So, you’ve decided to get fit this year, but you have a shoestring budget and not much time. I was able to lose 40 pounds and get into great shape from my bedroom and with little investment. Here are some of my favorite strategies.
1.) Purchase a few must-have items. Most of these items can be found at a Goodwill, but if second hand is not for you, check your local newspaper for bargains. You are sure to find many sales this time of year. I recommend purchasing 5 pound and 8 pound weights. If you are a true beginner then start with 3 pound and 5 pound weights. Second, buy an exercise ball. Third, purchase a step. That’s all you need. I’m sure that someone will talk you into a kettleball at some point, but start simple.
2.) After you have your equipment, join an online library of exercise videos that can be played through your computer or hooked up to your television. My favorite site is demandfitness.com This site has over 250 videos, from five minute workouts-on-the-go to longer more difficult classes such as their boot camp series. I enjoy their dance classes and kickboxing, but my friend likes the meditation and yoga. There are several classes that work with weights, exercise balls, and steps. You can try a week subscription for $5 or an entire year for $100. Either way, it is an inexpensive way to take classes and keep your routines from getting stale. I also like demandfitness because I can exercise after I put my daughter to bed or while she’s doing her homework. As a single mother, I like both the convenience and the price.
3.) Subscribe to a fitness magazine and commit to trying their routines each month. I have subscribed to Women’s Health and to Fitness magazine for women. Both have effective weight routines. Each month I take one or two of their routines and commit to them until the next magazine arrives. This keeps my workouts from getting stale, and helps my body tone in different areas. Most of these articles will not ask for more equipment than weights, an exercise ball, or a step.
4.) Figure out how to work in a cardio workout every day. If you like to walk, purchase a pedometer and commit to 10,000 steps a day. If you prefer working out from home, purchase an aerobic twisting stepper from Brookstone for only $80.00. It comes with resistance bands for a full workout, is hardy, and makes you sweat. When I first started to loose weight, I would watch the Biggest Looser on the television while using the stepper and it kept me motivated. On rainy days when I can’t run outside, I get on, turn up the music, and step. When you’re finished with the stepper, you can tuck it under your bed, but I keep it out to remind me to use it.
5.) If you’ve decided to try running and have an i-pod, purchase the Nike Apple Sports kit for $29. This little sensor fits in your i-pod and into your shoe to track your workouts. You can purchase the special Nike shoes, or look online to find an inexpensive pouch to attach the sensor onto any running shoe. I used this Sports Kit to motivate me to run my first half marathon last summer. It was fun to track my runs online too.