Get Fit For Less

Everything from apples to arcade games is more expensive these days. So while we're busy making ends meet on the can’t-live-without basics, we may cut out more luxurious expenses: daily lattes, weekly manicures and monthly gym memberships. So in the spirit of saving, here are seven tips to get you thinking outside the gym.

Pump up your favorite music and start cleaning: Vacuuming, scrubbing, mowing the lawn and washing the car all elevate your heart rate. A 140-pound woman can burn 224 calories cleaning for an hour, calculated from a formula by the National Institutes of Health. Take your dog for a long walk around the neighborhood instead of letting him roam the backyard. Walking at a 17-minute mile pace can torch about 300 calories per hour.
COST: Nothing

Head outdoors for playtime.
Grab your friends or family and a football, Hula-Hoop or Frisbee. How about a game of hopscotch, tag or kickball? You’ll be having so much fun you won’t realize you’re exercising.
COST: $0 to $20

Be more devoted to a hobby.
Whether it’s gardening, dancing, karate or tennis, you’re more likely to stick with an activity you already enjoy doing—burning calories is just a bonus. A 140 pound woman can burn 373 calories playing singles tennis or 319 calories disco dancing for an hour.
COST: Minimal (You probably have most of the necessary equipment in your garage or closet.)

Share the expense.
Find a few friends or neighbors with similar exercise goals, and have each person buy an exercise DVD and any necessary equipment (stability ball, steps, jump rope). Then, swap weekly. This will keep you from getting bored—you’ll be switching up your routine from yoga to step aerobics to belly dancing to who knows what! An hour of yoga burns 224 calories, and strength training circuit-style (doing one exercise after another with no rest in between) can burn a whopping 532 calories per hour.
COST: Roughly $20 per DVD and $5 to $20 for the equipment

Be a savvy shopper.
Hunt garage sales, visit secondhand sports stores or search online for used bikes, free weights, DVDs, treadmills and more. Just beware of worn-out pieces.
COST: Depends on the pieces you buy and your knack for negotiating

Make your own equipment.
Exercise your brain by thinking up ways to create your own gear. Make hand weights out of canned goods or fill water bottles with sand. Use your household stepstool for step training—just make sure it’s sturdy and placed on an even surface.
COST: Less than $10

Look for freebies.
Many gyms offer free trial memberships, or keep an eye out for coupons in neighborhood fliers or on gym websites. Or, sign up for a charity race, which may offer free training sessions leading up to the event. You’ll not only get free advice, but you’ll also help a good cause.
COST: Nothing

Expert Help
Visit or call 678-312-2810 to set up an appointment with a GMC exercise specialist.


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