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Bracing For the New Year - The Cheapest Workout Ever!

Posted Dec 29 2008 4:40pm

It’s that dreaded time of the year. The time when people who don’t exercise are vowing to make the next year, “the year”, when they join a gym and workout regularly.

It’s also the time when people who do workout regularly dread the next few months because the gym is going to be crowded with newbies, at least until they get bored and stop going.
But this year at least a lot of people are going to be trying to think about ways to be more active without spending any extra money on anything, such as a gym membership.

It’s not surprising. Joining a gym can be a hefty expense. Many clubs have a sign-up fee so you are already out a couple of hundred dollars even before you break a sweat. Then you have to pay a monthly fee. And then, some gyms charge another fee for certain classes. And of course the more popular the class (such as pilates right now) the more likely it is you’ll have to pay to go.

So it makes sense that with the economy in such dire straits and so many people worried about being able to pay the mortgage or afford health care that they would try to avoid costly things that they are, in all honesty, not sure they’ll use.

But where does that leave you if you want to lead a healthier lifestyle and be more active but don’t have the spare cash to join a gym? Well, the good news is that there are many, many things you can do to be more active without ever having to leave your home. And of course if the weather is good enough you can do even more outside.

First, don’t go out and buy a treadmill or other high-priced piece of home-exercise equipment. They are great if you use them but too often they end up folded under the bed or serving as the most expensive clothes hanger you ever bought.

You can get a great workout without buying anything more than a rubber band (no not the little kind). You can use it at home or at work to exercise your muscles. There are plenty of online sites, such as this one, showing you how to do that.

You can also buy a few pairs of dumb bells and use those to help build up stronger arms, wrists, legs etc. The beauty of those two methods is you can use them while watching TV so you don’t even need to give up the fun stuff to get the good stuff.

You can build up stronger core and stomach muscles by doing sit-ups, crunches and other exercises. Here’s another great site with ideas.

But what about aerobic exercise? Well, with a bit of imagination, even if you live in a small house or apartment, you can still get a great workout in your own home without expensive equipment. You can do things like burpees.

It’s a great exercise that burns fat, builds muscle, and increases your cardiovascular endurance all without a single piece of equipment or a large space.

In fact, the only limit to a great workout in your own home is your imagination. You can do sit-ups, push-ups, squats, a chair dip, a wall sit, and many other exercises that will build a great body without costing you anything. Here’s a site that offers basic help on how to do that.

The beauty of this approach is that it removes two of the biggest barriers to working out; the cost and the convenience. Because you are not joining a gym or buying expensive equipment the outlay is minimal. And because you are doing it in your own home you don’t have to go anywhere to do it. You can do it first thing in the morning, when you get home from work, after dinner, instead of dinner, at the weekend. Anytime.

Not only will you feel better, but you’ll be doing a favor for those of us who go to the gym regularly. We’ll still be able to use our favorite machines without having to wait in line!

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