A large part of being healthy is including physical exercise in your daily routine. Regular exercise can help keep your weight in check, reduce your blood pressure, build muscle mass and increase your flexibility, all of which can give you more energy and a more enjoyable life. For some, however, the cost of joining an expensive gym or fitness facility is beyond their budget. Thankfully, heading to the gym isn’t the only way that you can stay fit. Here are several ways that you can enjoy regular exercise without spending a fortune.
One of the best parts about being a member of a gym is having access to the fun and upbeat group fitness classes. Even if you can’t afford to pay for these classes, you can benefit from having an instructor right in your own home. Check out your local library’s DVD collection, which normally has quite a few workout DVDs that you can rent at no charge. Or, look online to see if there are any free videos that you can watch to inspire your workout. Turn up the sound, and it’ll soon feel like you’re in a real Zumba, step aerobics or kickboxing class.
Turn Your Commute Into a Workout
If your biggest challenge with working out is finding time to squeeze it in, then you might benefit from turning your commute into exercise. If you already have a bike, consider cycling to work rather than driving your car. If your workplace is less than ten miles away, then this feat completely doable at least a few times each week. If you take the bus or the train, think about getting off a few stops before your office. This could add in an extra walk twice a day, which may be enough cardiovascular exercise to keep you in shape without the worry of scheduling a workout into your busy schedule.
Get Familiar With Bodyweight Exercises
It’s no secret that one of the keys to building muscle mass and looking lean and toned is resistance training. Although the most common way to do this is with weights in the gym, your own body is more than capable of providing enough resistance to keep in shape. You might get in the habit of doing some push-ups, squats, crunches and lunges each morning, which will help boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.
Start a Morning Yoga Class or Boot Camp With Friends
If accountability and encouragement are what you’re after, nothing can take the place of a workout partner. Thankfully, you don’t have to pay a membership fee to work out with your best friend or with a neighbour. If you love the outdoors, invite some friends for morning yoga in the park a few times each week. You can also go through the same yoga routine together, enjoy the fresh air and have companionship. This way, you won’t miss out on a chance to catch up with friends, and you might actually look forward to working out. You could even ask a neighbour to meet you after dinner each evening for a short walk around the block for a chance to chat and fit in some extra cardio.
Set a Running or Walking Goal for the Next Year
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to get fit is simply by using your own two feet. Walking and running can both burn calories, raise your heart rate and give you more energy throughout the day. If you struggle to stay motivated, try creating a goal for a few months or even a full year from now. If you normally run a neighbourhood trail in 45 minutes, aim to run it in 40 minutes six months from now. If you walk 30 minutes each day, aim to be walking for a full hour by this time next year.
Being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. Got health insurance that’s a bit pricey? Try comparing private health insurance online to see if you can spot a better rate. And what about that gym membership that’s burning a hole in your pocket? By trading in a gym membership for jogging with friends, you can save money without sacrificing your health or your fitness.
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