Financially fit for life

Workout without your pockets breaking a sweat.

So you’ve decided it’s time to get your body moving and fit for summer, and beyond. Did you know getting in shape may help you live a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life? Great! Now you’re wondering, “How do I get started when I only have limited money to go towards working out?” You don’t have to own fancy gym equipment or have a membership to an expensive fitness club to get fit.

Let the outdoors be your personal gym. You can work out for free by running or walking outdoors. If you already own a bike, roller skates or rollerblades, take a trip to a local park to get your cardio workout in. Jumping rope burns a lot of calories or you can try working out at a recreation center; a great free or low-cost option. Many churches may also offer free fitness classes. Other options include indoor roller skating, playing basketball or tennis and going to the park and the local pool to swim. You can even workout in your own backyard! Try a yoga DVD at home for a workout that will increase your strength and flexibility along with helping to calm your mind as well.

Remember to stay within your physical limitations, and always consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding your exercising.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that adults need at least two hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) every week and muscle strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

If you absolutely must have workout equipment to help you get the best out of your home gym, consider second-hand equipment. If you have the space, a home gym can be a convenient way to stay in shape. You can cut costs by shopping for second-hand equipment at your local second-hand stores or at garage sales. One person’s junk is another’s treasure!

Remember, being physically active contributes to a healthier you. Michigan State University Extension offers many educational programs for adults and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote physical activity.

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