Where is the best place to exercise and get fit? If answering “the gym” makes you cringe because you can’t afford to go, don’t worry. With the state of the economy and our limited budgets, many people who would like to go to the gym often can’t afford it. Very frequently this leads people to give up even though they don’t have to. You CAN get physically fit without stepping inside a fitness center, starting today.
The healthiest exercise plan consists of both cardio exercises and strength-training at least three times a week. One of the most tried-and-true methods is going for a jog in the morning. However, if you’ve been sedentary for some time, don’t attempt to run a full 30 minutes – you will be left out of breath and with sore muscles. If you’re just starting out, the best way to start would be to take a 10-minute brisk walk for two days in a row. The next few days, walk for 9 minutes, run for a minute, and repeat. Then walk for 8 minutes, run for two, and repeat. Gradually increase your run time as you increase your stamina.
Jogging every day is even more effective when you have a dog to beg you every day, or if you bring a friend along for moral support. However, if you live in the South, running in 100 degree weather may not be an option for you. If heat stops you from jogging, check out your local swimming pool. Not only does the water constantly refresh you, but swimming combines strength-training as well as cardio due to the added resistance. In fact, swimming laps for just 15 minutes can potentially burn the same number of calories as running for an hour. (Just don’t forget your sunscreen.)
There are plenty of options available when it comes to exercise. If the term “working out” sounds like the least fun thing on your mind, maybe you need a change of mindset. Think of what you like to do. If you love nature or are environmentally inclined, go for hikes with your family or volunteer to pick up trash. If you enjoy dancing, expand your horizons – try ballroom, tap, ballet, or bellydancing. If you are video-game inclined, invest in a Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution. You can keep track of calories burned as well as listen to some of your favorite music.
Remember, exercise does not have to be completed all at once. Lift 5-10 pound weights while watching TV, then do two sets of sit-ups and pushups during commercial breaks. Drink plenty of water throughout the day so you stay well-hydrated. Last but not least, take fitness one day at a time. Physical fitness does not happen overnight, but rather the little things we do each day to achieve it.