workout http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9338/all en-US 7 Simple Ways to Get Motivated for Your Workout http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-get-motivated-for-your-workout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-simple-ways-to-get-motivated-for-your-workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-workout-508857633-small.jpg" alt="couple workout" title="couple workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying motivated is at least half the battle when it comes to keeping active. Without the brain in the game, it's hard for the body to follow suit. Thankfully, you can get a jolt of motivation with just a few simple tips, and <em>without</em> an expensive personal trainer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself?ref=seealso">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a>)</p> <p>So get on your grind with these workout tips that don't cost a dime.</p> <h2>1. Set (Realistic) Goals</h2> <p>Working out with no goal in mind is a recipe for motivation disaster. Maybe you want to start by walking the recommended <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-walk-more">10,000 steps a day</a>. Perhaps you'd like engage in a strength training routine three days a week. What about losing those last 10 pounds? Or maybe you want to complete one of those crazy monster runs up a mountain. Whatever it is, make your goal measurable and realistic. And write it down or sign up for the event&hellip; now.</p> <h2>2. Be Incremental</h2> <p>Thing is, sometimes goals &mdash; even attainable ones &mdash; can seem like gigantic beasts. Getting there doesn't have to be so overwhelming, however. Break down your larger goal into smaller pieces. Attack each piece day by day. For example, if you'd like to run your first 5K, you can look up (many) plans online that give you daily workouts. Likewise, if you're looking to lose a few pounds, you can do daily or weekly weigh-ins to track your progress. If it helps, write down your workouts on a calendar and cross them off as you move along. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-track-your-diet-and-fitness-for-free?ref=seealso">8 Ways To Track Your Diet and Fitness For Free</a>)</p> <h2>3. Get Support</h2> <p>Friends and family can certainly make finding motivation much easier. Plan to head to the gym to do weights with your buddy or meet up with a coworker for a brisk walk at lunch. You'll be having so much fun that it won't feel like working out at all. And even friends who don't live so near can help &mdash; keep in close contact via social media to stoke the fires from afar. Even a quick &quot;you're going to smash your workout today!&quot; message can do wonders.</p> <h2>4. Visualize</h2> <p>If you're on a site like Pinterest, you post powerful quotes and other visual reminders on a virtual motivation board. You can also find free workout ideas this way &mdash; here's <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/chapter3blog/running-fitness/">my motivation board</a> for a jumping off point. Take this idea analog by cutting out photos and sayings from magazines, newspapers, and anywhere else you find a healthy dose of positivity.</p> <h2>5. Make It Convenient</h2> <p>Give yourself a boost by making the challenge much less challenging: exercise at home! Getting to the gym is sometimes the hardest part for me, so sneaking in sweat sessions in my living room helps on particularly difficult days. These <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free">at-home exercises</a> will give you a gym-quality workout for free. And here are five ways to turn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-your-walk-into-a-real-workout">your neighborhood walk</a> into a real workout.</p> <h2>6. Forge Ahead</h2> <p>If you have a bad day, don't fret. Instead, keep your eyes ahead of you. Nothing squashes motivation more than a negative attitude. Keep yours in check by valuing the hard work you've already done toward your goals. We all have off days, get sick, or feel tired. Remember that rest is okay and &mdash; actually &mdash; quite good for the body. If you have a strenuous workout planned and don't feel up to it, exchange it for something lighter. Or at very minimum, take a 10 minute walk or jog to see if that doesn't get you feeling better. Movement begets movement.</p> <h2>7. Reap Rewards</h2> <p>Last, but certainly not least, reward yourself each step of the way. I have a friend who recently started running. Her reward? Pretty running clothing &mdash; and it's worked to get her from &quot;just finishing&quot; her first 5K to whittling her time down to 27 minutes in just six short months. And she looks good crossing that finish line with all her bright, colorful gear. Better yet, you can give to yourself on the cheap, here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself">20 free and fun ways to reward yourself</a> for a job well done. You deserve it!</p> <p><em>How do you keep your motivation stoked for working out?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-get-motivated-for-your-workout" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Simple Ways to Get Motivated for Your Workout " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty confidence fitness motivation workout Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1199893 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/good-posture-office-177784179-small.jpg" alt="good sitting posture" title="good sitting posture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the quickest and easiest ways to feel better both mentally and physically is to stand up straight. We've already covered some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-and-keep-amazing-posture-by-doing-these-10-stretches-today">smart stretches</a> you can do to get your posture more upright and your spine better aligned. But there's more work to do! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-take-better-care-of-your-back?ref=seealso">5 Easy Ways to take Better Care of Your Back</a>)</p> <p>Check out these easy exercises and other methods that will help ease back pain and have you looking and feeling more confident in no time.</p> <h2>1. Wall Test</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tired-athletic-woman-450797247-small.jpg" /></p> <p>To check your current posture, all you need is some clear wall space. Stand with the back of your <a href="http://www.creatingwellnesschiro.com/uploads/Posture_self_test.pdf">head against a wall</a> and your feet around 6 inches away from the baseboard. From there, position your buttocks against the wall and check to see where your lower back and neck fall in alignment. You should only find a couple inches of space in these nooks.</p> <h2>2. Sit to Stand</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5SbXc7KdX1A" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>While sitting up straight in a chair, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SbXc7KdX1A">raise your body</a> with your legs into a standing position while keeping your neck and spine erect. Repeat 5 to 10 times with little if any rest between, keeping good posture throughout. This exercise is good for your lower half, like a squat, but also trains your body to keep proper posture throughout the day's tasks, which often involve the transition from sitting to standing.</p> <h2>3. Core Strengthener</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TWpbe9nRySc" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>A strong core is one of the keys to better posture, but most of us forget it when our backs start to ache. Doing exercises like planks can engage those muscles in the abs and around the spine that help hold up your torso. Just make sure you use <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWpbe9nRySc">proper form</a> to get the most benefit, drawing your belly button in toward your spine while squeezing your glutes for a comprehensive workout. Start with 30 seconds and work up to a minute or two.