A top-of-the-line gym is a great luxury, but it's also a great place to cut costs when you are thinking about how to budget your money. Home-based workouts can save you over $250 a year or more and offer tons of other great perks as well. No nasty shower, no travel time to and from, and no wait time! Try a super-challenging, budget-friendly workout routine, and you may just have money left over for new shoes in a few months!
Head out to a local discount or department store and grab a jump rope. It will only cost you a few bucks. Jumping rope provides an excellent cardio workout for your overall cardio routine, or it can be used in between sets to keep your heart rate up. Try jumping for 30 intervals of quick jumps and 30 seconds to 1 minute of slower, resting jumps. As you get more advanced, jump on one leg for serious glute toning.
10 Pound Dumbbells
As you advance in your workouts, adding dumbbells to lunges or using weights while doing crunches will increase your muscle tone in no time. Start out with 5-lb. weights and gradually work up to 10-lb. weights. You will notice that your muscles are becoming leaner and more defined as you continue to exercise with weights.
Sweat More with Gym-less Cardio
Choose a cardio activity that you love, so that you'll stick with it. Or, if you don't love any of your options, try doing a combination of different activities for 10 minutes each. Head to the local high school and use the track or hit the pavement. Stay safe on the sidewalk! A few exercises to try include:
- Jogging: try adding intervals or hills for added intensity
- Suicide sprints: sprint back and forth for fixed distances. Sprint to the end of your neighbor's house then back to start, then to the next neighbor's house and back to start. Go to the third house and back to start. Rest for 30 minutes and repeat as many times as desired.
- Stairs: Find a local staircase and run up and down the stairs. Run quick 5 times, then slow or walk 3 timnes. Repeat for 20 (or 10) minutes.
Some of the best toning exercises use the most convenient weight possible--your own body weight. Perform these exercises in a circuit of 30 seconds each--don't count reps, just watch the clock. Complete the list, then rest long enough to get water and start again.
- Push ups
- Jumping Jacks
- Alternate leg lunges
- Single leg squats (sit down onto a bench or low seat. Push up on one leg, holding the other leg off the ground. Repeat for 30 seconds then switch legs for another 30 seconds.)
Complete different exercises on different days, or do a combination of cardio, strength and circuits to change it up and avoid boredom. Try enlisting a buddy for some variety or competition and change your venue each day. It'll be like a new workout every session!