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!

New Years Resolutions are a Waste of Time!

New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. – Mark Twain

Photo by iStock

New Year’s resolutions are the topic of the day and apparently the blogosphere as well. Everyone wants to add their 2 cents to the mix and I am no different.

First off let me clear the air here. I am not trying to sound negative, although it may seem this way. I just believe that NY resolutions are a waste of time. If you want to change your life for the better, why wait until Jan 1 to take action. Start when the mood strikes, not when the calendar flips over to a new year. If you have not guessed yet, I do not keep or make resolutions. I do make changes throughout the year to better myself.

One of the biggest resolutions and one that usually gets dropped first is going to the gym, this time of year gym memberships spike and gyms are filled with excited new members who are going to change their lives and exercise daily. A quote from US News-Health sums it up perfectly “By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution-ers are back home with a new kind of remorse staring back at them in the mirror – the remorse of disappointment.” By mid-February most people have had enough time to come up with a few good excuses as to why they can’t go to the gym anymore. Most revolve around time constraints or lack of motivation.

Another side to this famed resolution is the cost. Most gyms require a monthly membership fee and most make you sign a year’s contract, which locks you in for an entire year at around $50-80 per month. If you only use the gym once or twice a week for a few months, then this becomes a very expensive, broken resolution. The typical person will have spent between $600 to almost $1000 for a VERY expensive workout. Why not take that money and invest it in a good dividend paying stock or boost up your 401K or if you really want to dump the money, give it to me. I know what to do with it!

Photo by Jamie Hamel-Smith

Another of the resolutions that doesn’t last long is eating healthy/dieting. Of all the resolutions made, this should be one of the easiest to keep, it just requires the proper motivation and self-control. I can hear the whining now, it’s too hard or too expensive; I don’t have time and a million other excuses. I say hogwash to this!

Most grocery stores these days have caught on to the healthy eating idea and they stock their Produce department with delicious treats. In my research, it is cheaper to shop the outer isles and stock up on fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks, than it is to buy junk food and processed foods. We were not built to eat processed foods, excess sugars and drink sodas all the time. This is why the average American is blowing up like a hot air balloon. I believe eating healthy should be a regular part of life. There is no need to make it a resolution, make it a lifestyle change. Make it an everyday habit. I promise you, you will start to lose weight and feel better than ever before, plus you’ll have more energy and the mental fogginess and mid-day slumber will go away. As the old saying goes you will feel like a million bucks!

The 2 resolutions above are a few of the more popular choices and 2 that are broken the quickest. With that being said, there are ways to try and keep those resolutions or ideas fresh in your head throughout the year. How, you might ask? One word…Technology or more specifically the popular saying from years past, “There’s an App for that”.

A few of the more popular weight loss/dieting and exercise apps I found are:

MyNetDiary: This app lets you track the food you eat and the various exercises you do all while keeping you motivated and on track for your goals.

FitStar Personal Trainer: FitStar puts convenience, control, and the change you want to see in yourself back in your hands. Want to get flexible, strong, lean, or just want to get moving? Our yoga or personal trainer apps—with more on the way—will craft your perfect routine and challenge you when you’ve hit a plateau.

These are just a couple of the thousands of apps you can choose from. Anyone today can search the web and find the next greatest app. It just takes a few minutes of work.

To sum up this post, I believe New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time. In order to really change your life you need to make these ideas into real heart-felt lifestyle changes. They should become an everyday habit in your life. Stop spending thousands of dollars on gym memberships and unhealthy eating. Instead focus more on what is important in life, you can exercise at home for free or next to free, when grocery shopping shop the outer isles of the grocery store where the real foods are, fruits, veggies and the least processed foods. Enjoy life, explore this great country we live in and be thankful for what you’ve got!