</p> <h2>4. Leg Extensions</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/woman-leg-extensions-186306665-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Another great way to work your core is by doing crunches. Take them to a new level by adding <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20419337_7,00.html">leg extensions</a> to your everyday routine. Sit on the ground with your arms behind you, palms on the floor. Then raise both legs up high and slowly lower &mdash; focusing on core muscles &mdash; and raise again just before touching the ground. Work up to doing 15-20 at a time.</p> <h2>5. Load Off</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/man-rolling-briefcase-83066241-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Carrying heavy backpacks and other burdensome items can <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/heavy-backpacks-can-spell-chronic-back-pain-for-children/">wreck havoc on your back</a> and alter your posture. Try using a roll suitcase for especially heavy loads. If you must carry your pack, be sure to wear both straps, use additional waist or shoulder straps, and reduce your load as much as possible. If you regularly carry a briefcase or shoulder bag, consider switching to a backpack or roller to more evenly distribute your load.</p> <h2>6. Chair Master</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jj3BirYh6Wc" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You can work on your posture during the workday from your desk chair. It's all about <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj3BirYh6Wc">opening up your chest</a> and doing the exercises regularly. Sit up and make a W shape with your arms, almost like you're going to use the chest fly machine at the gym. Move your arms backward and forward again, keeping a neutral spine. Do 10 repetitions and work up to more as you feel comfortable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace?ref=seealso">10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace</a>)</p> <h2>7. Practice Pose</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KEpC5ixjDp4" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>And perhaps the simplest way to work on your posture is to learn the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEpC5ixjDp4">correct form</a> to being with and to practice it each day. Your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should all be in alignment. Your spine should be slightly curved at the lower back. If your feel your head and shoulders start to lurch forward during the day, return to the basic stance and bring your awareness back to standing up straight.</p> <p><em>How do you work on your posture during the day? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture" class="sharethis-link" title="7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development back health core strength fitness posture workout Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1189081 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Workouts (Besides CrossFit) That May Actually Be Hurting You http://www.wisebread.com/5-workouts-besides-crossfit-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-workouts-besides-crossfit-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/exercise-tired-464771501-small.jpg" alt="exercise" title="exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard to look sexy in a hospital gown. So you need to make sure that all that effort you're putting in at the gym is ultimately building your body up, not breaking it down.</p> <p>Just ask the trainer behind <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/why-i-dont-do-crossfit/">this brand new post about the potential dangerous of CrossFit</a>, which has been shared half a million times on Facebook this week, and ignited debates among all sorts of athletes and fitness fans.</p> <p>Crossfit, though, isn't the only popular workout regimen that has some critics questioning safety. And while nearly any workout can be ineffective or even dangerous if performed incorrectly, the X below have been cited as particularly worth keeping an eye on:</p> <h2>1. P90X</h2> <p>Like CrossFit, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/p90x-high-intensity-workouts-carry-risks-rewards/story?id=19896015">critics of this super high-intensity workout routine</a> can lead to tendon strain, and more damaging, a condition called rhabdomyolsis, in which toxins from the breakdown of muscle tissues release into the bloodstream and damage the kidneys. Unlike CrossFit though, which is generally performed in a gym alongside instructors (or at least other participants), P90X is largely centered on a DVD series, meaning it's often done in isolation at home. This means, of course, that there's even more responsibility on the part of the exerciser to be careful.</p> <h2>2. Kettlebells</h2> <p>There's something undeniably fun &mdash; Viking-esque, even &mdash; about swinging around these heavy, anvil-looking things. But according to <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/10-dangerous-kettlebell-mistakes">Mens Health</a>, improper use of the bells could lead to serious injuries to joints all over the body. The fun of swinging, actually, may be what makes the exercise notably risky: each movement needs to be practiced and controlled, and &quot;getting too fancy&quot; or &quot;muscling the bell&quot; can be particularly dangerous.</p> <h2>3. Hot Yoga</h2> <p>If holding stressful poses in a room heated to 105 degrees gives you some pause, you're not the only one. <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/02/dangers-of-hot-yoga/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a> recently quoted a physiologist at the American College of Sports Medicine saying &quot;there is very little research about hot yoga&hellip; and most of what's available has been done poorly.&quot; Suspected risks, though, include heat stroke and infection, given that the conditions for a hot yoga studio also provide an ideal breeding place for germs.</p> <h2>4. Box Jumps</h2> <p>Actually part of some CrossFit routines, this specific workout &mdash; which consists, fittingly enough, of jumping onto a box &mdash; <a href="http://www.tabatatimes.com/box-jumps-step-down-if-you-like-your-achilles/">may put you at risk for Achilles tears</a>. While experts suggest that stepping down (as opposed to jumping down) may significantly reduce the risk to your Achilles, a Google search of &quot;box jumps torn Achilles&quot; may be enough to keep you thinking outside the box for good.</p> <h2>5. Marathon Training for Weight Loss</h2> <p>Conquering 26 miles is a worthy goal and a huge accomplishment, but some experts suggest that trying to <a href="http://www.menshealth.com/deltafit/americas-scariest-fitness-trends">run a marathon as a means to the end of losing weight is a bad idea</a>. Unprepared and out of shape bodies can be left with serious injuries in their lower joints not ready for the stress. Better, some trainers contend, to lose weight and <em>then</em> train for a marathon, not to do the latter as a means to the former.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-workouts-besides-crossfit-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Workouts (Besides CrossFit) That May Actually Be Hurting You" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joe-epstein">Joe Epstein</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs General Tips Health and Beauty exercise unhealthy workout Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:00:17 +0000 Joe Epstein 1141282 at http://www.wisebread.com The Cheapest Way to Get Fit and Strong in 30 Days or Less http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-get-fit-and-strong-in-30-days-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-cheapest-way-to-get-fit-and-strong-in-30-days-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/exercise-177741688.jpg" alt="gym" title="gym" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're looking to get fit or just need a change of pace, scoping out gyms can be fun. And if you plan carefully, you could get up to a month (or more!) of gym memberships for free. Below is a list of nationwide gyms that offer low-cost (or even free!) passes up to 30 days in length. Simply start at one club and work your way around the rest to maximize your sweat sessions &mdash; and your savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free?ref=seealso">Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <p>If all the gyms on this list are in your area, take full advantage! Just be sure to chat with staff about any terms or conditions that might be site specific. If you live somewhere off the beaten path, don't miss our last tip about sussing out free options in your hometown.