Fitness on a shoestring

09/26/2011 6:50 PM

09/26/2011 6:52 PM

Are you feeling out of shape but can't afford those expensive home gyms or a fitness center membership? Fortunately, it's easy and inexpensive to get toned, build muscle and lose weight. Here are some tips on how to get your body and mind back to a good place without spending big bucks to get there:

Get out your walking shoes and start moving. It can be that simple. Even those who haven't exercised in a long time can walk a few blocks one day and then slowly increase the distance and the speed. Grab a neighbor, a friend, your kid or your dog and get out there.

Splash in the water. If your neighbor, friend or relative has a pool close by, ask if you can use it on a regular basis to do water aerobics or swim. For those with arthritis or other joint problems, this can be a lot less strain but still gives a full workout.

While shopping at garage sales or flea markets, purchase some dumbbells — about 2 to

5 pounds each to start out with, or heavier if you've been exercising for a while.

Jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push-ups and those dreaded stomach crunches all can be done in the privacy of your home with absolutely no money spent.

Some of the least expensive exercise equipment you can buy to use in your home include an exercise ball, resistance bands and a jump rope. All can be incorporated into your routine and work on all parts of your body.

Bicycling can do wonders for your legs, buttocks and spirit. Just take a dust rag to that 10-speed out in your garage, pump up the tires and head out into your neighborhood.

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