It can be so easy to come up with financial or time-related excuses not to get fit, but hopefully the following can demonstrate how easy it is to get into shape for free. Not only do these tips carry no additional financial burden, but some can even be done bit by bit throughout a day or week to make it easier to fit physical fitness into a busy schedule! Don’t forget to ask your chiropractor if these exercises are right for you and to be trained in proper form and positioning.
▪ Park at the end of parking lots to add more steps walked per day. Similarly, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Each time you choose to walk a little farther or climb a few more stairs is extra physical activity you can count toward your daily goals.
▪ Exercise using your own body weight as resistance. Great examples of exercises include lunges and squats. To increase difficulty, use a step or a kitchen chair to prop up a foot while doing single leg squats. Your weight remains on the foot that is on the ground, but doing these exercises with one leg is inherently more difficult.
▪ Use everyday household objects to add resistance training to your day. Hold a can of soup in each hand to perform bicep curls, tricep extensions, deltoid fly, and chest presses. Bags of flour or sugar, and jugs of detergent can be held out in front of your body for added resistance when doing weight-bearing exercises like lunges and squats. Do a few of these exercises throughout the day when cooking, doing laundry, or even brushing your teeth, and you will be surprised how much exercise you can fit into your day with very little added time commitment.
▪ Crunches, push-ups, and planks are some of the most modifiable exercises to suit your needs, experience, and skill level. The whole family can get involved by having contests for the longest held plank or most push-ups.
▪ Get outside! Go for walks, jogs, or bike rides and see the beauty of Western New York throughout the seasons. Explore destinations like Delaware Park and the bike path along the Niagara River.
▪ If the weather is inclement, as is so common in Western New York, don’t let it stop you! Head to the mall and walk around at a brisk pace for 20 to 30 minutes. A little window shopping doesn’t hurt either, and it’s still free!
▪ In the months with nicer weather, take advantage of town amenities such as public pools. With a resident ID card, you typically can have unlimited swimming access in your town.
▪ Get together with friends! Whether playing a sport like basketball, football, or baseball or just playing catch, it can be a lot of fun to play an active game with friends. Not to mention the added benefit of being accountable to one another to make sure everyone gets moving too!
▪ Watch a fitness video online. There are countless free fitness videos streaming online on sites like youtube.com. It can be just as fun as taking a class, but with the added comfort of your own living room! Although there can be strength in numbers, especially when other class members add to the excitement, it can be nice to know that no one is watching. For this reason, online Zumba or yoga, for example, can be remarkably liberating and great stress reducers. Just have fun!
Happy New Year and have fun getting fit for free in 2016!