</p> <h2>Snap Fitness</h2> <p>Though it's not free, the 24-hour club <a href="https://www.snapfitness.com/30-day-trial">Snap Fitness</a> offer is too good to pass on. They offer a month (30-day) pass for a small $8.95 admin charge, earning you a &quot;smart card&quot; with access to over 1,500 gyms worldwide. That's just 30 cents a day.</p> <h2>Gold's Gym</h2> <p>A solid week of zero dollars training? Sign me up! <a href="http://goldsgym.regsignup.com/fl3/lp3/default.aspx?partnerID=38">Gold's Gym</a> offers a totally free seven-day VIP membership at many of its locations across the country. Terms vary by gym, so be sure to call your local spot before you go.</p> <h2>24-Hour Fitness</h2> <p>No hassle! Sign up online to download a free pass to try <a href="https://www.24hourfitness.com/membership/free-pass/?pass=CLUBPASS#step/1">24-Hour Fitness</a>. With 400 locations across the country, you'll likely find one near you.</p> <h2>Bally's Total Fitness</h2> <p>&quot;It only takes seven days to fall in love&quot; with <a href="http://www.ballyfitness.com/get-started/guest-pass/free-guest-pass.aspx">Bally's Total Fitness</a>, or so professes the club's website. Regardless, that's a free week of access for you &mdash; complete with exercise instructors, state-of-the-art equipment, and lots of fun classes to try.</p> <h2>LA Fitness</h2> <p>If you'd rather not go it alone, take advantage of <a href="https://www.lafitness.com/Pages/freepass.aspx?clubid=546">LA Fitness</a> and its free three-day pass for you and a buddy. You can even check out this <a href="https://www.lafitness.com/VirtualTourPlayer.aspx">virtual tour</a> of a typical facility before you go.</p> <h2>Anytime Fitness</h2> <p>With 1,981 clubs in North America and 516 across the globe, there's a good chance there's an Anytime Fitness club near you. Best of all: There's &quot;absolutely no obligation&quot; to join if you take advantage of the <a href="http://www.anytimefitness.com/membership/gym-pass">free seven-day gym pass</a>.</p> <h2>YMCA</h2> <p>I've been a member of several Ys throughout my region, as their fitness centers feature competitive rates and pool access. And membership to one club gains access to them all. Though passes vary from location to location (for example, Boston offers a <a href="http://www.ymcaboston.org/form/free-3-day-ymca-pass">free three-day pass</a> and Los Angeles offers a <a href="https://www.ymcala.org/metro/pages/free-pass">free seven-day pass</a>), it's worth calling your local Y to see what's available in your area.</p> <h2>Your Local Gym</h2> <p>Don't see your gym on this list? Your local options may very well offer you a chance to try their facility for free. All you need to do is ask. Either stop in for a tour or just call ahead to negotiate your perks &mdash; just be sure to watch for any hidden fees or strings attached. I once earned a whole week of workouts this way.</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of the local gym's free trial offer to get in a workout &mdash; or seven?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-get-fit-and-strong-in-30-days-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="The Cheapest Way to Get Fit and Strong in 30 Days or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs Health and Beauty fitness freebies gyms workout Fri, 23 May 2014 08:48:28 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1140170 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Avoid Exercise Injury (and Doctor's Bills) http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-avoid-exercise-injury-and-doctors-bills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-avoid-exercise-injury-and-doctors-bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/injury-166193204.jpg" alt="exercise injury" title="exercise injury" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Along with eating a solid diet, exercise is one of the surest ways to stay healthy for life. With increased activity, though, comes the unfortunate opportunity for injury and, in turn, hefty doctor bills. Before you find yourself in an unpleasant bind, you may want to revisit your routine to see where it needs some tweaking. (No, seriously &mdash; read these tips before your leg ends up in a cast!) (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-healthy-habits-that-can-hurt-you?ref=seealso">20 Harmful &quot;Healthy&quot; Habits</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Professional Help</h2> <p>Before you step foot on that stairclimber or load up that weight machine, check with a personal trainer or coach at your gym. Many clubs offer free &quot;tours&quot; of equipment or even training sessions to newbies free of charge. That way, you can learn the appropriate uses and correct postures to protect your body from harm. If you're a total novice, you might consider taking advantage of any specials your gym is running with personal training sessions. In the long run, you may very well save more money (and pain!) learning to do exercises the right way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free?ref=seealso">Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <h2>2. Start Slow and Build</h2> <p>If you're not a member of a gym, you may be running or biking for activity. It's important to resist getting too caught up in the honeymoon period. I know it's hard. It can feel absolutely amazing to build on your running distance or bike time. If you do too much too soon, though, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to a host of overuse injuries. I love this (free) beginning <a href="http://www.halhigdon.com/training/50933/5K-Novice-Training-Program">5K training plan</a>, which was developed by coach Hal Higdon to get runners across the finish line injury-free.</p> <h2>3. Mix It Up</h2> <p>Maybe you've been active all along, but you're now finding yourself with more soreness and other physical complaints. In your case, I'd consider some serious cross-training. Too much of the same exercise will stress certain muscles. Balance yourself out by, for example, trying upper-body exercises if you're a runner. If you do lots of weight training, give some walking or stretches a try. Cycling fanatic? Yoga might give you additional strength without further cramping your hamstrings. If you don't have a gym membership, you can also try these free <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free">cross-training exercises</a> at home! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-all-natural-ways-to-relieve-sore-muscles?ref=seealso">Natural Ways to Relieve Sore Muscles</a>)</p> <h2>4. Slip Off Your Shoes</h2> <p>A lot of movement for different exercises starts with the feet. If you haven't looked at the tread on your favorite sneakers in a while, it's a good idea to see how worn they look these days. Though I've heard most shoes last somewhere between 300-500 miles or more, that's a rather broad range. It's more important to <a href="http://running.competitor.com/2012/10/shoes-and-gear/how-often-should-i-replace-my-running-shoes_27680">go by feel</a> when choosing to buy a new pair. Keep track of your mileage in a training log and pay attention to aches and pains to help gauge when a new pair is really needed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-workout-clothes-are-worth-splurging-on-and-which-arent?ref=seealso">Splurge on These Workout Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>5. Take a Load Off</h2> <p>Along with cross-training, it's important to keep track of how much exercise you're getting in a week. If you're going hard every single day and noticing twinges &mdash; rest may be the best (free) medicine. Listening to your body today may save you quite a headache (and trips to the physical therapist) tomorrow. If you just can't sit still, try to enjoy some gentle yoga, which can work as some wise preventative maintenance by stretching tired muscles. Water aerobics is another low-impact way to take a load off while resting muscles.