Cheap Home Fitness Ideas
Cheap Ways to Work Out at Home
The beginning of a new year often means weight-loss resolutions and promises to stick to a budget. It can be hard to meet either goal, let alone both. A gym membership that goes unused continues to drain a bank account, and while you can always lace up a pair of new running shoes and head outside on a regular basis, some of us need more structure. Here, then, are several cheap approaches to at-home fitness.
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Workout DVDs.You don't need thousand-dollar treadmills and weight machines to get a good full-body workout at home. Dumbbells or elastic bands do the job for resistance training, and a jump rope can help increase cardio performance. Once you've determined what type of training you want to start with, finding a realistic plan you can stick with is important. A workout DVD is one way to go, and Cheapism's guide to workout DVDs features several that cost $10 or less and receive many positive reviews.
Find a Group.Finding a support community, either online or off, is an important part of keeping a workout plan on track. Even with a DVD to guide individual exercise, teaming up with a friend is a motivational booster. Online communities such as Reddit's r/fitness are also filled with thousands of fitness fanatics willing to share advice and support. If you love video games and need a push to get off the couch, you'll find kindred spirits at Fitocracy, which has users record their workouts to complete quests and "level up."
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For one-on-one support and advice, a personal trainer can help improve almost any routine. To keep costs down and the at-home fitness program theme going, consider an online personal trainer. Although the trainer won't be able to move your body into the proper position, the expert can help create custom workouts and diets, define goals, and keep you committed.
No Equipment, Little Time, and Quick Results.Smartphone apps can help lead you through an at-home fitness program. Fleetly is a free fitness app that turns working out into a game by rewarding participants with points and allowing them to compete in friendly challenges. Some niche apps, targeted at, say, ab workouts, are also available at no cost. Others, such as Gorilla Workout, come with a $0.99 charge and offer a number of different exercises.
Another easy-to-use app, available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry, is the free Max Capacity Training. It's well-suited for people who are short on time and don't have any equipment at home. The fitness program only takes 16 minutes a day, three days a week, for 12 weeks. The app clearly explains how each exercise is performed, acts as a timer for the workout, and can be used to track progress. To make the most of limited time, Max Capacity Training combines High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and bodyweight exercises that get progressively harder as each week goes by. HIIT has been shown to increase the resting metabolic rate for long post-workout periods, which means more fat burning as well as increased performance (even among top-tier athletes).
Work Out or Pay Up.Finally, if you really need a kick in the pants to maintain an at-home fitness program, several services link hard-earned money with working out. GymPact is a smartphone app that tracks workouts at the gym, at home, or with imported data from RunKeeper. The catch is that you must hand over your credit card information and agree to work out a set number of times each week. If you don't follow through, you pay at least $5 for a missed workout; if you do keep up, you earn a share of the penalties paid by the laggards. DietBet is similar but focuses on weight loss rather than exercise. Participants place a wager, typically $25-$35, on whether they'll be able to lose 4 percent of their weight. After four weeks users who hit the mark get to split the pot.