Build a Better Body on a Budget

Getting fit can get costly. What with gym memberships, fitness wear, exercise equipments, and personal trainers. During these tough economic times, the cost can be an excuse for you to skip exercise.

But actually, there is no excuse to skip exercise. There are ways to get fit without any of these expenses. WebMD shares the following tips to build a better body on a budget:

Schedule your workouts

A membership to a gym or an appointment with a personal trainer is expensive, and the cost means you are likely to skip out on your workout.

According to Susie Shina, director of FitnessOneEighty.com and author of 60-Second Circuits: 1,000 Easy Exercise Combos You Can Do Anywhere, "This means putting it on your schedule, making a specific time for when you’re going to do your workout, and it means 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 do the following things to keep your workout on track:

Prepare you exercise clothes the nigh before. "This acts as a reminder that you don’t want to skip out on your session," says Shina.

Choose a playlist of your favorite songs and load them on your mp2 player, or create a workout CD. Timing the music to fit the length of your routine can help keep you on track. "Motivation and music go hand in hand, so again, it’s another way to ensure you stay motivated," says Shina.

Choose Workouts That Work at Home

Choosing which exercise to do can be difficult, especially if you are just starting out, and haven’t got the budget for expensive workout equipment or personal training advice.

However, according to ut all you really need to do, says Charla McMillian, JD, CSCS, is follow a few simple guidelines.

"You have to ensure that all your major muscle groups are targeted at least once each week — and no more than three times a week, and your program has to include 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise three to five times a week."

Remember to stretch. It helps improve strength and flexibility. "Always begin every workout with a few simple stretches, and always end with at least two to three minutes of stretching," suggests Adrian Garce, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based personal trainer.

Grace and McMillian suggest these no-equipment workouts to start with:

  • Squats. Standing upright, feet wider than shoulders apart, with arms extended forward or hands on hips for balance, squat down. Push knees outward as you descend, until thighs are parallel with the floor. Continue pushing knees outward as you stand.
  • Partial-body push-ups (with knees on the floor).
  • Modified jumping jack. Instead of moving your arms over your head, do these while pressing the palms of your hands together at chest level, with elbows out to form a straight line.
  • Chair crunches. Sit on a chair with hands under your behind, arms straight, and fingers facing inward toward one another. Contract your pelvis and lower abs, and, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your feet off the floor and tuck your knees in toward your chest, bending the upper body slightly toward your knees. Do as many as you can until you reach fatigue.
  • Chair dips. Place your hands on the side of the chair and wrap your fingers around the edge. Scoot forward until your bottom is on the edge of the chair and your arms are fully extended. Keep your feet about 3 inches apart with legs extended, so knees are at approximately 150 degrees with your heels grounded. With elbows pointed back and tucked in tight alongside the body, do 15-20 dips, 3 seconds down and 1 second up. Keep your chest up and your shoulders back.

Source: WebMD