</p> <p><em>How do you stay injury-free? Take a break for your workout and let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-avoid-exercise-injury-and-doctors-bills" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Easy Ways to Avoid Exercise Injury (and Doctor&#039;s Bills)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks Health and Beauty fitness injury sports injury workout Sun, 27 Apr 2014 21:06:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1136817 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace http://www.wisebread.com/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/exercise-89585488.jpg" alt="exercise" title="exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think you don't have time to get in a good workout today? Think again. Even short exercise sessions of 10 minutes, sometimes less, add up to something big in the end. So, if you're regularly skipping the gym and those longer stints on the treadmill, all is not lost. Try some of these simple moves than can be done in the privacy of your office (or anywhere else you might find yourself during breaks and lunch time). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes?ref=seealso">Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <h2>Pushups</h2> <p>The cheapest and simplest exercises you can do at work involve your own body weight and nothing else. Start up a basic pushups routine during breaks or lunch, and even motivate yourself to meet a certain number. This <a href="http://hundredpushups.com/">100 Pushup Challenge</a> is a popular option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them?ref=seealso">20 Body Weight Exercises</a>)</p> <h2>Kettlebells</h2> <p>When done at the gym, kettlebell workouts blast major calories and can leave you pretty sweaty. At the office, you might consider a <em>lighter</em> approach. Pick up a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008R5HZZI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008R5HZZI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">10 to 15 pound kettlebell</a> (you can find them in a number of stores &mdash; even the big boxes) and try these <a href="http://vimeo.com/71517969">simple moves</a> that target your whole body.</p> <h2>Core</h2> <p>Bodyweight strikes again with this quiet, but important workout. Our core muscles are responsible for stability and posture, yet we often neglect them. Here are <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/core-strengthening-exercises-00000000054969/">6 Core Strengthening Exercises</a> that allow you to stay mostly in place. The best part? The routine can be completed in just 15 minutes! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-slouching-5-ways-to-improve-your-posture?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Improve Your Posture</a>)</p> <h2>Yoga</h2> <p>Toss your mat in your car tomorrow and stow it somewhere in your office. You can strike a few of your favorite poses and get in some stretching and strengthening &mdash; as well as some much-needed meditation &mdash; in the middle of a busy workday. If you don't have an office or liberty to wear stretchy pants, consider trying this <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4U_Hvhekmo">calming chair sequence</a>.</p> <h2>Pilates</h2> <p>If you keep that mat at your desk, you can also do some Pilates moves. This <a href="http://greatist.com/fitness/10-minute-pilates-workout">core-blasting routine</a> looks tough, but it's totally doable. Again, if you don't have space to do traditional mat work, try this 10-minute <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXVzwG72VuI">Pilates chair sequence</a> instead.</p> <h2>Light Weights</h2> <p>Hand weights are another great office exercise tool that you can find most anywhere on the cheap. This <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUychjqfO8I">targeted workout</a> promises tank top arms and takes just 10 minutes to complete. Focus on lower weight (think <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003P90K58/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003P90K58&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">5 to 10 pounds</a>) and good posture to keep soreness at bay.</p> <h2>Biking</h2> <p>No, really. You can actually &quot;bike&quot; inside your office if you pick up one of these handy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VWJYSE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002VWJYSE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">exercise peddlers</a>. The device is simple and discrete, yet allows you to move your body all day long if you wish. And if you have some foot or leg injury, you can also use it as a hand peddler, which gets your blood pumping more than you might think.</p> <h2>Resistance Bands</h2> <p>You can strengthen your entire body using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AJ050/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000AJ050&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">resistance bands</a>, making them a perfect option for the office. Here are <a href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Easy-Resistance-Band-Exercises-24528501">four beginner moves</a>, including flutter kicks, woodchoppers, squats, and bicep curl. A little of everything to keep your muscles guessing.</p> <h2>Stairs</h2> <p>If you'd rather venture out away from your desk, consider heading to a quiet stairwell &mdash; I used to work in a university library, and we had quite a few. That space is just asking you to try this <a href="http://exercise.about.com/library/blstaircaseworkout.htm">awesome stairway circuit</a>. To avoid getting sweaty, take the moves slow, but concentrate on form and engaging your muscles.</p> <h2>Walking</h2> <p>What I love most about walking is that you can find excuses to walk <em>while</em> on the job. Invite a colleague to a walking meeting or take a stroll to ask that question of your coworker in person versus shooting him an email. If you're searching for more cardio, you can sneak in an hour, maybe more, of walking into your day between breaks, lunch, meetings, etc. And recent studies have shown that <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/the-10-minute-workout-times-three/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">sporadic bursts of activity</a> throughout the day might be more effective than steady gym sessions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-to-get-out-of-your-office-chair?ref=seealso">Why You Should Get Out of Your Office Chair</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you sneak exercise into your workday?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace" class="sharethis-link" title="10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty exercise fitness quick workout workout Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:36:43 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1129552 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Ways to Make Exercise More Fun http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fun-1180997-small.jpg" alt="swing" title="swing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&#39;s startling to consider but, according to the President&#39;s Council on Fitness, Sports &amp; Nutrition, <a href="http://www.fitness.gov/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/">less than 5% of American adults get 30 minutes of exercise a day</a>. Could it be that most of us aren&#39;t associating &quot;exercise&quot; with &quot;fun?