If the global recession is affecting you and you’re trying to cut costs then finding ways to stay fit without going to the gym might help. Regularly going to the gym can cost quite a bit of money and might be one of your single biggest monthly expenses.
While you may not want to stop going to the gym forever, one temporary cost-cutting measure is to try and keep fit from home. Here are a few exercise ideas and tips on how to give your home workout program a running start!
Cycling: If you’ve got a bike then it’s pretty easy to keep fit – just head out for a ride! If you usually use an exercise bike at the gym then this is a great alternative, and can be much more fun too. You get to set your own route, so you can see what you want to see as you get your exercise. You can even vary your route to keep things interesting.
Bench and weights: If you’ve got a bit of spare cash you can buy a bench and weights for a home workout. You can pick these up pretty cheap – probably for the same price as a single month of gym membership, and maybe even less! With these you can do nearly all of the exercises that your gym weights machines do, without paying a single penny more than it cost to buy them. Not only that, but you can use them any time you want – not just during gym opening times.
Yoga: One of the cheapest forms of exercise to do from home is yoga. Although yoga isn’t for everyone, it’s incredibly popular and is a great way to stay healthy when taken seriously. To do yoga you really need nothing more than your body, but you might want to get a yoga mat too. That’s all you’ll need to start doing your own home yoga program.
If you’re not already familiar with yoga practice, then you can pick up DVDs on yoga instruction for next to nothing, and the internet offers loads of free yoga explanations too. There’s no reason to spend loads of money on yoga classes if you haven’t got the cash!
Exercise with no equipment: The most obvious kind of exercise that requires no equipment is running. However, there are a variety of other exercises that are easy to do with nothing besides your own body. Press-ups and sit-ups are classic examples. Pull-ups are another. Using exercises like these it’s possible to cover nearly every muscle in your body.
It’s also possible to use makeshift equipment in place of the “real” thing. For example, you don’t actually need dumbbells to do weights. All you need are heavy objects that are easy to lift. For light aerobic training you can just use food tins like baked beans. For heavier weights, try using large bottles of mineral water. Both are just as good as real weights but cost nothing extra than your shopping bill!
Tip 1: If the gym forms a central part of your social life, then stopping your regular gym attendance might not seem like much of an option. But it is possible to get your gym buddies to come and train with you from home, so don’t rule it out altogether.
Tip 2: Staying motivated during home workouts is one of the toughest things. However, there are loads of ways to keep your motivation up. One of the best ways is to find buddies to work out with from home – go for a run with your gym pals or get a friend over for a yoga session.
Another great way to stay motivated is to reward yourself for every workout (as though your own personal fitness and wellbeing wasn’t enough of a reward!). You can do this with food (careful not to undo all your hard work with this one though) or with small gifts.
Exercising from home also means that, if you’ve got music or a TV on hand, it’s your choice what to watch or listen to as you exercise. Together, these things should be able to keep you motivated and maintain your fitness even without heading to the gym regularly. Just remember not to let yourself start slipping!