At this point, we all know that regular exercise comes with many health benefits and boosts our mood and energy. Finding time – or money – to make regular trips to the gym a reality can be really tough, but that doesn’t mean you are out of options for getting fit. Here are some simple tips to make the most of what you’ve got and still yield serious results.
Move more. When you are forgoing a gym or workout classes, you need to be motivated to actually do your workouts. It helps to schedule them in your calendar like any other appointment. It also helps to get moving as often as possible. How can you do this with a packed schedule? It’s easier than you imagine. During commercials while watching tv, try some crunches or push-ups; take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator; blast the music and make chores like cleaning fun by having your own dance party; next time you run to the mall or the grocery store, park in the back of the lot; if you use public transportation, get off one stop early and walk the extra 10 minutes. Once you try some of these, you will be surprised at how sedentary you had been and how easy it is to burn extra calories.
Use your body effectively. Your body is about to become your best friend while simultaneously becoming your worst enemy. There are a plethora of exercises that yield great results that require no other equipment than your own body. Some of the most effective are squats, crunches, planks, push-ups, wall sits, burpees (don’t know what this is? Google it and give it a try. . .then prepare to feel the burn for days), and dips. Doing a mix of these options will give all the muscles in your body a full workout.
Use your neighborhood and home. Those stairs you dread walking up each day? Prepare to hate them even more. Use them in your workouts as a form of interval training by running or walking up and down. Do lunges on them. At least every other day, commit to running, jogging, biking or walking around your neighborhood. Avoid boredom by making a kick-ass playlist and varying your route each time you go. You won’t spend any money.
Get yourself a workout kit. You don’t have to purchase tons of expensive exercise equipment in order to make your home workouts effective. With a few simple and smart purchases like a jump rope and a stability ball, you will see great results. Also check out workout DVDs and games (Wii has some awesome options). There are so many different options for virtually every interest – whether yours is dancing or yoga, kickboxing or polymetrics – and with so many options, you will find that they aren’t too expensive either.
Partner up with a friend. Do you have a friend that goes to a gym you want to join or use a trainer that they constantly rave about? Inquire if you can get discounted prices for signing up together or doing group sessions. With all of the competition in the fitness market currently, many places are willing to give monthly discounts to get your business. Another inquiry to make? Your employer. With many workplaces, gym discounts are built into benefit packages and healthcare costs. Do a little investigating to see if this applies in your case.
Just get up and get moving, it doesn’t need to cost you a bundle and the health benefits are priceless.