Who Wants to Exercise, the Frugal Way!

Jogging

Who says you have to exercise at an expensive gym? I say that is crazy talk, for us frugal types exercise does not have to occur at an expensive gym. It can be done at home, out in nature or wherever you see fit. There are many ways to exercise on the cheap. You don’t have to join a gym and pay $50 a month to work out. Look for ways around your home and neighborhood to exercise.

This time of year most people are starting to break their New Year’s resolution to exercise. I think we should all be spending more time exercising instead. If you want to have that bikini body ready for Spring Break or even summer, now is the time to start getting into shape!

In most parts of the country winter still has a firm grip on us. I for one am ready for that grip to loosen up. But don’t let a little cold weather stop you from going for a brisk walk or maybe even a run. Below I have compiled a list of a few ways to exercise frugally.

Go for a Run around the neighborhood

Running is one of the best exercises period. Most people hate to run, I used to but now I know of it many benefits, from losing weight to gaining energy and feeling better.

Buy an Exercise DVD

Yoga poseI have used the same Yoga DVD for almost 10 years now. Yes it gets old after using it for extended periods of time. But, then I switch it up and hit the treadmill or go for a walk. The ideas are endless, just use your imagination and see what you can come up with.

Find the community pool or lake to swim in.

Towns around the country have a lake or community pool close by. Get out and go for a swim, believe me, it works out every part of your body. Still don’t believe me, just look at Michael Phelps. Granted he is a world-class athlete but, you get my point!

Craigslist!

You can find cheap or sometimes even free exercise equipment on Craigslist. People all over the globe use Craigslist every day to sell things, even exercise equipment. In my area there were treadmills and stair climbers for sale for less than $100. Take a chance, research Craigslist and give it a try.

Church, some churches have gyms.

Now I am not telling you to join a church just to exercise. That is between you and the big man! I have gone to a few churches that have huge gyms, with exercise equipment and basketball courts. Basketball is a great way to exercise and get into shape.

Go for a walk, find a city park and walk.

Most towns of size will have at least 1 city park to walk around. The city I work in, a town of around 85,000 has at least 7 parks and a few in the works. City parks have walking tracks; some have swimming pools, basketball courts, etc. So there really is no excuse not exercise.

Stairs are a perfect way to exercise.

I work on the 3rd floor and never take the elevator. I take 2 stairs at a time, this gets the ole heart a pumping early in the morning. I believe that stairs are a great way to exercise if you work on the 3rd floor or 30th floor, I recommend the stairs. Skip the elevator at work and take the stairs. Stair climbing really works at your leg muscles and elevates your heart rate, both are great for exercise and health in general.

Exercise can be found anywhere you just have to keep your eyes open. Even the frugal minded person can find places to exercise for little to nothing. I hope this article has opened your mind to all the possible ways to exercise.

What ways do you like to exercise and where? I want to hear from you!

Do You Want to Lose Weight, Don’t Go on a Diet!

I’m nutty for nutrition. I’ve become one of those people who can’t stop talking about the connection between food and health. Now that I know how much changing what you eat can transform your life, I can’t stop proselytizing.   –Robin Quivers

The word diet spelled out in vegetables on a wooden board.

Dieting is a $20 billion a year business! Just think about that for a second, $20 billion dollars is a lot of money. That equals the GDP of the Dominican Republic. Yes, Americans spend roughly the equivalency of the Dominican Republic’s GDP on diet aids and fads. That is still hard for me to wrap my head around.

Diets are dumb!

In life most people go on a 30-day diet, lose a few pounds and get excited and celebrate with a donut or whatever your guilty pleasure might be, on a side note I LOVE donuts, but I know not to eat half a dozen. Then think they can eat like they did before the diet and poof all the weight comes back and then some. Which in turn leads to more dieting and then more celebrating and anguish. The term for this type of dieting is called Yo-yo dieting.

Fresh & Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

This is one of the biggest reasons why I think diets are dumb! Just think about this for a second, what kind of food did you grow up eating? Was it healthy with plenty of fruits, veggies and lean meats or did you eat red meat, processed foods, soda and candy. Do you really think going on a 30-day diet will work? Sure you will lose around 10 to 15 pounds, but studies have shown the first 10 pounds is mainly water weight, you are basically losing the water that diets and diet pills suck out of you. That is not healthy at all!

How can I change?

I believe the only real way to lose weight and to keep it off is a lifestyle change. You must WANT to change and stick with it or it will not work. Eating healthy is a mindset and in order to succeed you have to change your life. I for one used to eat a less than healthy diet. But, over time I realized eating processed foods and drinking soda really made me sluggish and irritable, I needed a change. So I started researching what might cause these conditions and voilà it’s bad food, especially processed foods, you know what I am talking about chips, cookies, ice cream, packaged meals etc., all the stuff that tastes so good. After researching this and coming to the conclusion that my diet was the root cause I changed my diet and started eating a healthier. Now I feel great and look good too.

This of course did not happen overnight, it does take time to switch to a healthy diet, it’s not a quick fix or at least it was not for me. Some of the things I cut back on or quit all together were soda (I quit), sugar, processed foods, red meat, alcohol and I started eating many more veggies and fruits, nuts, lean cuts of meat sparingly throughout the week, and more fish. I try to cook every night and only eat what I can grow or the local farmer can grow. Granted Farmer John cannot grow tortillas, cheese, chips (yes they are processed foods, it’s my one guilty pleasure) for me, I wish he could that would be great and probably much healthier too.

Speaking of eating healthy, if everyone would take the $20 billion we spend on diets that fail and instead invest it in good healthy organic foods from a local farmer’s market, we could all live healthier and cut the cost of medical care in half if not more. No more weekly visits to the doctor, no more spending hundreds of dollars a month on meds. Because we all know the pharmaceutical business is out to make money; they need you as a guinea pig. They do not want to cure your illness, they want to treat it and have you as a customer for life. Not just for a one-time fix!

What do I eat?

You might wonder what does the Semi Frugal dude eat to stay healthy. Well I am glad you asked, there are so many foods to choose from and with Facebook, Pinterest, All Recipes, the ideas are endless. I have a few favorites I have made over and over again, I mainly try variations of them. My most favorite dish of which I had tonight would have to be veggie fajitas, I cook up a pan of red, orange and yellow peppers throw in a jalapeño for an added kick with some onions, my mouth is watering now just thinking about that, they are delicious! Or if you are feeling adventurous and want to try another variation on the delicious veggie fajitas recipe try these Smoky Vegetarian fajitas by The Picky Eater, you will not be disappointed. Another favorite I got from another great blog over at The Comfort of Cooking is made with a sweet potato stuffed with bbq chicken I also love to add some sauteed onions and a little shredded cheese thrown on top for good measure. Most days though I usually just stick with anything I can cook with onions and peppers, I can eat those delicious vegetables by the bushel.

I hope this article has opened your eyes to the dangers of diets. Diets are a waste of time, if you really want to change your life you must change the way you eat and exercise daily. Eating healthy is a mindset not a quick fix. I guarantee you, your life will be much richer and more fulfilling with a healthy diet.