So how’s that New Year’s fitness resolution working out? If that’s an uncomfortable question to answer right now, relax. It’s still only February. Assuming you’re not completely giving up on it or waiting until December 31 to make good on it, there’s still time. And certainly don’t let a tight budget get in your way.
Getting healthy on a budget is a topic I’ve touched on before, because I think it’s really important. Getting and staying healthy now can have profound positive impacts on your future savings. Too many people seem to think that joining a health club or investing in expensive exercise equipment is the only way to get and stay in shape. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This week I’ll share five great exercises you can do from home that don’t cost a penny.
Walk the walk. Seriously, if it’s been a while since you’ve done any exercise, you can’t beat starting out with a brisk walk. It’s low impact, easy on your joints, and if you have a baby or a dog, it’s even better with the stroller or leash. I’ve even heard it can be as effective for weight-loss as jogging. www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030909/walk-run-to-achieve-weight-loss. And just 30 minutes of moderate walking has proved to add quality years to your life!
Learn the ropes. Jumping rope is a great cardio workout. Try it and you’ll soon understand why. It can quickly raise your heart rate and burn major calories. You’ll feel it toning up your legs, too. If you don’t have one, you can find one for around $10, even less if you go the hardware store route.
Do some screen time. No, don’t plop down in front of the TV or curl up with the iPad. I’m talking about workout vids. If you think the only way to partake in class-like workouts is to register for group classes through a pricey gym, think again. From Pilates to the Power Hour, you’ll find a huge variety of workouts available on DVD or YouTube. For best results, make a schedule and stick to it. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/gear/dvds/10-best-workout-dvds/ .
Have a ball. Those giant, inflatable exercise balls are awesome for your abs and easy on the back. In fact, there is no end to the number or type of exercises you can do with these things, all in your living room, bedroom or basement. www.ball-exercises.com/exercises/index.html
Weight for it. At a certain point, you’ll need to add a little weight to your routine in order to build and tone your muscles. Free dumbbells and barbells are great and incredibly versatile. But you don’t need to drop $50 for a brand new set. Just fill a household bucket or jug with water (or sand or rock salt) and secure the top with duct tape. They may not be as pretty as a foam-lined hand weights but they work your muscles just as well. http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Keith1.html. And this is a great trick when you’re traveling and want to still get a workout in with no excuses!
There you have it — five free or extremely low-cost ways to shed the pounds and save your pennies. Actually, more like serious dollars. Use them to put toward the new clothes you’ll need after losing all that weight!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.