Exercising Doesn’t Have to Bust Your Budget

Exercise-At-HomeA regular exercise routine doesn’t require you to spend a lot of dollars on a gym membership or fancy home-exercise equipment.

And a good place to lose weight without spending a lot of cash is right in front of your TV set – as long as you get off the couch, says Linda Crews, a physical therapist with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

“There are literally over a hundred channels on your cable network, and you can get anything from yoga to Pilates to cardio at all intensity levels,” Crews says. “You can lose weight in a 10-foot square in front of your TV if you want to.”

Get Fit in Front of the TV

If you subscribe to Comcast, go to On Demand and select the Sports and Fitness tab to choose one of the fitness workouts from beginning to advanced routines. While many of these programs are no longer free, they’re still a less expensive alternative to a gym membership. Similar programs are available for Dish Network users, Crews says.

If your goal is to lose weight, you need to make sure that routine includes cardio. “Cardio is what jump starts the weight loss,” Crews says. “I recommend either doing a whole cardio workout or at the very least warm up with cardio.”

Not a cable subscriber? Crews says you can do an inexpensive strength-training workout, for example, by purchasing a couple of hand-held weights. For women, she suggests 3-pound weights; for men, 5 to 7 pounds.

“It doesn’t sound like much,” Crews says, “but if you do 25 or 30 reps, you’ll feel those muscles burn.”

The Key to Sticking to It

So how do you stick to a home workout routine? The key, Crews says, is to set realistic goals.

“The biggest mistake people make is they set their goals too big,” she says.

Some folks declare, especially at the start of the year, that they’ll get out of bed at 5:30 every morning and exercise for 45 minutes before they start their day.

“And that works really well – until Wednesday,” Crews says. “Then Wednesday rolls around, you hit the snooze alarm and it’s just not going to happen. I tell folks I’m working with to set your goals much lower.”

That may mean deciding to walk 10 minutes a day on a work break and gradually building up from there.

But if you work out at home, Crews says there’s another advantage.

“I love exercising in my pajamas.”