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Exercising on a Budget: How to Stay In Shape Without Breaking the Bank
Posted on Jan 28, 2014 by Luke James
Gyms, classes and trainers can get expensive but that doesn’t mean that you need to neglect your fitness. We count down some of the best ways to workout without blowing out the budget.
We all want to look our best and keeping fit is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, gym memberships, personal trainers and specialized equipment can take a toll on finances. When funds are a little tight, it provide a tempting excuse to not exercise as much as we should. Staying fit requires dedication and a healthy dose of determination, but not necessarily a massive budget. We explore some of the best options for keeping fit without breaking the bank:
Start jogging each day
Jogging and running are some of the best ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness, develop strong bones and maintain a healthy body weight. Commencing each morning with a morning jog is a fantastic way to start the day. A vigourous jog releases endorphins and energises you to take on the challenges of the day.
Ride your bike
The cycling infrastructure has expanded significantly over the past few years in the UAE, making riding to work or taking a leisurely weekend cruise a far easier proposition. The other benefit of biking is that you can save money on petrol and avoid the costs associated with catching public transport.
If you’re in Dubai, make sure to click through here for pointers on where to find the best bike tracks in the city
Workout at home
Whilst a seemingly endless procession of late night infomercials touts the benefits of the latest and fanciest home gym equipment, some of the simplest home gym options are still the most effective. Consider investing in the following to get a great workout at home, saving you time, space and money.
Resistance bands: Easily fitting into an old suitcase or drawer, resistance bands are an effective way to use your own body’s weight to work a variety of muscles in your body.
Dumbbells: There’s no need to splash out on an expensive weight machine when a simple set of adjustable dumbbells will generally get the job done at a fraction of the price.
Skipping Rope: A staple at any boxing gym, skipping is an excellent way to build up your cardiovascular health and warm up or down after an exercise session. Best of all, skipping ropes cost peanuts.
Exercise Ball: These inflatable balls are fantastic for building up core strength and aiding in balance, and can be used to target specific muscles and get the results you’re looking for.
Try bodyweight workouts
There are numerous exercises that require little more than a bit of motivation and your own body to get a great workout. Turn off your phone for an hour, crank up some of your favourite music and try the following for a great, all around workout.
Squats: One of the best moves in fitness, squats build muscles in your entire body, help maintain mobility and balance and tone your butt and abs.
Lunges: This functional, multi-joint exercise can be adapted to your individual fitness level, improving core strength, improving hip flexibility and strengthening your buttocks and legs.
Push Ups: Simultaneously working different muscles, push ups are a staple of many workouts. Depending on your level of strength, you may need to begin by commencing your push up with your knees on the ground; but with time and practice, you’ll soon be able to do a full push up and then many more.
Straight Crunches: One of the most common abdominal exercises, straight crunches are a surefire way to increase your abdominal strength and work out your obliques.
Pick up a sport
Sports are a great way to combine recreation with physical activity, helping people burn calories and improve fitness whilst providing a great social outlet as well. Many outdoor sports can be made difficult due to the sweltering heat during the summer months in the UAE, but thankfully a whole industry has emerged allowing people to play a game of their chosen sport in climate controlled surrounds indoors. There is a huge range of indoor sport options that can be played on a budget: rugby, volleyball, cricket, football and squash. For those in Dubai, be sure to check out our thoughts on some of the best places to have a game here.
If you find you get your best fitness results with a little bit of encouragement from personal trainers, you could consider joining a group fitness class to help cut back on the expense. Working out in boot camp style workouts has been shown to increase levels of motivation by fostering a sense of unity and encouraging people to push themselves beyond what they might consider to be their physical limits.
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