I’m running a bit behind on my January fitness series, but we’re back at it today! As a reminder, my goal for January is to both inspire you to achieve new fitness goals AND do so in a way that doesn’t break your budget.
Today I want to share a few tools that I have found to be helpful.
1. MapMyRun. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but before finding this site, I used to use my car’s odometer to gauge the distance of my running routes. Not anymore. MapMyRun is a free website that allows you to easily map different running, walking, and bicycling routes! You can even save them for later and input your time. It appears that there is also an app version for those of you with SmartPhones.
2. MyFitnessPal. I recently discovered this site and LOVE it. The site is a free, online food and exercise journal. If you’ve ever tried and failed to keep a food log, give MyFitnessPal a try. They have over a million different foods in their database including nutrition information, so upkeep is easy. Like MapMyRun, you can also download an app. There are also forums, tickers, and other tools to manage your eating and working out.
3. Exercise.com. I’ve not personally signed up for this one, but it appears to have food and exercise logs on it, too – much like MyFitnessPal. The cool part is that there are also many, many videos you can watch and workout to!
4. Free Exercise Videos – on your TV! Are you a Comcast customer? If so, head to On Demand and look for the free exercise videos in Health & Fitness. I have found full-length Jillian Michaels workouts in there before. If you have a DVR, you might record exercise shows that come on. This way, you can avoid paying for your at-home videos!
5. Videos for $10 or less. Workout videos ain’t what they used to be. Some of the most difficult workouts I have EVER done have been at home! Here are four of my all-time favorites. Unlike some well known workout series that cost $100 or better (*cough*), these cost just a few dollars and I guarantee they will kick your butt.
Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred for $7.99 on Amazon. I love this workout – it’s quick (just 20 minutes) and effective (I lost 10 pounds when I did it start to finish!). There are three levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. I love that all you need is a pair of handweights and a yoga mat. Before I owned handweights, a couple cans of Chunky Campbell’s soup did the trick. Recommend. You can also buy this Instant Video on Demand – buy just one of the three workouts for $1.99 or all three for $4.99.
Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones for $7.71 on Amazon. Once I’d completed the Shred, I discovered this video. Jillian moves you through a circuit-style workout that at moments will remind you of the Shred, but it’s longer at 45-minutes. It’s a nice one to add to your workout library. Like the Shred, all you need are hand weights and a mat.
Bob Harper: Pure Burn on Amazon for $7.49. This workout.is.very.very.hard. WARNING. NOT for the faint hearted. It seriously took me about 4-5 attempts to make it through the full one-hour workout! But you feel like you’ve actually done something at the end of it. As the title implies, you will feel the burn doing this workout. Like about 10-15 minutes in, you’ll feel a serious burn. And that’s about the point in the video he’ll ask you to do something like jump squats or the very thing you don’t want to do. Every bit an exercise in mental toughness as well as physical. If you have any doubt how hard this workout is, just look at him. If that’s not an evil grin, I don’t know what is.
Bob Harper: Cardio Conditioning for $7.49 on Amazon. Confession Time. I’ve not yet made it through this entire workout video! It is that hard, people. When he has everyone do jumping jacks as fast as they can, I swear the gal in the back looks like she has no arms or legs, she is moving THAT fast. All joking aside, I have found Bob’s workouts the most difficult at-home videos I’ve ever tried. They are also cheap and don’t require any fancy equipment. I don’t know that I could handle Bob every day, but it might be a nice challenge thrown in once or twice a week – perhaps with some Jillian on the other days.
6. Couch to 5K (C25K). While I’ve not personally used this site, I know several friends who have – and with great results! For those that don’t know, this FREE training guide will take you from inactivity (“couch”) to completing a 5K (just over 3 miles). This program is 9 weeks long and tells you exactly what you need to do for each workout. Like some of the above sites, there’s an app for this!
7. Don’t forget the library and the internet! When you start something new, it’s easy to want to go out and spend a bunch of money. When it comes to working out, you really don’t have to go that route. Don’t underestimate the power of checking out some fitness books from your local library, from finding camaraderie and accountability on an online forum, researching videos on YouTube, or Googling training schedules!
What other tips or resources are you aware of for getting fit for less?
If you missed the other posts in this series, you can read them:
Release your Inner Olympian: Post 1 (Introduction)
Release your Inner Olympian: Post 2 (Setting a fitness goal)
Release your Inner Olympian: Post 3 (Recipe Ideas)
Release your Inner Olympian: Post 4 (Non-boring running/walking workouts)
Release your Inner Olympian: Post 5 (Working out from home)