Monday, January 3, 2011

Exercising...For Free

Today was day three of my resolution to exercise at least two hours every day. I mean, I am not working and have nothing else to do so I have absolutely no excuse not to make time in my un-busy schedule to do this. Here's how my exercise program has been working out so far:
  • Day 1--walked three miles on our old treadmill which we have owned for ages. I then followed along with an hour long yoga class that is offered on TV through our cable company which was also free. Hubby gave me an hour long deep tissue massage on this day too which was awesome (and free!). I also did 20 push ups and 20 sit ups (free...just need floor space) and 5x10 reps with 3 pound hand weights which I have had for ages (also free but if I didn't own these I probably would have used heavy cans of food from the pantry).
  • Day 2--felt HIDEOUS. I think it was from overexercising my way-out-of-shape body plus the screeching halt to sugar, wheat, other grains, chocolate, Frapuccinos, and other unhealthy food as of December 31st. With all of the exercise and the massage I think all of the toxins in my body were screaming and running for cover causing me to feel like I had been run over by a truck. Ick. I couldn't, however, give up my goal on the second day, that would be really wimpy, so I took an aspirin...or five...and exercised anyway. I walked three miles on the treadmill, 5x10 hand weights, 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, and followed along with another exercise show on TV, this time it was dancing. I'm so out of shape it is pitiful and I am so disappointed with myself because I let myself get this way. Remembering way (WAY!) back, I used to be able to work out for three or four hours at a time sometimes twice a day and could control every muscle in my body, now my muscles are screaming for mercy because they probably haven't been used for...oh...30 years. Yikes.
  • Day 3--felt better but my muscles are still telling me that I am totally out of shape. I walked three miles this morning at the mall (I love mall walking!) which was free. In the afternoon I came home and did 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, 5x10 hand weights, and then followed along with two 30-minute kickboxing exercise shows. Hubby watched for a while laughing hilariously so you can count this as free entertainment for the family as well!

To date, all of my exercising has been free. Even if you don't have cable TV that offers free follow along exercise classes, you can always get free exercise DVDs from the library or find them online too. Here's some other free/cheap exercise options:

  • Swimming (some days at our local pool swimming is $1 for the session and occasionally they have free days).
  • Walking stairs either at a tall building in the city or at the stadium at our local high school is free.
  • Jumping rope. We have plenty of rope in the garage.
  • Walking outside (I prefer this to walking inside but it has been too icy lately to do this).
  • Ice skating (one day a week out local ice rink offers "rent skates" and skate for free day).
  • Roller skating (our local roller rink charges only $1 to skate on Wednesdays, however the big, fast teenagers scare me when I am skating so I usually opt to pay more and skate with the seniors on Saturday mornings--they are fast but not insane unlike the teens).
  • Bowling (some of the local bowling alleys offer $1 per game, however this is usually during the summer).
  • I sold my bike at our last garage sale but if I still had it, I would definitely go for a ride.
  • We have access to our local military bases which offers a range of free gym services--basketball, racquetball, weights, treadclimber, tennis, stationary bike, yoga classes, kickboxing classes, etc.
  • If you have the equipment (or buy it at the local thrift store or Walmart) you can borrow a community/school facility and play basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, etc.
  • Playgrounds are free so even if you are a few decades older than everyone else playing there, you can still play on the playground equipment (it helps to borrow a kid and do this so you don't look so odd!).
  • On Saturdays I like to Volksmarch with our local group--they are awesome!

The bottom line is that you don't need to spend a cent to exercise. Walking is free, calisthenics are free, exercise shows on TV or video are free. There's no excuse! Get out there and get healthy!

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