Low-cost ways to get in shape

You don't need an expensive gym membership to get in shape. You don't even need to spend a ton of money on expensive equipment. If the only thing stopping you from getting is shape is the thought of a pricey membership than consider these low-cost solutions to help you get started.

Take advantage of everyday opportunities. Take a brisk walk. Walk 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back for 30 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise. Like I've mentioned in past articles, you can sneak in some extra steps by parking further from your destination, or taking stairs instead of elevators. Make household chores count or have some fun with the kids and join in their play.

Consider modest investments. Some inexpensive simple options you may like to consider investing in are dumbbells (small handheld weights), resistance tubing, jump ropes, or exercise videos or DVD's.

Improvise. If you'd rather not spend a penny on exercise equipment, you can use items you may already have on hand. Canned goods can double as hand weights. If you need something a bit heavier, try using empty milk or water jugs filled with water. You can put them on a scale to see how much they weigh. A sturdy step stool can be used as well, and please don't forget about my favorite exercise ... The Pushup! If you are not able to do a full push up right away it can be easily modified by doing them from your knees or against the wall. Squats are another great exercise that can be done with no equipment. Start by doing them sitting into a chair and standing up again until you get the form correct. Eventually you will be able to do them without the chair there at all.

Exercise can do you a world of good but not if you get caught up in the things you need and don't have. Stay focused on your goal and be creative with all the ways you can reach them without breaking your budget

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached by e-mail at corinna@adkbikeranch.com. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

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