Fitness you can afford
Are you looking for a way to shape up in the new year, but can't afford those expensive home gyms or a fitness-center membership? It's easy and inexpensive to tone up, build muscle or lose weight with some simple strategies and useful items from around your home.
You just need a few feet of space in your living room or basement to boost your heart, strengthen your muscles and lose unwanted inches. A regular exercise routine can also save you money in the long run: lower medical bills, fewer prescriptions and an improved immune system to stop colds and infections. A few of the other added benefits of sweating and stretching are a better outlook on life, an increase in self-esteem, a motivation to continue and increased metabolism.
Here are some tips on how to get your body and mind back to a good place without spending big bucks to get there:
- Get out your walking shoes and start moving. It can be that simple. Even those who haven't exercised in a long time can walk a few blocks one day and then slowly increase the distance and the speed. Grab a neighbor, a friend, your kid or your dog, and get out there. You might have to splurge and buy a new pair of walking shoes if the ones you have are from high school.
- Go to your local Salvation Army or secondhand store and pick up some inspirational workout videos. If all you can find are VHS tapes, then just buy a cheap VCR while you are there. Do the tapes three to four times a week. You'll be amazed at the variety of exercise gurus out there who can inspire you to lose inches.
- While shopping at garage sales or flea markets, purchase some dumbbells — about 2 to 5 pounds each to start out with or heavier if you've been exercising for a while. Women benefit just as much as men from weightlifting.
- Jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push-ups and those dreaded stomach crunches can all be done in the privacy of your home with absolutely no money spent.
- Some of the least expensive exercise equipment you can buy to use in your home are an exercise ball, resistance bands and a jump rope. All can be incorporated into your routine and work on all parts of your body.
- Bicycling can do wonders for your legs, buttocks and spirit. Just take a dust rag to that 10-speed out in your garage, pump up the tires and head out into your neighborhood. You'll get to enjoy some exercise and the scenery as well.
- Your television has a plethora of free exercise shows. Cable and satellite television offer fitness channels with everything from yoga to Tae Bo to dance classes. And don't forget your computer. Any information you need about how to get started exercising and how many calories you need to burn are all there to guide you to a strong, healthy body.