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A few months ago, I was watching TV, and an infomercial for an expensive exercise program began enticing me with “not typical” results and tempting payment plans. I was instantly in a trance watching women my age and older doing fitness moves I have only done in my dreams. As I watched, I began to rationalize spending almost one week’s salary on this crazy exercise program if it meant that I could lose 5 inches in one week. Don’t worry, though. I stopped myself from making 8 payments of $19.95 and got real. If you find yourself tempted by fancy exercise infomercials or an expensive gym membership, stop now and step away from the television. The answer to your fitness dreams is all around you AND it’s free. Try these tips to get fit for free before spending that money.
YouTube, you Lose.
YouTube is a great resource of exercise videos. If you need to target a certain area or a certain piece of equipment (weights, bands, exercise balls), simply search YouTube for your keywords. Another great online resource is www.exercisetv.tv. They offer full length videos and mini workout videos. Both YouTube and Exercisetv.tv are great ways to bring entire collections of workouts into your home for free.
Work your way up.
The best kept secret in fitness? Stairs. Ultimate effort is attained much faster climbing stairs than walking, which is why nearly everyone feels short of breath going upstairs. Stairs get you into shape, and they do it fast. Climb the flight of stairs in your home or head over to a local building with a killer set of stairs. Also, many high schools offer stadium stairs with public access. Make a 30 minute long iPod mix to motivate you, and you’ve got yourself a killer (free) workout.
Cleanliness is next to fitness.
Did you know that the average person burns 250 calories an hour while cleaning? Get that mop, broom, dust pan, and vacuum, and get to work. If your house is spotless, think of elderly family members or friends who may need some help. If you clean two hours a week, that is 500 extra calories burned each week. Kick it up to four hours, and you can burn almost an entire pound of fat (1,200 calories) in one week.
Window shop and the pounds drop.
Leave your debit card, cash, and credit cards at home and head to the mall. If you live in an area with frightful seasonal weather, mall walking is a great way to get your cardio in. We often associate mall walking with the retiree generation, but it’s starting to catch on with the younger generation, as well. If you’re worried about the stigma and don’t want to stand out amongst the crowd, wear your tennis shoes and jeans. There’s no need to advertise the fact that you’re at the mall to walk, and it’s okay to pace yourself with the rest of the crowd. Make it enjoyable! People watch, window shop, and walk.
While the media may tell us the only way to get fit is to fork over the dough, losing inches doesn’t have to cost you hard earned money. The best part of getting fit for free is that it brings you back to the basics. It’s unnecessary to make working out complicated, and it doesn’t have to involve tricky machines and crazy equipment. Just move your body! The next time you’re considering that $200 gym membership or that workout DVD collection, brainstorm ways you can get fit for free. You’ll be surprised at how many options are out there if you only look for them.
written by: Sally Mellinger
Sally Mellinger is a health and wellness blogger who often focuses on health issues. She is an avid researcher, and enjoys expanding her knowledge of health and wellness and sharing it with others.