Do you want to get fit, but money is tight? Many of us are in the same boat! Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to get in shape that cost little to no money at all. Forget spending a fortune on fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships. This article lists several ways to get a full-body workout on a budget.
A true full-body workout is one that builds and tones all muscle groups, stretches muscles, and includes some type of cardio. Gym memberships can cost you between $50-$100 or more, depending on where you live. Buying equipment to have at home is just as expensive, and many of us don’t have the extra space for a home gym. The good news is that you can get a full-body workout without expensive memberships or equipment, in the comfort of your own home.
Body Weight Exercises
These are exercises that use your own body weight for resistance rather than a machine or free weights. Here’s a list of some killer bodyweight exercises:
Yoga not only tightens and tones all of your muscle groups; it increases your flexibility, relieves stress and strengthens your body. The only equipment you need is a yoga mat and a towel. Beginner level yoga is something almost anyone can do-even people with joint problems, bad knees/shoulders, or coming off an injury. Yes yoga’s a very gentle activity, but make no mistake, as your skill level grows, there are advanced yoga poses that take a great amount of physical strength, balance and core strength as well as super sharp focus. There are free websites that offer yoga instruction and will take you step-by-step through each pose until you know them by heart. At that point you will be able to do 30-minutes of yoga on your own. Here are some free online resources:
- Yoga Journal: http://www.yogajournal.com/
- Greatist: http://greatist.com/move/common-yoga-poses
- Fitness Magazine: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/beginner-yoga-poses/
All runners started out as walkers, remember that. All you need to run is desire, and a pair of half-decent shoes. Don’t allow the prospect of buying running shoes scare you. Yes, the fancy ones or the latest models can be expensive; but there are ways around that. First, go to a runner’s specialty shop, and have them fit your feet. They will watch you walk or jog, and determine the best type of shoe for you. If your feet go out to either side as you run, this is called pronation. Over-pronation is when your foot rolls to the outside. Under-pronation is when your foot rolls to the inside. Pronators need stability shoes. Non-pronators can run in a neutral shoe. Once you know what kind of shoe you need, you can go home, get online, and do some research. There are all kinds of online resources to find the best price on running shoes, and online searches are the quickest way to cover lots of ground easily. Shoe outlets are another great option. They sell last year’s models, but who really cares? The point is to get in shape, not to “out-shoe” the other runners (a waste of time and money!). Running burns tons of calories, aids in weight control, is a great source of cardio to keep your heart healthy and gives you great looking legs-all for the price of a pair of shoes.
Full Body Workouts at Home
Do this series of bodyweight workouts in the privacy of your own living room and you will get fit without spending a dime:
INCHWORM: Stand tall. Bend at the waist till your hands hit the floor. Now walk your hands forward until you are in a push-up position. Do a push-up. Now walk your hands backward and stand back up. That is one rep. Do 4-6 reps.
TUCKJUMP: Stand with slightly bent knees. Jump up as high as you can and tuck your body (knees up to chest). As you are tucked in the air, lift your arms straight out. Land with soft knees, never locked. Do 10 jumps.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER: In a push-up position, bring your left knee up to chest level with the right leg still straight behind you. Keep your hands where they are and switch legs, quickly. This move works your core and abs like you wouldn’t believe! Do these for a full minute.
JUMPROPE: For $20 or less you can buy a gym-quality jump rope. For a few dollars more you can buy one with weighted handles. This not only is your cardio – weighted handles will also build and tone shoulders, arms and chest.
Don’t let cost put a block on achieving your physical fitness. There are many readily available workout resources out there that cost little to nothing. Just because your budget is tight doesn’t mean your pants have to be. You just have to to work with what you have, to get what you want: fitness!