fitness on a budget

It is the start of 2010 and you have made it your New Year’s Resolution (yet, again!) to start going to the gym.  That’s wonderful, however, it also makes January at the gym unbearable…at least for me.

I am an ‘entire year’ gym go-er…and I dread these first few weeks of the new year when everyone else decides to join a gym.  I normally get to the gym right when it opens because it is the time I need to go to make it fit into my schedule.  Monday morning I got to the gym at my normal time and there was a line out the door of people checking in!  UGH!  I finally made it inside and out of the cold and bolted upstairs to get a treadmill.  I was one of the lucky ones who made it, but every cardio machine was taken within 10 minutes of the gym opening.  I have never seen that before – at least not since last January!

Luckily, the gym will start to thin out again once these initial few weeks of the new year are over.  In the meantime, I will be trying to stay away from the gym and spend my time doing my exercise at home.  I am a runner, so that I can obviously do outside, but there are a lot of other items and routines that I use and have at home to keep fit while everyone else is at the gym!   These are also great things to think about using if you are on a budget (the majority of gyms are very expensive!).

Run or Walk

Running and/or walking is a great cardiovascular exercise to do without having to join a gym or buying expensive equipment.  To start, all you need is a pair of sneakers!  It will not only help you burn a few calories, but you will get yourself outside during the dead of winter to breathe in some fresh air and get some much needed Vitamin D!  It is also a great activity to do with friends.  Instead of meeting for a cocktail after work, take a walk before dinner.

Resistance Bands

These have always been a favorite of mine.  I have a very hard time getting motivated to lift weights at the gym (even though I do try to make it a priority now!), and these are great to use while watching tv!  (They can also easily fit them in a bag to bring with you on vacation.)  You can make the resistance easier or harder by twisting or pulling on the bands.  I bought a nike set awhile ago, but they sell them everywhere now!

Free Weights

A great investment if you are going to continue to workout in the comfort of your own home.  I have 10lb, 5lb, and 3lb weights that I use at home with my exercise videos. 

Jump Rope

This is a cheap and easy way to get your heartrate up!  It is a cardiovascular exersice and can be done for as little or as long as you want.  Just make sure your ceilings are high enough, or take this activity outside!

Situps & Pushups

These 2 things are the easiest form of exercise that you can do anywhere and anytime!  I try to get these in at least every other day when I get home from my run.  I’m not a huge fan of situps (I much prefer pilates or yoga to help your abs), but I do them in between sets of pushups!  I like to make situps and pushups into a circuit to get my heartrate up a little bit – 25 situps, 15 pushups, 25 situps, 15 pushups, etc until I can’t do anymore.  Normally, the amount of pushups makes me stop!

Plank

This pilates move is awesome for toning your entire body.  You can start off with a small amount of time and work your way up to a few minutes (or more!).  Make sure to suck in your abs, and keep your butt down!  I try to do 2 sets at 2 minutes each, and I’m working on adding in side planks too.

Squats & Lunges

Two more great exercises to do as a circuit with situps and pushups!  You can make these more difficult by holding small weights (or even cans of soup or beans).  Just be sure your form is correct so that you do not hurt your knees.

Exercise Videos

I have recently started to use some exercise videos in order to keep myself motivated by working out at home when I have to.  I prefer to do my own cardio, and to use these videos for weight training, pilates and yoga.  If you are curious, try some out.  They will keep the winter months interesting while allowing you to stay warm inside.  Amazon.com has good customer reviews which will allow you to pick a good one!  There are also a few websites that offer free Yoga videos.  A favorite of mine is Yoga is Yummy because they are divided into 10 minute segments that you can always squeeze in!

Happy Winter!

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2 Responses

  1. Looking forward to reading your blog Jen! Looks great so far! 2010 HERE WE COME!

  2. It is nice alternative of work out if weight training is not suited you.

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