As gyms everywhere are seeing the January membership increase, resist the fitness fallacy that you need to join one to get in shape. You don’t! Many people buy expensive gym memberships because they want to guilt themselves into going to the gym to get their money’s worth. However this doesn’t always work, especially when you’re busy and getting changed, going to the gym, showering and making dinner just feels like too much. With hectic works schedules and commutes, getting to the gym may be difficult, or you may find that “rush hour” is to crowded for you to use the equipment you want.
Use equipment that you already own, or spend a faction of what you would on the gym membership on home gym basics like dumb bells and stretching mats, then work out without the stress and the guilt. Here are some cheap and effective ways to burn calories and shed pounds at home.
Exercise Routines: These are great when you’re pressed for time and can’t commit to a full fitness routine. Warm up by taking the dog for a brisk walk or walking instead of driving for an errand that you need to run. Then spend time doing an exercise routine of your choice. You’ll find many 10- to 20-minute videos on fitness blogs and magazine websites that are free, require no special equipment and are easy to follow. If you do one routine and find that you’re into the workout, extend by adding on core exercises or push-ups or head straight to a weight lifting routine.
Weight Lifting: Weight lifting is a key component of a true fitness commitment, and won’t make you bulk up. Work muscles in groups, targeting your arms one day and your legs the next. As you convert some fat to muscle, you’ll slim down in areas that are heavier. You’ll also burn more calories all day long with more muscle mass. So dedicate some time each week to weight lifting to get more results all around with fitness.
Yoga: Tone muscles, increase flexibility and enjoy greater mental clarity with yoga, a bodywork exercise that uses your own physical mass to build and tone muscle. If you want to take yoga classes at a studio, this can get expensive. Look for studios that offer reduced-fee classes with new instructors or coupon deals to get inexpensive yoga classes. If you’ve never done yoga, starting here is best since you’ll get some tips from instructors and can gauge how to really perform basic yoga moves. Consider investing in a yoga DVD or use this sequence builder to create routines you can perform at home. Yoga mat aside, you do not need anything to get started with this one.
Running or Walking: Running and walking both offer the benefits of aerobic exercise to tone and tighten muscle as well as shed pounds. Splurge on a pair of running or walking shoes, since you really need adequate footwear for this. If you live near trails or parks, you’ve got a natural place to run. If not, run through your city streets or find a neighborhood track or drive to a scenic place that offers a running trail or loop. Use a pedometer or an app to keep track of how far you run, so you can add distance.
With a workout routine as varied as this, you sure won’t miss the crowds at the gym. Once you get the basics of these weight loss methods down, incorporate longer training sessions or additional activities to continue your path to fitness.
Cassie is a fitness lover with a passion for yoga. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she loves.