Lean times don't mean you have to skimp on fitness. Try these easy ideas for workouts on the cheap.
Gym memberships, personal trainers, pricey equipment for the home gym -- all these expenses can make it tempting to use tough economic times as an excuse to avoid exercise. But the truth is you can build a better body on a budget. From simple workouts with no equipment to getting some of the benefits of a trainer for free by clicking a mouse, there are lots of ways to stay in shape and still save money.
To help point you in the right direction, fitness experts share advice on how to get fit for little or no money.
1. Schedule Your Workouts
When you've got a membership at a high-tech gym or a standing appointment with a personal trainer, the expense means you're less likely to skip workout time. But it's essential to approach your "no frills" workout with the same convictions.
Susie Shina, author of 60-Second Circuits: 1,000 Easy Exercise Combos You Can Do Anywhere says, "This means putting it on your schedule, making a specific time for when you're going to do your workout, and doing all you can to limit interruptions -- like turning off the phone, making sure the dog is walked before you start, and, if necessary, letting family members know that for 30 minutes or so, they are on their own."
You can also help keep your workout on track by laying out your exercise clothes the night before, Shina says. "This acts as a reminder that you don't want to skip out on your session."
Choosing a playlist of your favorite exercise songs and loading them into your mp3 player or creating a workout CD can also help. And timing the music to fit the length of your workout will help keep you on track for the whole routine.
"Motivation and music go hand in hand," Shina says. "So it's another way to ensure you stay motivated."
2. Choose Workouts That Work at Home
When you're starting a workout program, it can be hard to figure out what exercises you should be doing -- particularly if you don't have the budget for pricey equipment or personal training.