Thursday, March 15, 2012

Get Fit Without Joining a Gym!

I have never really worried about my health until recently.  I stepped on a scale and realized that I am at my highest weight ever.  I started taking inventory of my diet (what I was eating, not the diet I was on!) and my exercise (or lack thereof!)
I decided to make some changes and of course I made it a point to do so while spending as little money as humanly possible!

There are lots of ways to get exercise without having to pay a monthly gym membership.  You just have to think outside the box!  There are, of course the obvious choices such as exercise videos and walking around your neighborhood.  For me, I HATE exercise videos.  I have about 1,574,586,037 of them (And that is really not that much of an exaggeration!) and I use them only when the weather or my childcare situation makes any other option out of the question.  But, how about some other options?

1.  Go to your local high school track
Most high schools leave their tracks open to the public during non school hours (for obvious reasons).  There are some general rules such as no bicycles, strollers or pets allowed onto the track.  There is typically a sign outside the track with each campus' regulations.  I personally like this option because it helps me to keep track of how far I've walked/run.  The track has rows and each one is numbered 1-8, if you simply start on row 1 and each time you make a round you move one row over you don't have to try to remember how many rounds you have made.  Four laps around the track is one mile.  Don't think you have to get out there and run a full mile (or more) on your first day out.  You can start out by walking or a walk/run combination.  One popular choice of runners is to run the strait parts of the track and walk around the corners, this gives you rest time, while still burning calories and helping to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

2.  Check with your friends who have a gym membership and solicit them to take you along as their guest.  Most gym memberships allow members to bring a guest to take advantage of their benefits.  This is great for more reasons than the obvious.  It gives you an instant workout partner!  I have a friend who has been paying a membership for months on end and hadn't been to the gym since October, but as soon as I asked to go along with her, she has been with me several times!  Some people just need to have that companionship while working out to help eliminate the fear that everyone will be watching you!

3.  Use those body movement detecting video games.  I have a Nintendo Wii and haven't taken advantage of it much.  I actually found a Zumba workout/game at a garage sale and it is quite fun!  I also have a Wii Balance board with some games that go along with it.  These are great because you can keep track of your weight and progress!  If you don't already have these games they can be found very reasonably priced at used video game stores and online.  You can try Craigslist and Ebay for even better deals.  And the best part of it, they are actually very fun!

I hope I have given you some ideas on how to get yourself in a little better shape without the weight coming out of your bank account!

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