Fit as a fiddle?

Seems as if there’s an entire sub-genre growing in the present economy. Google “recession fitness” see how many hits you get. It’s incredibly easy to fall out of shape when unemployed, even though there’s a lot more time for exercise. And a lot of folks are going to the web to tell you how you can do it.

When I was employed, I was involved in a campus-wide fitness contest at work. Because I can be competitive, it proved to be a great way to jump-start my fitness routine. I had dropped 18 pounds in eight weeks, and with four weeks to go, I was working out in the morning before work and again at the company gym in the afternoons. I was watching what I ate, even on the two nights a week I spent in bars playing trivia.

The experts all say that it’s important to keep an eye on your fitness when you’re unemployed. Besides the general health benefits, it keeps you alert, sleeping well and looking good. Several people, including my doctor, urged me to stay on top of my exercise, saying it can help ward off depression. There’s even supposed to be the silver lining to having all the extra time on your hands, according to a web article at Examiner.com, “if you’ve been laid off or are working reduced hours, the extra time in your schedule is the blessing in disguise you need to kick-off your weight loss program.

Okay, all that’s true. But one of the more difficult aspects of being jobless is keeping a regular schedule. It shouldn’t be hard, but it is. Maybe it’s easier if you have a family, since kids or a working spouse still have time commitments, but it’s different if it’s just you. Even if you’re not depressed, it’s still hard to drag yourself out of bed if there’s nothing waiting for you when you get up. And believe me, the idea of subjecting yourself to the continual rejection of job searching isn’t much of a motivator.

There’s also the challenge of dealing with the well-meaning. Friends want to help when you’re in a predicament like this. A lot of them will invite you to lunch or dinner, working on the assumption that you’re sitting in an empty house, either too depressed or too poor to go to the store and buy groceries. You eat a lot of free meals, but the pounds add up.

The folks at Recessionwire.com have a piece on “Frugal Fitness,” looking at ways to get that hard body on the cheap. They point out a number of ways to stay fit without spending a lot. I’ll mention one here, because it gives me the chance to promote a friend’s business. You may be one of those people who, with all good intentions, bought some type of exercise equipment for the house. And now use it as a clothes rack or dust catcher of some kind. Recessionwire.com notes that people trying to get fit can find all types of expensive equipment at garage sales where it may no longer be so expensive.

If you want to find out more about the best way to approach a garage sale to find the best bargains, you should listen to an expert. I happen to know one and am happy to help you get in touch. Lynda Hammond, the Garage Sale Gal, can provide you with the tools you need to be an effective garage saler. Don’t want to take my word? She was just on Fox Business. Click here and here to watch her recent appearance on Dave Ramsey’s program. I bet if I can get out to the Phoenix area soon, she’ll buy me lunch.

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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