Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Favorite Frugal Fitness Workouts

Creating a home fitness center is the latest do-it-yourself project around my home. With a mix of creativity and technology, the goal is to stretch muscles without overextending the home budget. Here's my blueprint:

Radio aerobics: Attending an aerobics class at a gym can be a challenge when time and money are in short supply. But the humble radio is a solution. With fast-paced music stations, a full-length mirror, a clock and a pair of sneakers, I've recreated some of my favorite moments from fee-based, cardio-dance classes. Basically, I dance, jump and hop around to the beat of my favorite stations. During a 30-minute, dance-at-home session, the radio provides music for my inventive cardio routines, and the commercial interruptions serve as stretching breaks between songs. I use a mirror to monitor my posture and a clock to time my workout.

Mastering stairs: In addition to purchasing second-hand fitness equipment, there are a range of frugal options for working out at home. At Target, for example, I recently found a step work-out system for $60 and a mini step-counting, electrical stair machine for $70. Both products are compact and easily stored. My frugal children, however, suggested that I just run up and down the stairs (10 flights) in our apartment building for free. I could also use the stairs at malls, office buildings and public walkways.

Jump ropes: Dollar stores and sporting goods stores sell a variety of jump ropes at affordable prices. There's even a website -- -- with facts, videos and tips about jumping rope. -- an online manual of how-to tips and articles -- offers a free guide for jumping rope, with a video.

TV, video and online programs: My friend Claudia Vigil-Perez of Miami gets in shape by tuning into a fitness channel offered by a cable provider. Likewise, using our home computer, my teenage son has worked out along with a video posted on by a personal trainer. Public libraries, video stores and secondhand book stores also have broad workout videos in different genres.

Here's how to buy my book:

@ Barnes & Noble
@ Borders


W Jackson said...

Good morning,

I have been trying to lose weight for a long time. I have tried weight watchers twice and had several memberships to a variety of gyms. Throughout the months of October, November, and December I gained about 20 lbs. That was enough. Also, at the time of the gain I was the largest I had ever been.

My plan was to lose weight without paying anyone to help me. I purchased a bike trainer from Dick's (it attaches to my bike and makes it stationary). I do 50 squats using a pilates ball. I stretch daily. Also with the ball I do leg raises.

To date, I have lost 12 lbs. Sometimes, I do overeat on the weekends, but overall I am proud of what I have accomplished. 13 lbs. to go, I will lose 25 lbs total, that is my goal. I gave myself a deadline of March 31, if I have not achieved it, the world is not going to end for me.

I want a healthy lifestyle. I can tell that my clothes are fitting different. I had to take matters into my own hands and realize that I can do it for myself without paying a gym or personal trainer. I too use FitTV and the stairs at the park.

Thanks for the motivation. I like your blog. It is very useful.

Have a wonderful day!

Craig said...

youtube is a great way to get exercise videos for free. I have utilized 8 minute abs quite a lot of times.

Anonymous said...

The internet has practically changed exercise routines. Now there's youtube clips and has clips of their own. In extreme times you don't have to leave the home to get a good workout.