A well-rounded exercise plan does not need to be expensive, nor does it require a ton of equipment. It DOES require 3 things. If you don’t have the time, check out yesterday’s post on MAKING time to exercise!
The first thing required is strength training. If you are really out of shape, just holding your arms above your head is enough of a workout. If you haven’t done any exercise in a long time or have health issues, you should probably get clearance to exercise. If you have never lifted weights before, I strongly suggest a personal trainer who can set you up with a routine to follow & provide accountability. If you don’t know of any in person, check online for Internet-based coaches.
If you have enough experience to go it alone, remember to hit both sides of the muscle (i.e. Bicep/tricep) and all the major muscle groups:
If you do nothing else, strength train. Muscle burns more calories than fat, it helps you do more on a practical level and it also helps your bones.
Check one of these sources for premade strength training routines for women:
Once you have the strength training habit down (about 6-12 weeks later) you could add in cardio if you want. I will be running starting in May, God-willing, temperature dependent, of course. You could also just take walks around the neighborhood, park farther from the store as the weather improves, take the stairs or even just sprint up & down yours when doing the laundry :).
You could also do a video of choice (I like Kathy Smith’s old videos), hit up the YMCA, or a group fitness class. Videos and walking/running will be your most frugal options unless you know someone, find a Groupon or Living Social deal, or have access included on something you already pay for.
For years, I have skipped this one when I didn’t feel like I had time. Do not skip this!
Let me share a story. In February, my back went out. With a 20 lb, 9 month old. I had to crawl to the car with tears in my eyes to get to the chiropractor. I was there twice a day for a week, every day the next week and twice a week for the next 2 weeks. Part of the culprit was a crazy tight psoas muscle. So tight that one of them did NOT want to release. For anything.
So, stretch every muscle group you work. And even do some gentle stretching while playing with the kids on days you don’t exercise to get & stay limber.
What do you enjoy the most — cardio, weights, or stretching?
Check out these 5 Days of… posts from other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew:
Nicole @ Journey to Excellence ~ Missouri
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back ~ Babywearing
Kristi @ The Potter’s Hand Academy ~ Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ Science
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: where life happens ~ Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ A Christ-Centered Home
You can see all the posts in the 5 Days of Frugal Fitness series here. Come back tomorrow to find out about 5 frugal & versatile essential pieces of exercise equipment.