Friday, March 7, 2008

Fitness Friday - Exercise On The Cheap

This excerpt is from Bankrate.com.

25 tips on how to exercise inexpensively:

Tune in to TV exercise
Coach potatoes need not think too far outside the box. Dance, workout right in front of the screen and feel productive with these easy everyday tips.

1. "I record Denise Austin's workouts on the Lifetime channel. She has two half-hour workouts, five days a week, and every workout is different. Not only do I never get bored, as I did when I was purchasing workout videos, I am toned and fit."

2. "Every morning while I'm waiting for the coffee to brew, I exercise to the MTV or VH1 channel, depending on which one is not showing a commercial. I dance and do exercise moves to the music and then top off the 15-20 minute routine with as many crunches as I can manage."

3. "I have recently found Exercise TV on Demand within my cable system. I can pick and choose whatever workout I am in the mood for, be it cardio, Pilates, yoga, or tai chi. And it's not extra on my cable bill. If I need weights I use the heaviest cans of food such as soup cans or jars of tomato sauce as my weights."

4. "I invested in a 'dance pad' for my Xbox and play Dance Dance Revolution ... it's not necessarily an intense workout, but it's a fun way to burn a few extra calories. I also bought a chin-up bar for $20 and do pull-ups every time I walk underneath it in my apartment."

Get cheaply equipped
Of course, working out at home would be convenient, but the cost of machines and accessories can stunt good intentions. These readers secured exercise equipment without paying the full price.

5. "For Christmas last year I asked for exercise equipment. I received an exercise band and a fitness ball, together with instructions and sample workout. I picked up a weight bench for 50 cents at a garage sale, and my mom gave me her unused hand weights.

"Together with a treadmill I purchased on sale and workout videos picked up at garage sales, I now have a home gym that provides a full body workout. More workout routines can be obtained from the library any time I get bored."

6. "Run a want ad in a local Sunday newspaper for your preference in used exercise equipment. I'm sure you will find an enormous selection of near-new equipment of nearly any type. "Oftentimes you can find really good stuff for less than the cost of a couple of months of a health-club membership."

Don't be a stranger to familiar places
What's in your neighborhood? If you live close to a park, school campus, community center, resort or farm, you might have some untapped exercise resources. Here's how our readers made use of their surroundings.

7. "Go to your local community center. Diabetes and heart disease are in the news so much they are putting together initiatives to help us keep them manageable and in check. As a result, they are offering lots of programs involving nutritional planning and exercise for free.

"Also check out your medical coverage. Blue Cross Blue Shield has an 'Eat Well for Life' program I am taking part in as an employee of Pittsburgh Public School. The nutritional planning and cooking classes are free."

8. "Exercise DVDs are available for rental, for a week, at my local library. There are all types from Tae Bo to tai chi. I can experience a different workout every week for free."

9. "We join water-aerobics classes at the local high school pool. That way, we don't need to join an expensive gym and we save on fuel consumption since the classes are very close to home."

10. "I moved to a farm and now I don't need to go to a gym. There is so much work to do and it gives you a feeling of accomplishment while you exercise. Maybe people could find a farm to volunteer at and they may even get paid with produce."

11. "Local park district programs offer some outstanding classes for the wintertime. The cost is between $5 and $9 per session. The programs offered near my home are aerobics, Pilates and yoga.

"When the weather is better, nothing beats taking your two-wheel bike out for a 30-minutes-to-an-hour ride. Walking is also great -- in inclement weather there is always an inside mall."

12. "I'm 45 and work in a box -- a cubical -- as a computer programmer. I took a part-time weekend job involving parking and security at a local ski resort. The job comes with a season pass and I get exercise by hiking around in a beautiful winter wonderland all weekend."

13. "I wanted to do more swimming, but didn't want to pay a big membership fee at a health club (that I would only use during the winter months), so I called the local park system and they directed me to some area high schools and middle schools. They have open swims and adult swims throughout the week and it only costs $1.50. If I don't go swimming for a day, I don't pay and I don't feel guilty that I'm wasting money."

14. "I learned that a public park near my home has a gym (equipped with weight machines, treadmill, and stationary bikes) open for free for residents like me. To use the machines correctly, I borrowed a book from the public library for free. I also learned from others in the gym to do exercises using the parallel bars in the park, when the gym is closed."

15. "I put on my tennis shoes (and coat during cold weather) and head outside to walk around campus for each of my 15 minutes breaks. It gets me away from my work, clears my thoughts, and revives me. I also have a puppy, so must walk her before and after work."

16. "I jog or walk, with inexpensive wrist weights, around the local high school track and break it up with runs up and down the stadium bleachers. In the winter, I do the same, sans the bleachers -- instead I find some local hills to trek up."

17. "This runner jogs in my neighborhood daily and buys running shoes once a year. To extend the life of my shoes and my joints, I supplement the shock absorption benefits with cushy inserts. A great way to exercise, protect my body and save dollars."

Closer to home
For time-constrained parents and working individuals, sometimes leaving home for hours at a time to work out isn't practical. Don't despair: You already live in a potential gym.

18. "Best exercise: Clean your house and yard, adding some music to move to. Results: a clean home and a trim body."

19. "Dumbbells are incredibly versatile. You can find inexpensive iron weight sets at discount sporting goods stores and many authors tout them as resistance training superior to barbells and many machines.

"I do the majority of my workout with dumbbells, and if it were the only piece of equipment I had, I'd be able to replicate most of the ones I use other equipment for now. I've gotten weight sets as cheap as $50 on sale at a discount store."

20. "I found the Royal Canadian Air Force Fitness Program when I was in high school. Now that I'm middle age I wish I had started this six-minute program sooner. There are five daily calisthenics exercises -- a stretch, sit-ups, a back stretch, and modified push-ups followed by a walk/run/run-in-place program. The book is out of print, but I've found the program information on the Web."

21. "I use an exercise book called 'The Core Program' for core strengthening. It does not require expensive equipment; just adjustable weights which were purchased at a discount store. I also have a couple of aerobic compact discs for inclement weather days. I am 46 and in the best shape I've ever been in my life."

22. "The cheapest, easiest, safest and I feel, most rewarding thing to do is to have a set of interlocking dumbbells. Simply choose the amount of weight you would like to use. There's an initial cost but likely less than the cost of a three-to-four month membership at a gym. Resistance training is far superior to aerobic for weight loss, bone strength and of course muscle toning and building. I would however recommend some form of aerobic training, but running is still free."

23. "Instead of paying for a gym, which requires not only money and motivation, but the time it takes to get there, change, workout, and get back, I try to be physically active every day. This includes performing such chores as walking the dog, doing much of my own gardening (including some of the heavier labor) and cleaning my own house."

24. "I keep a jump rope, free weights, stretch bands, a large ball, and stepper at home and use them regularly. Nothing is of any use, if not used regularly. Know thyself; I will not work out unless it is early morning, because I fatigue easily. Know the time of the day when you are most likely to be energized."

25. "My son left home at 18, and we have turned his room into our 'rumpus' room. For the cost of one year's membership at our local spa, we have furnished our play room with a Bowflex (for strength), a Healthrider for cardio, hand weights and a massage table. In addition, he walks the dog and I play tennis. He lost 85 lbs the first year we were married (of course, I fixed very healthy meals for him)."

1 comment:

ladyofvirtue said...

You've been tagged!