Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Exercise for Less

Exercising in a gym can be a very motivational fitness move for a couple of reasons: First, gym memberships are usually so expensive – that's why you will be making time for it regardless of how busy you are. And second, going to the gym makes the whole exercise for fitness thing seem more real and gives you the feeling that you are actually exercising. However, if the steep gym fees are what's keeping you from exercising, here are some tips that can help you remedy the problem:

1. Be resourceful.

Everyday activities can be a good source of exercising opportunities. While exercise equipment do contribute to the whole fitness experience, they are not necessary. With a little foresight, activities you may take for granted can become part of your exercise routine. Walking to errands, taking the farthest parking space, or climbing the stairs are excellent opportunities to sneak in some exercise in your daily routine. Household chores, especially those the require movement like vacuuming, scrubbing the floors, raking leaves, or shoveling snow, are also great in providing you with chances to exercise. If all else fails, playing and running after your children should do the trick.

2. Invest in your own equipment.

If you are really in the mood for some exercise equipment, you can invest in your own instead of sharing with other sweaty gym members. And more importantly, you do not have to pay huge monthly fees to get to use them. You do not even have to go for those bulky exercise machines since there are inexpensive exercise equipment that can give you the same benefits without breaking the bank. Dumbbells, for one, are small, hand-held weights that you can use to strengthen your upper body. You can also use resistance tubings to build strength in your arms and other muscles. You can even customize each according to your fitness levels. Jump ropes and exercise videos are also good and cheap exercise equipment.

3. Practice smart shopping.

While window shopping can be great exercise, it does not really do much for the fitness department except make your calves look unbelievably solid. If you're interested in a specific exercise class or piece of equipment, shop around. If you live near a high school or college with a fitness center, ask if the facility is available to community members. Some sporting goods stores specialize in used equipment, or you can check out listings for exercise equipment in the local newspaper. Just make sure that the shipping fees are reasonable and will not put you over your budget.

When it comes to fitness and exercising, don't buy herbal supplements or other products that claim fitness benefits overnight or promise to melt away pounds without diet and exercise. Also avoid exercise products that focus on one body part such as abs or thighs. There's no such thing as spot reducing. What will serve you well is stocking up on muscle relaxants since muscles have the tendency to hurt and seize up after exercising.

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Kristine Anne Gonzaga is a content writer and researcher who specializes in health topics and health-related issues. She delights in finding tips and ideas on simple and practical healthcare and sharing them through her writing.

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