If you have made New Year's resolutions then you probably have said that you want to lose more weight. You're under the same line of thinking as last year and the year before that.
How's that going for you? If we are making the same resolution as the year before than we have gone wrong somewhere. What is or what is not working? For many, what isn't working is paying for a membership to a gym and not going to the gym. If you can afford to do so, a gym membership is a great thing to have as long as you use it!
Maybe you have a membership to a gym as I do or maybe you recently acquired your membership to enhance your health and fitness for your new goal. That is great! Many people are unable to do so though and I thought it'd be good for everyone, gym members included, to know of ways that exercise and fitness can come at no cost; health and fitness can come free.
I. Go for a walk.
What is a walk going to do for you? Everything! Your goal was to become healthier right? Breathing fresh air, moving around, and outdoor scenery can do great things for you! Maybe it's around your block that you'll walk. Going to the nearby park and walking around will give you a good workout as well. Many parks now have walking paths for those wanting to get outdoors. If you live near a school, chances are that there is a running track near you then - take advantage of that track and track your distance with ease and without any special technology. Walking is free and it's benefits are priceless.
II. Take up Hiking.
Hiking has a lot of walking in it but here is much more to hiking. Hiking can be very challenging. When hiking, you will find that your heart rate is going to perform at different rates rather than the consistency of walking. This would be compared to circuit training. Your heart rate is going to rise when hiking uphill in the woods more so than walking through a valley. This change in heart rate is going to promote weight loss just as circuit training in the gym. Find a nearby state park, friend's or family's property, or local park and go exploring! Hiking can be great for the mind as well. Any type of exercise can be rewarding but hiking and taking in the outdoors will provide you an opportunity to view the grandeur of the creation around us. As you hike, look for wildlife, beauty and get away from the busyness of the everyday.
III. Use Your Body for Resistance Training
Being overweight comes at a health cost. It usually means labored breathing, higher risk of heart disease, lack of energy, sleep problems, and many, many more side effects. One way that you can overcome this weight problem is to use the weight against your weight. Simple exercises, in terms of difficulty to perform, like push-ups, squats, and lunges can use your current weight to build muscle - all while losing weight. Let your inhibitor become a benefactor.
IV. Get Creative with your No-Cost Workouts
I've carried a lot of groceries in from the car to the house for my wife. I tell you that a gallon of milk can get heavy after a while. Why not save your milk containers and fill them with water and use them as weights for lifting? Do lunges while carrying the filled containers. Fill them with dirt, water or sand - all of that would work for the task. Why not do what many gyms are doing and use a tire for a workout? Let's face it, you won't be able to lift a tractor tire in the beginning for this workout so go with a smaller one. Take an old tire and flip the tire over again and again. Take a sledge hammer, bat or stick and hit the tire with force. Tie a rope around the tire and drag it. Do you have a fire place? Take those pieces of wood that you've cut for the fire place and throw them as far as you can again and again. Does your child have a swing set? Go and do pull ups on the swing set. A quick search on the internet can give you machines or exercises that you can perform in the gym; just mimic those moves and machines with things you have around the home.
V. Scour the Free Listings on Social Media & Craigslist
People are always getting rid of things. Granted, at the beginning of any year it would be a little harder to find exercise equipment for free as many are now using their dusty machines or people are benefiting from selling their unused equipment. Some though are being given away. Find a local Facebook group and search for free items. Put a ISO (In Search of) or WANTED post out there on those sites stating what you are looking for. Drive around during spring cleaning and see what people have put on the curb. It seems that exercise bikes are always available. Check Craigslist to see what is in your area. Ask family to see if they have something around the house that is unused. Remember that you don't have to own the equipment personally but can borrow the equipment from friends or family until you can save up enough to get what you want!
It may not be as easy to exercise as it is to come up with excuses not to exercise but it is totally worth it when you see the results!