&quot; Even if you aren&#39;t an athlete, you can still have a good time while working up a sweat. In fact, here are 50 ways you can put the fun back in fitness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise?ref=seealso">Fitness for Those Who Hate Exercise</a>)</p> <h2>1. Challenge Yourself</h2> <p>Try <a href="http://www.12minuteathlete.com/tabata-training/">Tabata Training</a>. Developed in Japan by Dr. Izumi Tabata, this is a 4-minute routine consisting of eight work/rest cycles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes?ref=seealso">Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dance</h2> <p>Many fitness centers offer dance classes specifically designed to sculpt and tone your body.</p> <h2>3. Bend With Friends</h2> <p>Take a yoga class with friends and share a healthy dinner together afterward.</p> <h2>4. Pump Up the Volume</h2> <p>Load your MP3 player with upbeat, fast-paced music for cardio sessions and add a slower playlist for cooling down and stretching. Shuffle your music to keep things interesting.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-119639062-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>5. Catch a Little TV</h2> <p>Watch from your exercise bike instead of your easy chair. Just starting out? Take a rest during the commercials and pedal through your favorite program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv?ref=seealso">Things to Do While Watching TV</a>)</p> <h2>6. Get Social</h2> <p>According to research conducted by the University of California&#39;s Department of Preventative Medicine, people who exercise with their spouse, friends, or <a href="http://www.livescience.com/40977-exercise-enjoyment-friends.html">coworkers enjoy it more</a>.</p> <h2>7. Go Outside</h2> <p>Break out of the gym and go for a walk, hike, bike ride, or swim.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-biking-5234946-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>8. Journal</h2> <p>Keep records of your workouts and take pictures along the way. Having proof of your progress will boost your motivation.</p> <h2>9. Dress for Success</h2> <p>You don&#39;t need to buy the most expensive athletic clothes for the gym, but wearing the wrong clothing can detract from your fun by trapping sweat, chafing skin, and causing blisters.</p> <h2>10. Avoid Overtraining</h2> <p>Your body needs recovery time between workouts in order to function efficiently. Include time for relaxing, reading, visiting friends, and other activities outside of the gym. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-all-natural-ways-to-relieve-sore-muscles?ref=seealso">Natural Ways to Relieve Sore Muscles</a>)</p> <h2>11. Celebrate Small Victories</h2> <p>While you might start exercising with major change in mind, try challenging yourself to incremental goals that you can assess in a shorter period of time like losing one pound a week for a month.</p> <h2>12. Run (or Walk) for a Good Cause</h2> <p>Make your workout more enjoyable by setting a goal to train for your area&#39;s next breast cancer walk or similar event.</p> <h2>13. Add Some Variety</h2> <p>Change your routine frequently to avoid boredom and prevent the dreaded fitness plateau. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine?ref=seealso">Benefits of Changing Your Routine</a>)</p> <h2>14. Get Pavlovian</h2> <p>Create a reward system for motivation, and you&#39;ll get into the fitness groove more quickly. Try a healthy treat like a post-workout smoothie.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-drink-1112524-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>15. Ease Into It</h2> <p>Start your workout gradually by warming up with a little cardio. This will signal your brain to secrete the endorphins that produce a natural &quot;high.&quot;</p> <h2>16. Skip Rope</h2> <p>It&#39;s not just for kids. Did you know that <a href="http://greatist.com/fitness/ultimate-10-minute-jump-rope-workout">jumping rope will burn the same amount of calories as running</a>?</p> <h2>17. Bounce</h2> <p>Not ready to skip rope? Get hopping on a personal trampoline to build up your stamina and balance.</p> <h2>18. Jump on a Pogo Stick</h2> <p>If jumping is hard on your joints, try jumping on a pogo stick. It reduces stress and provides many of same benefits as jumping exercises.</p> <h2>19. Try &quot;Exergaming&quot;</h2> <p>Do you or your kids enjoy gaming? Try out some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=exercise%20games&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">video exercise games</a>.</p> <h2>20. Don&#39;t Save the Worst for Last</h2> <p>Work your hardest exercises in the middle of your routine as a way to mark the &quot;top of the hill.&quot; You&#39;ll be more motivated to finish knowing that the rest of your routine is all downhill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Stay Motivated</a>)</p> <h2>21. Swing Some Kettlebells</h2> <p>With their origins Russia, these cannonballs-on-a-handle are all the rage. Try this <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/training/build-muscle/kettlebell-workout">kettlebell workout for beginners</a>!</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-158269214-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>22. Stand-Up Paddleboard</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.ivillage.com/best-and-most-fun-outdoor-workouts-how-many-have-you-tried/4-b-477834#477848">combination of kayaking and surfing</a> is a challenging core workout.</p> <h2>23. Get Professional Help</h2> <p>Consider working out with a pro who can build a fun routine to suit your needs.</p> <h2>24. Use Fitness Apps</h2> <p>Integrate tech and fitness with one or more of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-5-strength-training-apps">popular fitness apps</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-5-strength-training-apps?ref=seealso">Top 5 Strength Training Apps</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-450797419-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>25. Learn New Things</h2> <p>Get up to speed on the treadmill with your favorite <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks">TED Talks</a> or podcasts. You can load learning on your MP3 player just as easily as music.</p> <h2>26. Push Yourself (Gently)</h2> <p>Challenge yourself to do just one more rep, minute, or mile the next time you feel like giving up on a routine. You&#39;ll feel a sense of accomplishment because you pushed yourself just a little further.</p> <h2>27. Get Mental</h2> <p>Psyche yourself up by creating an empowering mantra like &quot;I can do this.&quot; Repeat this phrase in your mind as you exercise &mdash; especially when the going gets rough.</p> <h2>28. Drop and Roll</h2> <p>Roll your way to better to a tighter tummy and great legs. Try <a href="http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-foam-roller-exercises-flat-abs-and-lean-legs">these eight exercises</a>.</p> <h2>29. Stand on Your Head</h2> <p>Get a new perspective while gaining balance and control. Start out by balancing against a wall and gradually move towards inverted independence!</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-78154196-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>30. Eat Right</h2> <p>Feeding your body the right fuel will give you more energy for better workouts. One important tip: eat more protein.</p> <h2>31. Suspend Yourself</h2> <p>You can get a total body workout with <a href="http://www.lifefitness.com/blog/posts/our-favorite-suspension-training-workouts.html">this novel training technique</a>.</p> <h2>32. Get Inspired</h2> <p>Motivate yourself with these <a href="http://www.oxygenmag.com/slideshow/10-most-inspiring-success-stories/">fitness success stories</a>.