Gym memberships, fitness classes, personal trainers and fancy equipment can cost hundreds of dollars. This can make it hard to admit that you can’t put a price tag on your health. After all, you only have one body and should take care of it in every way. But we can all use a few ideas to help save a little cash. Follow these alternatives to a healthy and fit lifestyle without draining your wallet or maxing out your credit cards.
1. Take advantage of everyday opportunities.
- Join your children for a game of tag, soccer, or kickball. Go on a family bike ride or take a walk around the neighborhood after dinner.
- Chores can increase your heart rate and burn calories. Mowing the lawn, working in the garden, scrubbing the shower or vacuuming all add up.
- Make small adjustments: take the stairs rather than the elevator, go on a walk break during work, park farther from the entrance to the store, walk to the mailbox, or get off the bus a stop or two earlier.
2. Make modest investments.
- Fitness balls can be used for nearly any kind of upper-body, lower-body or core workout.
- Jump ropes are inexpensive and portable. Plus jumping rope is a great workout for your shoulders, legs, and cardiovascular system.
- Resistance tubing can be used to build strength in arms and legs, as well as, an aid for stretching, Pilates, and yoga exercises.
- Dumbbells are not very expensive and can be used for both upper and lower body conditioning exercises.
- Use exercise DVDs. You can participate in the workout in the convenience of your home and on your schedule. Pick a program that matches your current fitness level and goals.
3. Improvise with household items.
- Canned goods can serve as hand weights for upper-body strength training.
- Milk or water jugs filled with water or sand and secured at the top with duct tape can great for added resistance. Just add more water or sand as your muscle strength improves.
- Step stools can be used for step aerobic exercises or as a bench for dips, push-ups, squats and lunges.
4. Be a practical shopper.
- Educate yourself. Research fitness products before investing in them.
- Buy used equipment from the internet, newspaper ads, or friends.
- Switch it up, trade your DVDs with a friend.
- Check out your local recreation department. They typically have discounted fitness classes at local community centers or high schools.