Working out doesn’t have to break your pocketbook; it is possible to put together a workout that gets great results without emptying your bank account.
You’ll find most of the things mentioned in this article just lying around the house. If you don’t have them, they only cost a buck or two to get. So, ready to get started?
Let’s say you want to get your heart moving and blood pumping but can’t afford equipment like a treadmill or elliptical. No problem. There are several free, or almost free, options when it comes to cardiovascular activities that will get you sweating in no time.
If you are an outdoors person, you will always have a free world of cardio opportunity open to you. You can walk, jog or run your way to fitness no matter where you are. Of course, if you’re in a bad neighborhood or the weather is absolutely treacherous, this may not be the best option for you. However, if you can take in some fresh air while exercising, it has a way of rejuvenating your mind and soul and helping you feel a lot better about life.
If you travel a lot, this option is even better. You can easily take your workout equipment, a.k.a. your tennis shoes, with you wherever you go. Not only will you protect your health as you gallivant around the globe, you’ll also get to see many great sites you would normally miss when in a car or using any other mode of transportation.
Not an outdoors person? You still have options. If you want low impact type aerobic activity, you can just march in place in front of the television as you take in your favorite show. Make sure to bring your knees up to hip height to get the best results.
Got stairs? It’s like having your own stair-stepper machine, but instead of it being automatic it’s manual. You can walk up them slowly, working your muscles every step of the way. Or, if you want an intense burst of cardio, you can bound up them two at a time. Want to work different muscle groups? Go down them backwards, making sure to use the handrails, of course. Safety is the key, so be mindful of what you’re doing. Falling down the stairs and hurting yourself certainly isn’t going to help you reach your fitness goals.
If you have room, you can do jumping jacks or make a jump rope. Of course, if you live in an apartment, you may pass on this option to keep a cordial relationship with your neighbors. They probably won’t appreciate their ceiling light jiggling at 5:00 AM as you’re sweating your way to good health.
In order for any exercise program to be complete, you want to incorporate strength training into your workout. Building muscle helps your body look and feel leaner, and increases your metabolism even when you’re not exercising.
But, buying weights and multi-function exercise machines can cost a lot of money. The great thing is that you can make your own weights with regular household items at little to no cost.
If you’re a beginner or are just looking to lightly tone your muscles, you don’t need much weight anyway. So, if you want to work your biceps, for instance, you can use water bottles. Most of the smaller ones, weigh about one pound. That’s enough to tone your muscles if you do a lot of slow repetitions.
Ready to tackle more weight or want faster results? Maybe five pounds is more your style? Most bags of sugar are five pounds and it won’t spoil so you can use it long term. Of course, you don’t want to just lift bags of sugar unless you want a sweet mess all over your floor, so you’ll want to put them in something that has a handle. You can use plastic grocery bags (double bag to avoid tears and spills) or you can even put them in empty gallon sized paint cans.
While on the subject of paint cans, you don’t have to limit yourself to just putting sugar in them. If you want more weight, you can use dirt or rocks. Just place the can on a scale and keep adding to it until you reach your desired lifting weight.
You can also get a great strength workout by just using a kitchen chair. If you want to work your triceps, for instance, you can do tricep dips. Or, if it’s your thighs you want to focus on, you can do squats. No matter what area of your body you want to work, you can do it with regular household items and a little bit of creativity.
Put It all Together
If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. You’ll find a way to work your cardiovascular system or build your muscle, no matter what your circumstances.
You can make excuses or you can make changes. It’s up to you which option you choose. If you choose excuses, you’ll never ever reach your health and fitness goals.
However, if you make changes and make getting in shape a priority, you’ll feel better, look better and finally have the self-confidence and stamina you’ve been searching for. Now, grab your bags of sugar, your running shoes and your kitchen chair and make it happen!