</p> <h2>33. Use Your Body Weight</h2> <p>You&#39;ll never need gym equipment again with these <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/17/bodyweight-exercises_n_4268028.html">exercises you can do anywhere</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-body-weight-exercises-and-why-you-should-do-them?ref=seealso">20 Body Weight Exercises</a>)</p> <h2>34. Hula Hoop It</h2> <p>Revisit your childhood and use a hula hoop for serious abdominal-toning fun. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-fitness-gifts-for-15-or-less?ref=seealso">Fitness Gifts for $15 or Less</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-140399797-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>35. Get Some Doggone Company</h2> <p>Enjoy exercise by taking your dog for a walk, playing fetch, and meeting new people at the local dog park.</p> <h2>36. Swing</h2> <p>Get on a swing for dual action workout. When you push off, you&#39;re engaging your leg muscles; when you pull back, you&#39;re working your midsection.</p> <h2>37. Prancercise</h2> <p>You&#39;ve seen the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-50GjySwew">viral video</a>, now show off your most flamboyant moves as you groove your way to better fitness.</p> <h2>38. Do a Domestic Sprint</h2> <p>Feel the burn by challenging yourself to a five minute housework blitz. Better yet, get your kids to join you and multiply the effort! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes?ref=seealso">How to Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-cleaning-5269414-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>39. Pedal While Sitting</h2> <p>Maybe you&#39;re just starting out or can&#39;t stand for long periods; either way, try <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/372304-can-you-lose-weight-using-a-foot-peddler/">using a foot peddler</a> while sitting.</p> <h2>40. Sit and Be Fit</h2> <p>Another option for exercise while sitting is the <a href="http://www.sitandbefit.org/">Sit and Be Fit</a> chair exercise program.</p> <h2>41. Flex</h2> <p>Simply flexing your muscles counts as exercise. Play a game by flexing your abs, butt, or arms each time you get into your car or stop at a red light.</p> <h2>42. Multitask</h2> <p>Try doing squats while brushing your teeth. They won&#39;t interfere with your oral hygiene, and they&#39;re great for your legs.</p> <h2>43. Take the Stairs</h2> <p>Make a game out of taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Accumulate 10 points for each flight and give yourself a little reward when your score hits 100.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-186219206-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>44. Jump Up</h2> <p>Jumping jacks are an overall fun movement that burn lots of calories.</p> <h2>45. Arm Wrestle</h2> <p>Work out those biceps (not your back) and have a friendly contest with friends.</p> <h2>46. Have a Pillow fight</h2> <p>Get playful with your kids or partner and have a lively pillow fight &mdash; you&#39;ll definitely get your heart rate up and have a few laughs along the way.</p> <h2>47. Play Tag or Frisbee</h2> <p>Playing these classic outdoor games is good fun and great exercise.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funfit-86515574-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>48. Laugh</h2> <p>Lighten up and get some health benefits at the same time. Here are <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/laughter-as-a-form-of-exercise/?_r=0">over 100 ways to laugh your way</a> into fitness.</p> <h2>49. Practice Martial Arts</h2> <p>From mild (tai-chi) to wild (karate) you&#39;re sure to find something you&#39;ll enjoy. Check for classes in your area.</p> <h2>50. Practice Gratitude</h2> <p>Be thankful that you can exercise. Research shows that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-shows-that-saying-thanks-can-improve-your-health-and-happiness">being grateful helps boost your overall mood</a> and that alone should make fitness more fun!</p> <p><em>Now that you have 50 different ideas, which ones will you choose to make your workout seem less like work?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun" class="sharethis-link" title="50 Ways to Make Exercise More Fun" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle exercise fitness workout Fri, 27 Dec 2013 10:49:48 +0000 Kentin Waits 1102863 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Have a Great Late-Night Workout http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-have-a-great-late-night-workout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-have-a-great-late-night-workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/exercise-149013177.jpg" alt="exercise" title="exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finding time to exercise can be a challenge for busy people.</p> <p>If you&#39;re like me, one of the few times I can find to workout is late at night, after the boss is happy, the kids are asleep, and the dishes are done. I&#39;ve found it to be a relaxing time to exercise because the gym is usually not crowded, and I don&#39;t feel rushed. And I must not be the only one; one of the largest fitness chains in America is now <a href="http://www.ihrsa.org/cbi/2013/6/25/ihrsas-global-25.html">24-Hour Fitness, boasting more than 400 locations</a> and 3.8 million members. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free"> 8 Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <p>The problem is that nighttime is not the ideal time to be exercising. Doctors and fitness experts agree that most people aren&#39;t operating with peak energy late at night, and such workouts can disrupt a person&#39;s sleep schedule. The National Sleep Foundation <a href="http://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-facts-information/myths-and-facts">says exercise can raise your body temperature</a>, which is not ideal for getting a good night&#39;s rest.</p> <p>But a late-night workout is better than getting no exercise at all. I&#39;ve personally had some success with exercising between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., but it has required some discipline to ensure I&#39;m also getting to bed at a decent hour. Here are six ways I&#39;ve made late-night gym sessions work for me. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">Fitness for People Who Hate Exercise</a>)</p> <h2>1. Eat Dinner, but Don&#39;t Pig Out</h2> <p>Dinner is often the largest meal of the day, but you don&#39;t want to workout after loading yourself down with food. So be smart. A good-sized meal will give you the energy you need later, but you&#39;ll want to eat something that won&#39;t upset your stomach. Avoid things like potatoes or meat that take a long time to digest. I find that a modest plate of pasta with some vegetables works well, particularly if I wait a couple of hours before heading to the gym. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight">Using Portion Control to Lose Weight</a>)</p> <h2>2. Stay Hydrated</h2> <p>It always makes sense to drink fluids before and after a workout, but it&#39;s especially important when you workout at night. Remember that when you sleep, you&#39;re going six to eight hours without fluids, so you never want to go to bed thirsty. If you want to avoid feeling rotten in the morning, drink two glasses of water before your workout. After your workout, drink until you&#39;re no longer thirsty, and then drink a little bit more. And don&#39;t forget to hydrate well after waking up.</p> <p>Also consider drinking something with nutrients to restore much-needed minerals, protein, and carbs. I find that <a href="http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20100604/chocolate-milk-refuels-muscles-after-workout">chocolate milk works awesomely</a>.</p> <h2>3. Be Like the Pros, and Take a Nap</h2> <p>Think about the game schedule of most pro athletes. They&#39;re expected to be at peak performance at 7 p.m. or later. So it&#39;s <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/sports/basketball/07naps.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">common for them to take a nap earlier in the day</a>.