Low-Cost, Convenient & Energizing Exercise Ideas for Better Health, Improved Fitness and Weight Loss

Make Exercise a Priority

Exercise is a great way to lose weight and training programs can really help if you want to shape up! Fitness programs can include posture help and yoga, too, and come in a variety of fun formats like balls and stretch bands. Some programs are on dvd's and can be done in the privacy of your own home.

Too often I hear, “Oh, no, I can’t do that -- or any fitness program -- because I have . . . one condition or another.” I understand – but are you absolutely sure you are not just giving up? It seems to me, a special condition is all the more reason to find some fitness program that YOU CAN DO to improve posture, weight loss, and over all fitness.

If you have a physical condition that limits you in some way or damage to a particular area that restricts movement, (especially those conditions that appear permanent), wouldn’t you want to strengthen all the other areas and parts that can be improved to compensate and to help you cope with the impairment? There are many dvd exercise programs, posture checks, and diets for weight loss that do not require you to be have super strength, flexibility or youthful energies.

Just work out within your limits and to achieve your greatest benefit in the least amount of time. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine to save time and money. Let your children see you exercise, especially while you are watching TV so they know how important it is to make fitness a part of our daily lives. Diabetes, type 2, is now even affecting children due to the food disorders and obesity problems caused by lack of activity. You can prevent that!

As we age, we also tend to get a little stiff from just sitting, so plan some stretching, strengthening, and toning, especially while watching TV and it should help prevent some stiffness. Note: It is not usually recommended to do aerobics at night, if the energizing benefit prevents a good nights sleep; so, consider this when planning your routine.

Think of tricks to fit your lifestyle, too. For example: If you are capable of mowing the yard, why not save lawn maintenance fees and gym fees at the same time – mow the yard for your aerobics. You can always divide it into three parts. Mow the front on one day, the back on another, and save the sides for a third; so you don’t over do.

Remember, a little physical activity everyday, throughout the day, can really be affective and will meet the exercise need. Park a little farther away from your destination and walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. And, while standing at the copier, in line at the bank, or while waiting at the post office, check your posture.

Your goal should be to get healthful and sufficient exercise to meet your needs. Balancing energy intake (calories) with energy output (physical activity) is the key.

Most exercise programs include:

Setting a goal to safely raise the heart rate by walking, swimming, or aerobics (2-3 times a week)

Activities that Strengthen/tone/shape muscles (3 times a week)

Stretching for flexibility

Remember: Always warm up before exercise and cool down afterwards.

If I could only pick one self-help tool in the area of exercise and fitness, it would be this vcr tape and dvd exercise program called: Kathy Ireland’s – “Body Specifics” because of how easily it can be worked into ‘even the busiest schedule’ and how it targets specific areas so efficiently in just 12 minutes. It is an extremely balanced exercise program -- not too strenuous for beginners, but also an extremely affective workout program for the advanced. It is a program that allows each individual to work it to his own level.

Designed to strengthen, tone and shape muscles with a Warm Up, followed by 12 min. workout for abs, 12 min. workout for buns, 12 min. workout for thighs, and a Cool Down Stretch. Each part can be done separately throughout your day or all together.

It can be done anywhere without special equipment—once you’ve learned the specific exercises and target areas. It is sold for under $10 and you can find a copy by clicking here. (you can always rent a VHS player if you don’t have one just until you learn the moves.) It makes a nice gift, too, but sometimes it’s hard to find in local stores.

This, combined with aerobics (walking, swimming, or any activity that gets the heart rate up for 20-30 min. that has your doctors approval) and a healthy diet, and you should see a difference in four to six weeks (probably less). Another good benefit to the aerobic activity is the deep cleansing affects it has on the body. So get moving!

Even with the best intentions of setting aside an hour here or there, it is difficult to always live by the plan. So, if you can, try to weave it into your day. Give yourself 15 min for prayerful meditation, then 15 minutes for exercise or for stretching, to start your day (maybe while the coffee is brewing), then take 15 minutes during a lunch break or while shopping for a brisk walk. While at the copier or washing machine take 5 minutes for posture work, jumping or stretching, and finally, practice yoga and/or stretching before meditation and prayer at bedtime, it will seem like less effort and provide more benefit.

