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Exercise: No gym required

biking in trafficMany of us have a goal to increase our daily exercise. But, you may feel the cost of a gym membership makes daily workouts an unrealistic goal. Fortunately, there’s no need to pay for a gym membership to make exercise a part of your life. Here are some free and low-cost options for incorporating healthy exercise into your life.

Adjust your daily routine
Often we think of exercise as being separate from our daily lives, an extra that we have to fit in on top of everything else we have going on. Here are a few ways to make small changes in your day to keep exercise from being an extra chore.

  • Bike it! Going somewhere local? Riding your bike instead of driving can add some healthy exercise along the way. If your errand is 10 minutes away by car, you may be able to bike it in 20 minutes—only adding 10 minutes to your trip.
  • Spend time playing with kids. Rather than watching your children play, become more active in playing with them. Get in on a game of tag or walk to a local park. Not only is it great exercise, but your kids will love the time together.
  • Turn housework into “housefitness.” Many common household tasks are great exercise. Mowing the lawn, weeding the garden or washing windows gives a great opportunity for a workout. Even indoor activities like scrubbing and vacuuming can be a workout if you focus on raising your heart rate while doing them.
  • Substitute household objects for gym equipment. It may seem silly to curl a can of tomato soup, but your body doesn't know the difference between real free weights and any other object of similar weight. Do a few reps with each item as you put away the groceries.

Find what fits
Focus on creating a workout that fits your needs. If you need guidance or have any concerns about your health, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Remember that the gym isn’t the only place for exercise, so don't let the price tag of membership stop you in your tracks. Find a method that works with your fitness goals and stick to it!