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Fitness on a Budget

By Saymour Hodge

It can seem hard to stay physically fit when you don't have money for gym memberships, in-home workout equipment, yoga classes, or a personal trainer. However, those on a tight budget will be happy to hear that you do not need any of those things in order to be in great shape and have the body you desire.

Fitness does not have to be expensive. In fact, it can cost next to nothing. Truth be told, there are really only a few things you need in order to workout on a regular basis that cost money: a good pair of sneakers and deodorant (please).

Consider some of the following ways to stay fit without having to spend any money:

Walk/Jog

One of the healthiest things you can do is walk. Jogging is also very good for cardiovascular health, but takes a hefty toll on the health of your joints. By walking at a brisk pace each day for 30-60 minutes, you will burn fat and promote better cardiovascular health. Think outside the box and come up with some ways to incorporate more walking into your daily routine. Kill two birds with one stone by walking to your job, errands or school rather than driving. This is not only healthier but also cuts down on vehicle expenses. In fact, imagine what your life would be like if you didn't even own a car and just walked everywhere (with the occasional taxi ride when necessary). Is it doable? Many car-owners never even consider trying to get by without one. Can you get rid of your car? It might be easier than you think, help save a ton of money, and also keep you in better shape.

Scratch the Weights

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to pump actual iron in order to develop a muscular physique. Many of the popular exercises done with weights in a gym can be replicated without weights. Try doing pushups instead of the bench-press, arm-extend squats instead of barbell squats. Your body is one of the heaviest things you have to your disposal. Use it! These exercises promote more lean muscle (think: Brad Pitt) whereas lifting weights in a gym promotes more bulky muscle that can easily look fatty (think: meat-head in gym). You might find that by dropping your membership and giving up weight-lifting will do wonders for your body as long as you supplement your old exercise with body-resistance exercises. Try doing pushups or squats after every half-mile you walk. More reps and less weight is the theme. You'll be lean and mean in no time!

Just Be Active!

Gym memberships are one of the most unnecessary expenses in most peoples' budgets. Think about it: they get in their car and drive to the gym where they walk on a treadmill like a rat on a wheel. Why not just skip the whole process and walk a mile to the grocery store instead? Carrying a couple of ten-pound bags in each hand on the way home will do wonders for your shoulders and traps. Give up your cable subscription and start going to the park with a friend or dog instead. Play in a pick-up basketball game or throw around a frisbee. Be creative! You don't need to spend money in order to have fun and remain healthy!


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