For less money per month than you'd spend on a basic cell phone plan, you can buff your bod and stoke your heart at Downtown Gym. It's smallish and seems geared more toward free-weight equipment than weight machines, but the essentials are here. There's a wall of dumbbells with poundage that most of us can only dream of lifting some day. For cardio it offers treadmills, bikes, StairMasters, and those newfangled elliptical walkers. Freebies include ample parking and lockers for clothes and valuables (bring your own lock). And for those who haven't had the time or inclination to buy music headsets, the gym's sound system plays consistently good alternative rock tunes -- untainted by commercials. A one-year membership in the basic plan works out to around $25 a month, which includes unlimited use of the gym and free abdominal-strengthening classes. Group fitness lessons cost members just $7. Splurge on rice cakes (or ice cream) with the money you save.
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