</p> <p>&quot;Guys make more time for naps now,&quot; NBA trainer Greg Farnam told the New York Times. &quot;Before, they&#39;d just take a nap when they were really tired instead of building it into [their routine.]&quot;</p> <p>So consider sliding 20-minute siesta into your daily schedule if you can. It may come during the commute home on the train, or as a quick snooze before or after dinner. This will help supplement your nighttime sleep and give you more energy later in the day. If the pros do it, why not give it a try?</p> <h2>4. Take a Shower, and Keep It Cool</h2> <p>One hopes you plan to take a shower after working out anyway. The good news is that a shower will not only get you clean, <a href="https://www.active.com/running/Articles/Best-Cool-Down-Exercises-for-Runners">but will help lower your body temperature</a> and help you get ready for sleep. Make the water temperature lukewarm or even cool, and consider lowering the thermostat in your house to help aid the cooling process.</p> <p>Actively working to cool yourself down <a href="http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/men/hygiene/should-man-take-cold-shower-after-workout1.htm">will aid in the recovery process </a>and reduce inflammation, as well.</p> <h2>5. Take It Easy</h2> <p>The more intense the workout, the higher your heart rate will be. And the higher your heart rate, the longer it will take you to cool down and fall asleep. If you&#39;re having trouble winding down after a late-night gym session, consider easing off the pedal a bit and workout at 50% to 75% effort. You&#39;ll still benefit from the exercise, but will find it easier to get calm. You can always save your most intense workouts for the weekend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <h2>6. Shut Off the Electronics</h2> <p>There&#39;s a lot of research that shows that <a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/power-down-better-sleep">television, computers, and mobile devices can make sleep difficult</a> because they can rev up your brain when you should be trying to wind down. If you&#39;re already amped up following a workout, the last thing you want to do is get your brain overstimulated, too.</p> <p>I like to wind down by reading a good book or magazine, or even doing menial tasks like sweeping the kitchen floor or folding laundry. You may find your own ways to get calm after a workout to ensure a good night&#39;s rest. But you&#39;ll most likely want to put away the phone and shut off the TV.</p> <p><em>Do you workout late in the evening? How do you get to sleep afterward?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-have-a-great-late-night-workout" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Have a Great Late-Night Workout " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle fitness late-night workout workout Tue, 17 Dec 2013 10:37:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1098554 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Money-Saving Workout Routines http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-money-saving-workout-routines <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-money-saving-workout-routines" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4137022068_39aec64885_z-1.jpg" alt="Money Saving Workout Routines" title="Money Saving Workout Routines" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on money saving workout routines, saving on your electric bill, and money tips for new grads.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/money-saving-workout-routines/">Money Saving Workout Routines for a Fit Recession-ista</a> &mdash; Instead of hiring a personal trainer to keep you motivated to stay fit, enlist the help of one of your friends. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2012/05/save-money-electric-bill/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+budgetsaresexy+%28Budgets+are+Sexy.%29">14 Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill</a> &mdash; To save money on your electric bill, put lamps in the corner of a room so they have more surfaces to reflect off of. [Budgets Are Sexy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/money-tips-for-new-grads/">Money Tips for New Grads</a> &mdash; If you are a new grad, be sure to build a financial plan and find the career that is right for you. [Narrow Bridge]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Getting-Organized-June-8534330">5 Things You Should Do Before June</a> &mdash; Before June rolls around, assess your living situation. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/favorite-summer-fare-for-less-052012/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MyMint+%28Mint+Personal+Finance+Blog%29">Favorite Summer Fare for Less</a> &mdash; Eat your favorite summer foods for less by stocking up early and growing your own herbs. [MintLife Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/free-travel-apps/">11 Free Travel Apps to Save Money</a> &mdash; To save money on travel expenses, consider downloading the Happy Hour or Kayak app. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/personalfinance/debit-card-fees-to-watch-out-for/">Debit Card Fees to Watch Out For</a> &mdash; Make sure you study your bank statements for hidden debit card fees. [The Frugal Toad]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/how-to-avoid-investment-scams/?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=how-to-avoid-investment-scams">How to Avoid Investment Scams</a> &mdash; Avoid investment scams by steering clear or promises of high gains with low risks. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://20andengaged.com/the-importance-of-family-meetings">The Importance of Family Meetings</a> &mdash; When holding a family meeting, make sure to have an agenda of what is to be discussed. [20 and Engaged]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-reasons-to-send-your-kid-packing">5 Reasons to Send Your Kid Packing</a> &mdash; By sending your kid traveling, you help them develop independence. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/04/wise-bread-tweetchat-wbchat-5">Wise Bread Tweetchat (#WBChat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss our weekly #WBChat at 12pm PST! We will be giving away prizes!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-money-saving-workout-routines" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Money-Saving Workout Routines" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty best money tips exercise workout Thu, 17 May 2012 10:00:25 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 929210 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Get an Inexpensive Workout http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-get-an-inexpensive-workout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-get-an-inexpensive-workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4311780943_9850669bcd_z-1.jpg" alt="Get an Inexpensive Workout" title="Get an Inexpensive Workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on inexpensive ways to get a workout, how to have a successful garage sale, and how to buy more house for less money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.quizzle.com/blog/2011/04/4-ways-to-get-an-inexpensive-workout/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QuizzleWire+%28Quizzle+Wire+&raquo;+Personal+Finance+Blog%29">4 Ways to Get an Inexpensive Workout</a> &mdash; Get an inexpensive workout by taking advantage of hiking trails. [Quizzle Wire]</p> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-or-yard-sale/?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=how-to-have-a-successful-garage-or-yard-sale">How to Have a Successful Garage or Yard Sale</a> &mdash; Make sure your garage sale is a success by selling baked goods and beverages throughout the day. [Gen X Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/buy-more-house-for-less-money/">3 Ways to Buy More House for Less Money</a> &mdash; Get more house for less money by knowing the market before you buy. