Exercise is an essential part of any weight loss plan. But, sometimes funds are short so you have to get creative and resourceful. You don’t have to join a gym and pay monthly membership fees and you don’t need to buy expensive equipment for an effective workout. You can use what you have at your disposal at home.
Here are some great ways to get fit for free or on the cheap! As with all health-related matters, make sure to consult a doctor before embarking on any fitness plan.
Walking is the exercise anyone can do and it’s one of the easiest ways to get fit. Each step you take means you burn more calories and burning more calories means you are doing a great thing for your health and body. Studies show that walking is a great form of exercise. You can do it anywhere and fit it into your fitness plan. Walk at your park, around the block, in the mall. If you drive, then park your car at a distance from your destination to fit in a brisk walk. Turn it up a notch and go hiking if you can find a convenient trail.
Jumping Jacks are a fun form of cardio and a good warm up for your workout as well. You can even squeeze them in when you’re watching TV –during commercials do a round of jumping jacks to burn some calories.
Pushups are not everyone’s favorite exercise but there’s no disputing their effectiveness. They build arm strength along with working your chest area muscles. There are also a few ways to do them for any fitness level. You can do them on your knees instead of keeping legs straight. Or even do them standing up against a wall. Do what works for you. Squeeze in a few sets while watching TV.
Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise. Not only can you do it for free and just about anywhere, but it gives your whole body a full workout, promoting overall toning and weight loss and results are visible faster than many other exercises. Figure out a routine that makes sense for you – location, distance, frequency per week and intensity. If you’re a beginner take baby steps, determine what your abilities are and gradually increase distance, your pace, length and frequency of your run.
If you have the means to buy a quality bike, then it’s a great investment in your fitness. The fitness benefits are tremendous. A great form of cardio—it tones and conditions and strengthens your body. Biking is a good alternative to running as it involves circular movement without putting undue pressure on your spine.
Crunches/Sit ups are great for building and strengthening abdominal muscles. Squeeze in a few sets while watching TV, when you wake up in the morning, or before you go to bed. Really, sit ups can fit into any busy schedule. If you’re a newbie, your head doesn’t need to go all the way up. Make sure you’re raising your head and shoulders until you feel the stretching of the muscles, a slight burn and you will see benefits.
Squats work wonders for your lower body– your legs and buttocks. If you’re just getting started, do chair squats where you barely sit in a chair, then stand up and repeat a few times. Do a few repetitions and your body will reap the benefits.
Lunges are great for toning your legs. Do them standing in place, alternating one leg forward then stepping back into place or do them down a hallway. You will feel the intense burn in your legs. As you progress, you can add weights.
Leg Lifts are awesome for building up strength and muscles in your legs. You can do them anywhere. Depending on your fitness level, you may need to slightly bend your legs and then eventually straighten your legs over time.
Jogging is similar to walking is many ways, just a slightly faster pace and you see results that much faster. Like walking, you can jog almost everywhere — parks, streets and even in place. Jogging in place is wonderful for your heart. Jog in place while watching TV or listening to music. All you need are the right sneakers to prevent stress to your legs.
Dancing is one of the best ways to burn calories, and get your heart rate going while having fun. Just play your favorite music at home and start dancing. It lifts your spirits and gives you an overall sense of well-being. From the privacy of your home you don’t have to be a pro. Just dance to heart’s content any way you choose.
There’s nothing like weight lifting when you want to build stronger muscles. If you don’t have a set of weights, you can replace them with full water bottles, milk jugs, a bag of groceries, canned goods, laundry detergent – whatever you have at your disposal. Make sure you do your research on how to correctly perform weight exercises.
Jumping rope will give you some solid cardio in a matter of minutes. It can be more challenging then you realize. So start at a pace that’s comfortable for you and gradually work your way up over time. Guaranteed you’ll start feeling the burn in your legs the next day.
AEROBICS – DVDs/VIDEOS
To add variety to your workouts, there are tons of options in various forms of media to take advantage of. To mix things up and to avoid boredom, you have your choice of renting exercise videos from the library, doing exercise programs on TV and cable or even workout videos on YouTube. Many of these videos are instructional, so it’s a great option especially if you need guidance with doing specific workouts: weight training, pushups, squats, crunches, Yoga, Pilates or Zoomba etc. The choices out there are limitless so you can really vary your workout routine.
Take the stairs whenever you can. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, take the stairs. Go up and down them a few times if you can at home. Doing repetitions will really tone your leg muscles. If stairs aren’t available, step up and down on a sturdy chair or a big book, while watching TV or listening to music. It may not work up a sweat like other forms of cardio, but it will help tone your legs and it’s an easy, low-impact form of aerobics to keep your body active and healthy.
Household chores are also a good way to burn calories. Chores can be very physical and a good way to fit in some cardio. Vacuuming, mowing the lawn, mopping, raking the leaves, snow shoveling, dusting the house, cleaning the windows, organizing a room, maintaining a yard are all good ways to get your blood pumping.
You don’t have to break the bank to exercise. You can get fit on any budget. These options show how to be creative and resourceful, help you reach your fitness goals and save you money in the process.