Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Five ways to get a free (or nearly so) workout

For some reason, many of us think we need to join a gym to get any exercise done. I usually do, I don't know if it's just because I expected to not get a good work out in if I was at home, or that it's expected that you go to the gym to exercise and that's where it's done.

When we moved, I didn't have a car and I didn't like the idea of going to the gym on the bus, being all smelly on the way home. Also, I hate spending money on things I could probably do for a lot cheaper or free. I decided I wanted to get more fit (after gaining 20 lbs--AH!), and while browsing through blogs, found this workout. Later, when I decided I needed a little more, I researched a few DVD's. I started with Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, then moved on to two other workouts of hers once I got through the 30 days.

However, I get really tired of doing the same workouts over and over (and Jillian talking to me). Not to mention, it's not really the best way to train. Your body gets used to whatever you're doing and eventually you start to plateau. I needed some variety.

Here are a few ways that I've figured out how to get my exercise in, while keeping things fresh and free (or next to it).

1. Hulu. This is where I get most of my workouts from. If you look in their genres, there is a health and wellness station, with anything from pilates and yoga to kickboxing and intense circuit training. Some of the stations only have clips and not entire workouts, but I've noticed that it makes it fun that way. I tend to put together a workout using three 20 minute clips so I don't get bored looking at the same people or doing the same thing for an hour.

2. Podcasts. If you're someone who doesn't need too much visual instruction, podcasts are a great way to find good workouts, especially yoga. 

3. Pinterest. Have you ever searched for 'workouts' on Pinterest? It's insane, there are so many on there! When we did our holiday vacation, I looked for my workouts on there. I only did one workout (intention is all that matters, right?) but there were so many great workouts that didn't require a single bit of equipment, were quick, and worked.

4. Take a long walk. I know it's winter over on the mainland and it's snowing, icy and cold in many places, but if you get a nice day, walking is awesome. You get some vitamin D from the sun, fresh air, and great things to look at. Plus, it's been said that those who walk every day for exercise tend to keep their weight off better than others. I think it's just because it's more fun :)

5. Get a DVD with a variety of workouts. Those DVD's I got were only $7-$9 each, and were well worth it. If there's more than one workout on there, you get even more bang for your buck. I still use them from time to time, if I'm wanting something really specific and can stand to do it another time. 

Just a little side note--A lot of workouts want you to have weights. A set of hand weights can cost $15-$20, depending on the size, but if you're actually going to use them, it's money well spent. Circuit training is fabulous for you and adding some weights along with cardio helps you get more out of your time spent exercising. 

Does anyone else have some helpful tips for getting your workout in for free?

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