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Seven health and fitness tips that won’t break the bank

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Health and fitness – has it taken a backseat to your budget throughout the GFC? Your health needn’t cost you a well-toned arm and leg in gym membership fees. There are ways to manage a healthy weight while maintaining a healthy budget.

1. A little less personal training

If you insist on the personal trainer, a cheaper alternative could be group training sessions, where the trainer coaches several people at once. The shared cost will work out cheaper, while the work-out remains the same.

2. Rent-a-work-out

Video stores offer more than their name suggests – why not rent out weekly work-out DVDs for a new instructional fitness routine every week?

The added benefit is you can be as daggy as you please in the comfort of your living room – exercise in uggs and paint-stained trackies? Yes please!  

3. Game on!

A fun and easy way to get the pulse racing is to invest in a Nintendo Wii, the gaming console which encourages active gaming. For maximum workout, purchase the Wii Fit and an electronic balance board – you can virtually play any sport you want, from virtual yoga to virtual snowboarding. Can you feel the virtual breeze as you hit the slopes? 

4. Recall the good old days

Think back to your childhood – how did you exercise back then? Bet it didn’t involve guilt-ridden gym membership.

Hark back to days of old and invest in a skip rope, a Frisbee or a game of Twister and reenergise the days when exercise was synonymous with play. 

5. Lift weights

Sure, you could invest in some dumbbells – or, for no cost, use your own body weight to tone muscle. Try exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, triceps dips and back extensions. And when these get too easy, slow your movement to increase the duration of muscle tension or increase your reps.  

6. Shift perspective

Treadmills don’t get you anywhere – take a hike or walk around the city. The changing terrain under your feet will actually strengthen and tone different muscles as it’s forced to adapt. This could even be as simple as a couple of laps around the block in your lunch hour.

Remember to keep your head high, bottom tucked in and abdominal muscles pulled in towards the spine to increase the effectiveness of the walk and cushion the impact on your back.  

7. Incidental exercise

Did you know while sitting you expend 1.6 calories per hour? On the other hand, cleaning the house for an hour burns 576 calories, and gardening 320 calories. Just getting active and crossing those to-dos of your list can contribute to your good health.

Of course, all that hard work will be futile unless you combine your strategy with a healthy diet.

By engaging in a frugal workout, not only will you feel healthier and lighter, your bank account will feel fatter – now that’s an efficient way to good health and fitness!

Published on: Friday, August 27, 2010

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