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Fitness on a Budget

A gym membership is a great thing to have if you can afford it. However, times are tough right now, and a lot of us have to think carefully about how we spend our money.
Luckily, there are a vast number of ways to get fit with minimal or no cost at all. Try some of these tips for fitness on a budget to get you going…

Workout at home:

Pick a couple of affordable workout videos from the store, (or even check them out from the library), and get started with living room workouts. Also, if you have cable, there are a number of free workout classes offered through ExeciseTV. The added bonus of doing it at home is that you can workout at whatever time fits your schedule.

Get Outside:

Most of my favorite “workouts” involve being outside. Walking is one of the best outdoor activities. Get to a local park and enjoy the scenery as you walk around, or step it up and find a good hiking trail. Ride your bike to work if you can, or just go for a ride and explore the neighborhood. If you want to do something different, most parks offer tennis and basketball courts…all you need is a little bit of equipment and a friend.

Check out the rec center:

Most cities have a lot of neighborhood recreation centers. Look up the one nearest you and find out what they have to offer. A lot of them have indoor pools, basketball courts, and even small gyms complete with cardio and weight machines. They also offer classes ranging from aerobics to yoga. There will be membership fees, but these are minimal compared to a regular gym.

Choose inexpensive gear:

There is a lot of fitness gear that is multi-purpose, but not very expensive. Dumbbells are great for strength training and can be found at most major department stores for not a lot of money (they will also last forever). Exercise balls can be incorporated into a lot of exercises, and most of them run somewhere between $20-$50. Or, try resistance bands. They are inexpensive, easily portable and can be used to work every muscle group.

Use your body:

If the idea of videos or TV courses isn’t your style, create your own workout routine using nothing but your body. Turn on some great music and dedicate 30 minutes each day to performing a series of squats, lunges, sit ups, push ups, or other exercises. Make sure that you challenge yourself and perform each exercise in sets. For a cardio workout, you can do jumping jacks, running in place, or even dancing to the beat.

Surf the web:

The Internet has a vast number of resources to help you out. If you spend a little bit of time looking you can find workout databases, exercise inspiration, and even free email courses.