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Tightwad Tuesday: How to Get in Shape for Free

by Shawanda Greene

Black jump ropeToday marks the beginning of a new series aptly named Tightwad Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I’ll share a tip, tool or resource that’ll either help you save more money or earn more money.

Let’s start with getting in shape.

I’m a gym rat. Simply being in the presence of people with the same goals motivates me to push myself more than I ever would if I worked out at home.

But that’s just me.

You don’t need a gym membership to use the resources I’m about to share. I’ve achieved amazing results from the workout programs provided by these two websites.

The great thing about these workouts is they don’t require a gymnasium sized area of open space to complete.

BodyRock.TV - This website is run by Zuzana and Freddy – a cute, young married couple that shoots exercise videos all over the world.  Zuzana is the star and is in phenomenal shape.

If you get bored easily like I do, then BodyRock.TV is definitely for you. New workouts are posted several times a week.

I’m drawn to BodyRock.TV not only for the workouts, but because I’m truly inspired by Zuzana and Freddy’s ability to support their nomadic lifestyle doing what they love while changing the lives of their viewers.

Adrenaline Xtreme Fitness - Danielle Chevalier’s day job consists of offering one-on-one personal training services and small group sessions, i.e., boot camps, in Windsor, Ontario. Thank God for the internet. From almost anywhere in the world, you can benefit from Danielle’s expertise by trying some of the workouts she regularly posts on her blog.

We all know there are two components to getting in shape: diet and exercise. I don’t meticulously count calories, but I try to remain cognizant of what I’m putting in my mouth by writing down the foods I eat. Try FitDay or SparkPeople for help tracking not only your diet, but the amount of physical activity you engage in on your fitness journey.

Are there any free or inexpensive resources you use to help you either get or stay in shape?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

My University Money August 2, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I always wondered why people need to spend huge amounts of money on fitness products in order to feel like they are getting a good workout. Go to any second hand place and get a set of free weights for about $50, and a skipping rope and that's about all you need. Running and swimming are by far the two most effective ways to burn calories I have found, I use the skipping rope to warm up, cool down, and build agility. With basic bodyweight exercises (if it works for the navy seals it'll probably be good enough for you) and a set of free weights you can work out every single muscle you could at a gym! Also, don't waste money on personal trainers, simply google "workout plans" and learn the basics for yourself!

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Shawanda August 2, 2011 at 9:51 PM

I remember when I was a little girl the Thigh Master being a huge hit. Twenty years later and people are still falling for the fitness equipment gimmicks.

I'm not much for running or swimming, but I can get a really great cardio/strength building workout with body weight exercises and no equipment.

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shanendoah August 2, 2011 at 12:50 PM

I used to take a step-aerobics class at the local community center. It cost around $50 for 6 months of twice weekly classes. So not free, but pretty inexpensive, and i was there with other people who had the same goals I did. The only thing I had to provide was a towel or mat.

Otherwise, my free exercise (not exactly free, but its all sunk costs) are my dogs and the local giant, multi-level dog park. We spend 45 minutes to an hour there pretty much every day, walking, going up and down stairs and hills. Its not high impact exercise (for me), but it forces me to be up and moving.

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Shawanda August 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM

$50 for 6 months? That's a steal!

It's great you're able to exercise your dogs and yourself at the same time. Walking is free, low impact, and a great way to stay in shape. I can't remember where I heard this, but I do remember hearing that many of the people who lose large amounts of weight and keep it off don't do anything much more strenuous than walking for an hour day.

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FamilyMoneyValues August 2, 2011 at 11:34 PM

I'm going to check out those websites! I have used videos and DVDs for the past 30 years – every morning. I get some of them as gifts for Christmas and birthdays, I buy some at garage sales and sometimes splurge and get them on eBay.

I tried the YMCA for a few years, during my lunch hour at work. I don't really need the motivation of having other folks around and it got so I was mostly just walking on the treadmill and using the shower. I didn't see the point in paying $600 a year for that, so I dropped the membership and just walked around town instead.

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Shawanda August 2, 2011 at 11:58 PM

I was pretty good at using exercise video tapes (I think that's what we called them back then) and a stationary bike to exercise when I was in high school and didn't really have the gym as an option. I was all about the supermodel videos: Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Elle McPherson. To this day – over a decade later – I still use the Elle McPherson, Your Personal Best, cool down and stretching routine.

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Ban Clothing August 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I recently said goodbye to my gym membership and have realized it's easier to stay in shape then I thought. I can run outside when it's nice (only 4 months of the year) and then I am going to buy my in-laws excersice bike to use at home. I figure I will still want to life weights so I will drop in at one of the local gyms which is only $6/visit.

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Shawanda August 4, 2011 at 1:05 AM

The a la carte gym membership – that's smart. So is getting the second hand stationary bike. The one my mom picked up from the thrift store when I was a teen suited my purposes just fine.

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Matt Wegner August 16, 2011 at 8:54 AM

My wife has been checking out a lot of free fitness sites and videos like the ones you describe. The trick is actually getting me out of bed to go do the workout :(

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Shawanda August 16, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Getting out of bed is key. I wonder how many sites are dedicated exclusively to motivating people to show up. I used to listen to this podcast called Motivation to Move. Whenever I didn't feel like working out, I'd think of the saying the host repeated constantly, "Stand up. Take a step. Repeat." Well, when you say it like that….

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ElleX September 5, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Thank you for these sites…I am going to start using one or both. I, also, have quite a few exercise VHS tapes. Cindy Crawford's Shape Your Body was one of my favorites (I loved the music!!)

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 4:25 PM

You're very welcome. I hadn't been to the gym in like five days straight. Overcome with guilt, I got up this morning and picked out one of the longest workouts I could find on Bodyrock.tv. It was 550 reps and completely brutal. I came home, showered, ate, and went straight to sleep.

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