Frugal Fitness

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Fitness is frugal. Becoming fit and improving or maintaining fitness improves health, reduces the likelihood of injuries, and reduces medical expenses. Do you need a gym or fitness club membership to improve or maintain your level of fitness? Some people do, and some people don’t.

Some people need to know they have a scheduled exercise class or an appointment with a personal trainer to stay committed to their fitness program.. Some people who are just beginning to exercise may need the expertise provided by a class instructor or trainer. An instructor or personal trainer will demonstrate how to perform an exercise or use equipment properly. A personal trainer teaches how to monitor progress and change a fitness program so that it remains challenging as fitness improves.

Some people prefer to exercise with the equipment available at a fitness club and may not have the budget or the room to purchase it for their home.

Some people find that making an exercise appointment to meet one or more friends at home or at a park with a walking or fitness trail is an adequate substitute for a scheduled appointment for a class.

Some people dressing and driving to a fitness club is a hassle. They would prefer to exercise at home whenever they have the time.

Frugal Fitness at Home

If you are considering developing a home fitness program, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on equipment, and advice is available on developing a balanced program that becomes more challenging as you progress.

One good source for developing a balanced program is the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)  Fitness Book. Now in its third edition, the book starts with tests to determine your current levels of flexibility, aerobic fitness, and muscular strength as well as evaluating your body mass index. You compare the results to the results for men or women in your age group to determine the level at which you should begin exercising in each category – flexibility, aerobics, and strength training. You may be more flexible but lack muscle strength. If so, you will start at a higher level on the set of exercises for flexibility, but a lower level for the set to build muscle strength. After six weeks, you perform the tests again to judge your progress, and adjust the levels of the exercises accordingly.

To perform the exercises in the ACSM Fitness Book, you might want an exercise mat and a pedometer, but all you really need is an inexpensive vinyl-covered dumbbell-type weight. If you need to purchase one, test them in the store to find a weight that hits a balance between being too easy too lift and causing you to strain when lifting it.

Quick & Simple has created three playlists of approximately 30 minutes of walking music at tempos for beginning, intermediate, and advanced programs that are available for purchase as a set through iTunes – no need to search out the songs separately if you have iTunes installed on your computer. To view and download all three lists, click on the “iMixes by this User” button on the iTunes navigation bar.

Varying Your Routine

The ACSM recommends trying different activities to varying your routine. For example, instead of walking you could use you’re the walking playlists for an aerobic dance or step routine. Two sites Stepcenter.com and Turnstep.com offer free descriptions of different steps accompanied by animations to help you learn how to do them. You will also find free choreographed routines, some of them rated according to your level of fitness. Turnstep also offers an an aerobics dictionary.

ExpertVillage.com offers instruction on hip hop moves, but you might want a different mix of tunes for that.

Frugal Fitness Equipment

If you travel, a set of resistance bands could travel with you. Just fasten them to the door of your hotel room. Wearing ankle and wrist weights while performing your aerobic routine can increase the benefits. If you want to try yoga but lack the flexibility for some of the postures, a yoga strap and block helps. You can purchase each separately or as a set.

Family Fitness

Sports count as fitness activities, too. You can involve your family fitness routine, and convince them it’s all fun, with the purchase of a badminton or volleyball set. With the purchase of a Frisbee, you can include your dog in the fun.

Frugal Fitness

Whether you choose to pursue fitness through a gym or fitness club membership or at home, it’s a frugal choice. If your budget demands that you give up your club membership, though, continuing an exercise routine at home does not require investing a lot of money in equipment. You can stay fit frugally with no strain at all on your budget.

To learn more about frugal living click here.

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