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Exercise Tips: Be Fit Even Without Going To The Gym

By MySpendingPlan.com Editorial Staff

Exercise is a must for everybody, regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.  However, many people do not get enough exercise simply because they cannot spare the time to go to the gym, or because they can’t afford to.  Some people just dislike the drama and the hassle of gyms.  Either way, don’t waste money on a gym membership you will not use.  It is possible to look like those fitness models without hi-tech treadmills and fancy weight machines – and keep it fun.  We’ll show you how below.

 

Before You Start:

  • Check with your doctor first if you have a heart condition or other health issues, before undergoing any serious exercise program.
  • Make sure your exercise routine combines cardiovascular workouts (aerobics), resistance training (weights), and flexibility workouts (stretching).  With the right combination of exercises, you will be able to achieve optimum fitness and avoid injuries.
  • Make sure you get some type of exercise everyday, even if it is only for 10-20 minutes.  You can spare this on the roughest days – and it will give you a positive buzz.
  • Start and maintain a fitness journal so that you can monitor your progress and see the fruits of your exercise routine.
  • Be properly hydrated when exercising (or otherwise!) – drink plenty of water.  If your urine is dark and not fairly clear, you are not getting enough water.  Also make sure you get enough electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) which your body sweats out – mostly from food, but sports drinks have these.  Just watch out for too much sugar in stuff like Gatorade.

Cardio (Aerobics):

  • Running, fast walking, climbing, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, etc. are all considered cardio workouts.
  • Any activity that pushes your heart rate up so that it is at least 70% of your maximum heart rate for more than 20-30 minutes at a time is good enough.  Basically, you should be able to talk, but not sing while doing it!  Your maximum heart rate is 220 beats per minute (bpm) minus your age.  So, if you are 30 years old, your maximum heart rate would be (220-30) 190 bpm, 70% of which is 133 bpm.
  • Make sure you do cardio workouts for at least half an hour three times a week.
  • If running or doing jumping jacks is tough on your joints, switch to swimming.

Resistance Training (Weights):

  • Use your own body weight as resistance!  Pushups, pull-ups, crunches, sit-ups, squats and lunges can be done anywhere for free.  Remember Rocky training in some farmhouse outer Siberia to take on Ivan Drago way back when?  It works!
  • Weightlifting can be done at home.  You can buy dumbbells for as little as $20 and use these as weights.  Heck, you could even use things around the house as weights.  These include large water filled bottles, buckets filled with water/sand, soup cans, etc.  If times are tight, with a little imagination, you can create your own free weights and use them for weight training.

Flexibility (Stretching):

  • Flexibility exercises involving stretching are key.  Lunges, toe touches, squats, etc. are a great way to increase your flexibility and make you fit.
  • Yoga is the ultimate form of flexibility exercise and it can be done anywhere – buy a good DVD/video or book to start if classes are too expensive or inconvenient.
  • Flexibility helps you prevent injuries.
  • Do not stretch to the point of pain or serious discomfort – flexibility takes time.

Other Tips To Get Fit and Have Fun With It:

  • Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator. 
  • Park your car a few blocks away from work and walk the rest of the way.  When going to the mall, find a parking spot that is farthest from the entrance.
  • When running errands, walk instead of driving there, if possible.
  • If you enjoy dancing, join a dancing class.  These are much cheaper than going to the gym, but are equally good forms of exercise.
  • Community sports leagues are a great way to keep fit.  Plus you get some fresh air and meet new people that way.
  • A jump rope and an exercise ball are a must have for anyone who is trying to become fit without going to the gym.  This equipment does not cost a lot, but can do wonders for weight loss.  In fact, using the exercise ball regularly will make you look like those fitness models sooner than you think!
  • Find cheap exercise equipment online.  However, never skimp on exercise shoes.  Buy the best that you can afford.
  • Ensure that you have a good diet.  That is as important as exercise for achieving optimum fitness – exercise demands the RIGHT kind of fuel.
  • There are many herbal nutrition supplements that can help you to lose weight.  However, make sure you consult your doctor before taking any kind of fitness supplements.  Avoid the caffeine or ephedra type diet pills that jack up your heart rate.

Whatever type of exercises you choose to do, make sure you pick an activity that is enjoyable to you.  If you don’t have fun while working out, you will soon lose interest and go back to your exercise-free life and gain back those unwanted pounds.

Set a realistic goal for yourself.  Losing about a pound or two each week should be your goal, after the initial period.  Weight loss that is faster than this will not be good for your health and you tend to put it back on again, and then some.  And if you are doing weight training, expect your weight to rise initially.  This is because muscle weighs more than fat so when your fat gets converted into muscle, you might put on some weight initially.  Also, your body may be retaining more water.  However, muscle is leaner than fat so you will look slimmer – observe how your clothes fit.  With continued exercise, your weight will drop.

Remember to be patient.  Weight loss and fitness will not happen in a day, but if you stick to your fitness routine, it is only a matter of time before you start looking like those fitness models!

 

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