Wouldn’t it be great if we had a free gym membership for life? I know that we all at one point or another would like to get in shape, but how serious are we when it really comes down to working out? I am a huge advocate of staying fit but to be honest, I hate working out. For the most part, I can never find the time to go to the gym and even if I could I would much rather do something else than break a sweat in a room full of strangers.
Recently I’ve discovered a few ways to get around my laziness and work out while watching TV. This not only keeps me fit, but it also keeps my membership dues in my own pocket.
First of all we have to designate a time to exercise. It could be during commercial breaks, between segments, or even throughout the entire show. Jumping jacks, pushups, leg lifts, crunches, jogging in place, squats, light weight lifting and dancing can all be done while watching your favorite show. Each routine needs to start out by a few deep breaths and stretching. Here is a quick guide on what each of these exercises can do for your body:
• Jumping jacks are a great form of cardio and fabulous for warming up.
• Pushups build up strength in the arms and muscles in the chest area.
• Leg lifts will build up strength and muscles in the legs.
• Crunches are great for the abdominal muscles.
• Jogging in place is a great exercise for a healthy heart.
• Squats are a great workout on legs but they will also benefit your glutes.
• Light weight lifting will strengthen arms. To get results I didn’t purchase weights, instead I used two cans of peas to start and worked my way up to heavier items, like two big bottles of Fiji water. You can use anything so don’t go out spending money on something you can find around the house.
• Dancing, which is my personal favorite workout, can affect most of the muscles depending on the style.
If working out with equipment is a must, then the least expensive equipment that is most effective and can be used at home include the following:
• A stability ball, also called an exercise ball or a swiss ball, is ideal for a lot of different exercises. It’s a great tool to strengthen abs, the lower back and it also makes stretching easier.
• Jumping rope is a great tool for cardio.
• Fitness bands are portable enough to be used anywhere and can work on different parts of the body, such as arms, legs and thighs.
• Weights are great used alone to tone the arms or while doing other exercises, such as walking to help burn more calories. Again, you don’t have to purchase weights. Work with what you have.
• A DVD can be purchased for at-home exercises to demonstrate all workouts.
The best part about all the equipment I mentioned above is they can each be purchased for $20 or less. With all of us watching every dollar these days, I know that a one-time $20 flat fee sounds more enticing than even $1 a day at a gym.
But again, to keep the budget as low as possible we don’t even have to spend that $20. Exercise can easily be added to our daily routine by doing chores to help us burn calories. An hour of cleaning around the house or making dinner can burn 216-302 calories. One great thing to always remember is the faster we move the more calories we will burn.
So the next time you are late to class do not get annoyed for having to run in the heat, just know by doing so you are burning more calories and that could be part of your exercise for the day.