Exercise Tips: Be
Fit Even Without Going To The Gym
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
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
- 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.
- Running, fast walking,
climbing, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, etc. are all considered
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- Flexibility helps you
- 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
- 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
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!