January sign-ups, I've kept going to the gym and now go at least 3 or 4 times a week. It is expensive - but that encourages me to keep going to get the most for my money.

Happily, though, you have more choice in the UK than I do here in France: British gym memberships aren't held to the same restrictions and tend to be much cheaper. Britain is also better at special offers: Vibro Suite, for instance, is currently running a competition via its website to win four months' worth of free gym membership to celebrate its fourth birthday. Besides the contest, it also offers a free personal training session, and, throughout September, has waived all of the administrative fees usually associated with joining a gym. Plus, whenever you buy three personal training, beauty or sports therapy sessions, you'll get a fourth one for free, which adds further value. Additionally, if you're in charge of these sorts of benefits where you work, Vibro Suite runs special corporate deals whereby they'll waive the gym's administrative sign-up fees for your employees, reduce monthly membership fees, or even offer free membership depending on the deal you strike with them.

With September being the back-to-school season, it often feels like the beginning of a new year for many, meaning that it can be a good time to readjust your habits and change your lifestyle. There are good deals everywhere, so there's little excuse: MyGymCompare lets you compare prices for all of the gyms in your area, and the £30 deal they came up with for me (nearest my parents' house) looks a darn sight better than the going rate of €47 a month (that's £40 at today's exchange rate) that I pay in France. Just as good is comparison search engine The Gym Website, which got me a deal of £35 a month for a gym within walking distance. Even better are some of the deals on Groupon - such as a one-off payment of £10 for two months' access to Zumba classes.

So get yourself moving, and you could be taking in the sight of your new skin, hair and body in no time at all - which is much better than having to take in your clothes.

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