Today I took my handsome boy to get a haircut before school starts next week. Can I just say again that I’m in complete and utter shock that school starts next week? I know I said that in my last post. But I feel the urge to say it again. It seems like only a few weeks ago I was telling you how this was going to be “the best summer ever.”
Anyhoo, the hairstylist made some sort of comment about a pinched nerve in her arm and not being able to exercise because of it.
Pardon me, hair girl…did you just say “exercise?”
That’s all ammo Fitness Friday girl needed to start talking all things fitness. She shared with me her experience of meeting with a personal trainer at the gym. A personal trainer whose main agenda was to sell her supplements and protein shake mix to the tune of $45 per month. A personal trainer who was oblivious to the fact that this single mom works two jobs to support her son and doesn’t have $45 in the monthly budget to spend on supplements. A personal trainer who pretty much convinced this woman that unless she took the supplements, her weight loss efforts were worthless.
Worthless? Are you kidding me? Even if the personal trainer didn’t actually say “worthless,” this poor lady walked away feeling that way. That simply isn’t true.
Bad information and personal agendas make Fitness Friday Girl angry. GRRRRRR….No person should walk away from a personal trainer appointment and feel hopeless or worthless. So I am here to speak to all people on a really tight budget who want to be healthy:
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! You do NOT need to spend a fortune on supplements , expensive equipment or gym memberships to be fit.
I do not work out at a gym. Over the last 20 years, I’ve accumulated some exercise equipment I use at home. We have some nice stuff now, but a lot of those years I used inexpensive or free ways to work out.
Here are a few things you can do to work your body from head to toe with no exercise equipment:
Free Exercise Moves:
1. Walking. It is completely free and it is one of the best cardio workouts you can do. It’s easy on your joints, it’s easily adaptable to any fitness level, and it can be done year round (if you can stand the changing weather). If your neighborhood isn’t safe, find a nice park. For me, walking in a park is almost a religious experience. The smells, the sounds…awesome.
2.Riding your bike. Assuming you have a bike. If you don’t, then never mind. Because buying a bike would negate the “free” part of exercise.
3.Every day opportunities to move: Gardening, heavy housework, dancing in the kitchen with your kids. Some of those are more enjoyable than others, but all are absolutely free.
4.Jumping jacks and running in place. Just like walking, but you don’t have to go outside.
5.Push-ups. Great for upper body strength, working biceps, triceps, chest and shoulders. These also can easily be modified for different fitness levels. Beginners can do them against a wall. Then on the knees. And finally a full push up. All you need is a wall. And some knees.
6.Tricep dips. All you need for these is a chair. Hopefully, you have one of these somewhere in your house. If not, just do a push up. And before you spend a cent on excercise equipment, please go buy some chairs.
7.Crunches and sit-ups. My son heard on an infomercial that “crunches are obsolete.” He likes to tell me that when I’m working out, which really blesses me. Apparently he’s been duped into believing I need the Ab Roller Plus or something. Not true. The basic crunch and the full sit up are excellent ways to achieve ab strength.
8.Squats and lunges. These are great for legs, hips and glutes. Or as my kids like to say, “your buttom” (because I forbid them to use the word “butt” and “bottom” sounds too baby-ish)
Speaking of “buttoms,” I fell down the steps last week when we were looking at new houses! Turns out that hard wood steps and my silver flip flop are NOT a good mix. Our realtor actually had to catch me as I came tumbling down, screaming. Yes, screaming. Did I mention I was also wearing a skirt? I wasn’t at all embarrassed. (lying). Anyway, I have a bruise on my “buttom” like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s so huge (the bruise…I meant the BRUISE) you can see it through certain clothes. How’s THAT for a little infomercial!!
If you have a little room in your budget, I would suggest you start with some hand weights and a good exercise DVD. If you do a little digging, you can find these things cheap! Check this out!
Basic Exercise Equipment for under $20:
At Walmart you can buy this set of weights ranging from $2.77 to $12.77.
At Target, for $8.99, you can buy this set of 5 lb weights. For 10.99, you can buy a set of 8 lb weights or $14.99 for 10 lb weights.
Also at Walmart, you can buy a good jump rope for $13.77. Have you tried to jump rope lately? Like, any time since you were ten-years-old? Talk about a good cardio work out!
At Amazon.com, you can buy the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred DVD for as low as $5.79(Dude, this DVD will kick your “buttom.”) Or The Biggest Loser Cardio Max for as low as $7.20. Or the Cindy Crawford Next Challenge Work Out DVD for as low as $8.10.
(FYI, I bought the Cindy Crawford video back in 1993 and still use it! It is an hour long, works every area of your body and is very challenging. However, it is perfect for beginners because it demonstrates the correct form for all the exercises. All you need is a small set of hand weights, or if you are a beginner, you can perform the entire routine with no weights.)
At Walmart you can buy The Firm Yoga DVD with a yoga mat for $16.77
It’s wise to invest in a good pair of exercise shoes—and that will cost at least $40 in a store. I did find a website called Deal Time that had shoes as low as $6. I don’t know if they are made from cardboard or what, but if you are on a budget, it’s worth a shot. Alternatively, if you are just starting out and you are on a tight budget, just wear comfortable shoes with a flexible sole. You don’t need any shoes to do yoga.
Look for second-hand equipment. People are always getting rid of their work out stuff. Check garage sales, Craig’s List, and EBay.
Absolutely no effort to get healthy or fit is worthless. One of my favorite fitness mantras is “something is better than nothing.” A little exercise is better than no exercise. A little healthy food is better than no healthy food. So next time on Fitness Friday, we’re going to talk about eating healthy food on the cheap.
Do you have any good tips on free or cheap exercise? Have you gotten a really good deal on second-hand equipment? Tell me about it!
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