Not all of us can afford to pay a personal trainer to get us in the best shape of our lives. Not all of us can afford a gym membership or Pilate's classes. Not all of us have a lot of money to spend on getting in shape. But don't let how much money you have stop you from beginning to exercise. There are lots of different things that you can do on a budget and make a huge difference in your physical self.
Walking is one of the best things that anyone can do to start out an exercise regimen. It doesn't matter if you are really out of shape or if you are in fairly good shape. Walking is a good exercise for you. You should purchase a comfortable pair of shoes for walking. You can then walk in your neighborhood, a park, at the mall, or in other public buildings where walking is permitted (some communities have hospitals, government buildings, and or public venues where walking is permitted). Try to choose a location that is comfortable to walk in and make it habit. Begin by stretching. Warm up by walking slow. Then walk as fast as you can. Try to get your heart beat up there and your breathing faster. You should still be able to talk, but you should feel yourself working hard. After walking a time slow down and walk awhile to cool down. Finish by stretching. This is a great way to get a work out that meets your needs and abilities. You can choose how fast you need to go to get those things done. Additionally, if you already own a good pair of shoes then you won't spend any money doing this.
If you have kids you can include them in the walk. A stroller or baby carrier will only add to the work out and can get them out in the fresh air. Older children can walk and or run by your side for a good work out for them as well. Getting the whole family involved can make it easier to do and easier to continue.
Another good, free exercise is running. This one is harder to do if you are completely out of shape, but as you get into shape you can do it and enjoy it. Running is usually done in a neighborhood or at a park. This can make it a little harder to do in snowy, wet, or really hot weather. None the less, it can be one that you mix in with others. You will want to begin with stretching. Start walking or jogging slowly to warm up. Then speed up over time. You will want to run for awhile at a decent pace that is comfortable for you. Your heart rate and breathing should increase, but you should still be able to talk. You will then want to cool down by slowing down to a jog or a walk. Finish with stretches.
Equipment Free Exercises.
There are a huge variety of exercises that can be done without any equipment. Common ones that most people know are push-ups, sit ups, and crunches. However, this is really only a beginning list. There are tons of other options. Included here are just a few.
- Hip Extension Back Leg Kicks- This exercises your hips, glutes, and abs. To do it get into the extended push up pose with your legs straight behind you as you hold yourself up on your toes and your hands. Then raise your left leg till it is even with the rest of your body. Do this for reps of ten for each leg. As you get stronger increase the number that you do.
- Bridges- These work the abs, the hip joints, the thighs, and the glutes. To do it lay flat on the floor or mat and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your buttocks high and hold them tight. You should have a straight back, buttocks, and thighs. Hold your abs in as well. Release and go back to the floor. Do eight to ten of these to begin with.
- Laying Side Leg Raises- These work your abductors and your glutes. To do them lay on your side. with your legs together one on top of the other. Raise the top leg about a foot off of the floor or mat. Bring the lower leg to meet it and return both to the mat (one on top of the other). Do ten of these for each side until you increase your strength.
- Arm Circles- This exercises the shoulders. To do this hold your arms out straight. Do large circles to the front (do ten or fifteen of them), then large circles to the back, then small circles to the front, and finally large circles to the back. Increase the number of circles as you increase your strength.
- Chair Dips- Have arms shoulder width apart on a chair or bench behind you. Have legs straight out. Slowly lower yourself till you feel stretching in your chest. Raise yourself back up. Do ten to twelve reps until you increase your strength.
This is literally just the start. There are tons of other exercises you can do with no equipment needed. If this is an area you are interested in learning more about you can do an Internet search for free or equipment free exercises. There are several sites that will show you various exercises, many providing pictures, graphics, and or videos to assist you in learning how to do their exercises.
There are tons of videos out there on various types of exercise. You can pick up one in an area you are interested in and enjoy work outs that are in a wide range of different categories (dance,aerobics , Pilate's, yoga, kick boxing, and many more). You can get a video for as little as $10 new or you can check out used venues such as eBay for less expensive options. Following one or more of these videos can be a great way to get exercise in on a regular basis. Or you can mix it with other options.
Dumbbells only cost a few dollars each (depending on the amount of weight you buy). You can pick up a pair and do a wide range of exercises. Then as you get better you can buy the next weight up and increase your strength this way without spending a lot of money. To get a wide range of exercises you can pick up a video or search theInternet and come up with an exercise program that meets your goals and needs.
Stability balls can be purchased for $10 or less. There are a wide variety of exercises you can do on them as well. Most stability balls will come with instructions that include a few exercises, some will come with a video to show you some exercises, and you can search theInternet for a whole lot more exercises that can be done.
Resistant bands are also very inexpensive and can offer a wide range of exercises. Picking up a pair can offer you a little change to your exercise routine. Most will come with an instruction book for some basic exercises and more can be found online.
Jump ropes aren't expensive, but they offer a wide range of jumps and can be a different cardio workout. Jumping rope will get the heart beating well, the blood flowing, and can offer a change of pace from other things you might do.
This is really only the beginning. There are a few other things that are inexpensive (depending on your budget) that can offer you a great work out. Combining a few different options can provide you with a wide range of things to do and keep you from getting bored. It will also provide you with some good work outs and a variety of muscle groups for the best options possible, all without a personal trainer or an expensive gym membership. If you need more support then there are several communities online that can help provide support and you can find more information or contact me through my personal blog on weight loss known as The Phat Diaries.