With the demands of kids, work, and household, it can be hard to find time to exercise. And who has the money now for expensive equipment or gym memberships? If you're battling weight issues or just need to get in shape, there are some things you can do that are free or low cost that you can easily fit into your day.
First, start each day in a brisk way, and move with purpose. If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, find out why, and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Perhaps you aren't getting enough sleep, nutrients or vitamins. Take stock of your sleep and eating habits and make changes until you get up feeling energized. Then, move briskly. Instead of slumping around when you get out of bed and limping to the shower, stand up straight, swing your arms, and walk with firm, big steps. Do the same throughout the day. When you're doing chores move quickly and purposefully. Not only will you keep up your energy, you'll also get those chores done faster.
Aerobic activity is important for a healthy heart. You could join an aerobics class or buy a treadmill. But there are simpler, cheaper ways to start cardio activity too. First: walk! Try to carve out a space in your schedule for a walking routine. This is something you can do, even with kids. Take the baby out in the stroller. Walk around the block with bigger kids. The whole family can get healthier with an after dinner walk.
When it's cold outside, try to take shorter, more frequent walks. Supplement walking with indoor activities that anyone can do. There are plenty of aerobics DVDs that you can try after the kids are in bed. To save money, buy older, used ones. You don't necessarily need the latest aerobics routine, as long as you're moving. If you have cable TV, there's probably an exercise channel that shows aerobics and other exercise routines throughout the day. Find ones that you like and incorporate them into your schedule.
Get moving with your kids - take a half hour each afternoon to dance or do fun activities that get everyone moving, like jumping jacks. It's never to early to teach kids other healthy exercises, either, like yoga or calisthenics.
If you have stairs in your home, use them. Try walking up and down the stairs several times a day. If you regularly accumulate things that need to be returned to the second floor, return them one at a time instead of all at once. Even if you just take ten minutes a couple of times a day to walk up and down the stairs, you'll get some benefits.
Toning your muscles is a great way to get energy and supplement your cardio routine. Don't have time for a toning routine? Try multitasking and leg lifts. Leg lifts use your own body's resistance to tone muscles. You can do leg lifts while you're doing other things: washing the dishes, reading stories to the kids, talking on the phone. Don't worry about counting, since you'll be concentrating on other tasks, just do them as often as possible.