You owe it to yourself – it really is the very least you can do for yourself and those who love you. That’s 1/24th of your day – small when you think of it that way, isn’t it? But do you realize what one to one and a half hours of exercise and meditation every day will do for you in the long run? You will feel and see the difference!

Advanced? Another great tape that helps you learn Yoga positions designed to strengthen, stretch, and tone, as well as, increasing the heart rate is by Raquel Welch. The positions once learned, can be done almost anywhere with no special equipment. Raquel’s is a little more advanced. (While I have known seniors who liked this one, they did have to work at it, under doctor’s guidance, with slow progress initially – it has many pretzel type positions).

Rodney Yee also has some great Power Yoga videos for beginners, intermediate and advanced available here at an extremely reasonable price. Click on the links to find them. I especially like his A.M. Yoga, too.

So get up from that key board during your morning break and just do a few minutes of Kathy’s butt, thigh, or leg exercise or try some of Rodney’s Yoga positions and see the difference in how you feel (and look!) in just a short amount of time.

Here are three More of my favorite -- low cost -- use anywhere -- exercise equipment ideas!

The Dyna-Band -- it comes in a pack of 3 that provides 3 levels of stretch. A separate instruction guide provides More. This product is like a large stretchy band -- you can even carry it in your purse. I call mine my “gym in a bag!” You don’t have to worry about storage or where to hide it when not in use.

A Tone-A-Ball – (or Yoga Ball) It is relatively inexpensive and fun – sit on it vs. living room chair – bounce and stretch to keep from getting “sit-still stiff” – just don’t fall. Some balls come with instructional videotapes or exercise/stretch pamphlets, also. If you can find one that is sized to your height, it would be best.

An Exercise Step – again, great for stepping while watching TV. (Here is a link to an instructional DVD.) Music goes great with this – the big band sounds or you can get quite a workout doing a Charleston step with this piece of equipment. It doesn’t take up a lot of space either. I have found one on the Internet (click here -- to go directly to it).

Find an inexpensive or free Dancing Class for beginners at your Church or Social Club. It provides great exercise along with social benefits.

If you are already in great shape and looking for More . . . Check out Gilard and Ada Janklowitz Basic Training video tapes and DVDs. These are some great workouts, too, especially for the more advanced or younger exercise fanatics.

If you are like the rest of us, ‘Laughter’ is always the best way to begin your shape up program. Here is a must read, especially for women over 40. It has been kicking around the Internet for a while, but is worth repeating – or rereading.

“(You won't be able to read this without laughing out loud ,LOL) This is dedicated to every woman who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine. A must read!”

Seriously, if you can afford a qualified personal trainer, it is money well spent. Not only do you get the personal encouragement of individualized attention, but also, a personal trainer really can help facilitate the fastest and biggest amount of change in a short amount of time.

You may also want to look for a facility in which they, and their clientele, consider more serious aspects of training, like medically approved equipment, and ones who have less interest in the “meat-market” aspects of out fits, hairdo’s, and short-term programs. It is wonderful to look and feel great, but in the long run, you will only achieve them through dedication, education and sound techniques verses the cover-ups and enhancements. Look at their credentials!

The best personal trainers have a facility for or are also trained in massage therapy as well. Massage is more than just a luxury. It is absolutely amazing what can be done in one massage to rid the body of toxins that build-up in the muscles, and to get circulation to injured body parts. Remember to always drink a lot of water following a massage and shower afterwards to wash away those toxins.

Again, special body and medical conditions require advice from your doctor but many people loudly praise a good chiropractic evaluation and adjustment for better function and alignment before starting (and during) an exercise program. Minimally, consider proper posture suggestions (like those in the next section of this website) and guidance before starting any exercise program.

General Disclaimer

This and all contents of the MoreForYourHealth.com site is designed for educational and inspirational purposes only. The information provided through this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.