Good news! You don’t have to give up on getting fit just because times are hard. It is imperative that you stay fit in order to be healthy and feel energized. It’s easier than you think to fit exercise into your day, and in many cases, it’s free! Check out these 10 ways to get fit for less.
- Resistance bands ($10). If you don’t like to lift weights, resistance bands are the perfect choice for you. You can use them to work every muscle in the body and you can take them everywhere. You can’t beat their versatility and portability. Be sure to pack your band in your suit case for a great vacation workout.
- Walking and running (the cost of running shoes). After you purchase some good shoes, you will be ready to hit the trails. Start at your own pace and gradually increase time and distance to get more fit.
- Pedometer ($10). Pedometers track the number of steps that you walk in a day. Set a goal to walk 2,000 additional steps each week until you hit 10,000 steps a day. Ten thousand steps is the equivalent of 4–5 miles…you go!!
- Library (Free). Rent workout videos from your local library. Checkout several different videos to vary your workout and avoid hitting a plateau.
- Jump rope ($5-10). Whether you jump single or double dutch this is a GREAT calorie burner. A 150 lb woman jumping rope at a moderate pace for 15 minutes can burn about 180 calories.
- Stairs (Free). Walk your stairs. This is another great calorie burner because you’re using large muscles and increasing your cardio fitness. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Got a 5-minute break at work? Go stair walking!
- Playground (Free). Playgrounds are not just a place for kids to have fun; they’re full of fitness opportunities for adults, too. Climb the monkey bars, do push ups on the benches or pull-ups on the bars, do squats on the parking curb. Be creative!
- You Tube (Free). Yes, the Internet has created great options for exercise. Use it to search for free workouts. Visit sparkpeople.com and checkout their collection of exercise videos. You can even workout with one of their personal trainers.
- Forest preserves and walking paths (Free). Most walking paths are designed to be great workout facilities, they’re hilly and offer several mile of walking and running paths. Vary your routine by alternating between walking fast and doing walking lunges. You will feel your quadriceps burn!
- Sports (depends on the cost of equipment). Play tennis or beach volleyball to get and stay fit. Dig out that old baseball mitt and ball and play running bases; you’ll surely get your sweat on then.
About the Author
Eileen Conneely, RD, LD, NASM CPT, is a registered dietitian with the Palos Health and Fitness Center in Orland Park, IL. She has Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics.