Five Low-Cost Workout Ideas
by Maureen Callaghan
When you hear “working out”, you’re likely imagining a gym with rows of cardio machines, weights, and personal trainers ready to suck your wallet dry. But working out doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many options for creating an affordable and practical gym setting in your own home. Here are five of our favorite home workout options.
Create Your Own Weights
Including strength training in your workout is an important part of a proper exercise routine. If you don’t have traditional weights or dumbbells, try using plastic milk jugs or bottles. You can fill them with sand or water, and check the weight on a basic bathroom scale. DIY weights are great because you can customize them for your ability and comfort. This is a great substitute for expensive weight sets, some of which you may not even use until you build strength down the road.
Use Resistance Bands
You may have seen an accessory at your local sporting goods store that looks like a long, wide rubber band or cord. These are resistance bands and are an inexpensive option to integrate into your workout. They come in different tensions based on your strength and preference (each color represents a different amount of tension). The higher the band tension, the higher level of difficulty. Chest presses, arm curls, and squats are just a few of the exercises you can perform with a resistance band. For more exercises with resistance bands, check out this article.
This exercise is guaranteed to help you burn calories (a 155 lb person can burn 260 calories with step aerobics in one hour)! Typically, you’ll pay $40+ for the type of step trainer you’d find at a gym. Instead, use a sturdy household step stool that’s at least four to six inches high and won’t slip when using it. Then put on your favorite TV series and step away the pounds.
Jump ropes are cheap and make for an easy and effective at-home exercise. One hour of jumping rope burns over 370 calories for a 155 lb person. Before starting, you should make sure that your rope is long enough so that both handles can reach your chest when standing in the middle of the jump rope. You can also liven up your routine by jumping backwards or playing music while jumping.
Sneak In Small Workouts Throughout Your Day
Many of us are busy between work and family commitments, but there are inexpensive and practical ways to integrate exercise into your daily routine. If you drive to work each day, park your car at the far end of the lot or garage and use the stairs whenever possible. If you enjoy watching TV, try jumping jacks or leg lifts during commercial breaks. A little exercise is better than no exercise—plus, it may even motivate you make the time for a full workout three to five times a week.
Getting proper exercise each day helps you maintain energy and feel better, so it’s absolutely worth trying to fit it into your schedule. We hope this helped you find a favorite new workout that fits into your schedule and budget.
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