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/how-to-prepare-your-wallet-for-disasters/">How to Prepare Your Wallet for Disasters</a> &mdash; Prepare your wallet for disaster by making sure your big-ticket items are insured. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pffirewall.com/self-improvement/5-tips-productive/">5 Tips To Keep You Productive</a> &mdash; Keep yourself productive by exercising. [PF Firewall]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/tips-for-taking-children-on-weekend-trips">Tips For Taking Children On Weekend Trips</a> &mdash; If you are taking your kids on a weekend trip, be sure to pack a cooler. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/home-improvement-projects-add-value-style.html?topic_id=23&amp;si=1">9 Projects to Spruce Up Your House</a> &mdash; Spruce up your house by hard wiring a room. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/financially-succeed-couple/">How to Financially Succeed as a Couple</a> &mdash; Make sure you succeed financially as a couple by defining your goals together. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyhacksforfreelancers.com/2011/04/3-smart-ways-to-save-more-money-this-week/">3 Smart Ways to Save More Money this Week</a> &mdash; Save money this week by cooking at home all week. [Money Hacks for Freelancers]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-smarter-mutual-fund-investor/2011/04/22/4-money-tips-for-college-seniors">4 Money Tips for College Seniors</a> &mdash; If you are a college senior, be sure to know how to budget. [U.S. News &amp; World Report]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-get-an-inexpensive-workout" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Get an Inexpensive Workout" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living">Frugal Living articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living best money tips exercise workout Tue, 26 Apr 2011 10:00:52 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 531553 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Exercise During the Day http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-get-exercise-during-the-day <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/how-to-get-exercise-during-the-day-julie-rains" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/how-to-get-exercise-d...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/how-to-get-exercise-during-the-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008060876Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-get-exercise-during-the-day" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Get Exercise During the Day" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>You know you need to get exercise, but actually making it happen is difficult.</p> <p>Running a business is time consuming, and free evenings are rightly devoted to relaxation and family time. Weekends hold potential, but even if you are able to handle exercise sessions at those times, you likely want to exercise more than one or two days each week. Pre-dawn workouts, while perfect for some, may disrupt your sleep cycle to the extent that your concentration suffers and productivity plummets.</p> <p>Exercising during the work day can not only allow you to reach your fitness goals but also provide a much-needed mental break. As a result, you may have renewed focus and a higher energy level, which can boost productivity. Get started with steps that require creativity but not loads of free time:</p> <p><strong>Scope Out Workout Venue Possibilities</strong></p> <p>Find a workout location close to your workplace. Preferably this venue will be accessible within 15 minutes or less so that you can dedicate 30 minutes to your workout and spend just an hour on exercise during the day.</p> <p>In an ideal world, a gym with studio space, cardio equipment, and strength-training equipment as well as a multi-use trail for walking, running, rollerblading, and cycling will be nearby. But you can still exercise even if neither a full-service gym nor a park-like setting is right outside your door.</p> <p>Specialty fitness facilities (such as climbing centers or yoga studios) may be around the corner and open at convenient times. If classes and hours don&rsquo;t mesh with your needs, talk to owners about offering workday-friendly schedules on a trial basis to determine demand. Places to walk or run include sidewalks or roads near your office building.</p> <p>If there is no place suitable <em>near </em>your workplace, look <em>inside</em> your workplace. You may find space that is suitable for a fitness room. Consult with a local supplier about setting up a facility in a way that is cost-effective and compliant with safety regulations. Alternatively, use this space for studio-type exercise with no special equipment.</p> <p><strong>Choose a Form of Exercise</strong></p> <p>Discover what makes sense for you. Consider <em>where</em> you can exercise during the day as a starting point. Then think about you want to accomplish. Do you want to get started with exercising? Do you want to improve athletic performance? Do you want to be stronger, more flexible, or faster? Your goals can guide your decision.</p> <p>Owing to the proliferation of specialty gyms in addition to full-service facilities and the open road (or sidewalk), options for exercise are plentiful. These forms of exercise come to mind as suitable for inserting into your work day:</p> <ul> <li>Walking: A leisurely walk can be a great entry into an exercise regimen while a fast-paced power walk or quick-stepping climbs up several flights of stairs can build exceptional cardiovascular fitness.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Running: Doing hill work or speed work on your lunch break can help you become stronger and faster, serving as a great complement to possible endurance runs on the weekends. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cycling: Stay inside for spin classes or ride on trails outdoors (for those who are not bicycle commuting on a regular basis).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Strength training: Do repetitions on the weights at the gym or simply do bodyweight exercises in a private space at your workplace. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Yoga: Visit a studio or follow an instructor online in a private space.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Bring Exercise Gear to Work</strong></p> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing more frustrating than carving out time to complete a workout, getting yourself mentally ready, and then discovering that you&rsquo;ve forgotten something essential, such as your running shoes, swimsuit, or extra change of clothes for apr├Ęs workout.&nbsp;</p> <p>Pack your gear the night before a workout. For double protection, keep an extra set of everything in your car or tucked away in a locker at your workplace. Handy items may include:</p> <ul> <li>Sport-specific clothes</li> <li>Athletic shoes</li> <li>Towels</li> <li>Sunscreen</li> <li>Water bottle</li> <li>Exercise mat</li> </ul> <p><strong>Carve Out Time</strong></p> <p>Place your workout on your calendar. Be specific about the time, date, and location. When arranging an appointment with a client, vendor, or employee (and, invariably, reviewing priorities and negotiating meeting times), remember that your workout is a commitment. Schedule engagements to accommodate the workout plus time to travel to and from your workout site and minutes needed to freshen after exercise.</p> <p>Activate electronic reminders of your workout session if needed; set your phone alarm or send an alert to yourself as a prompt.</p> <p>The lunch hour may be perfect for your needs, but don&rsquo;t limit yourself to a noon session. Consider a post-lunch workout as the crowds have often dissipated from local Ys and specialty facilities just after 1 p.m. Alternatively, get to your workplace extra early and then work out around 10 a.m. so that you can get some things accomplished before taking a break.</p> <p>Develop a schedule and routine that works for you. Realize that carving out time just twice each week can make a tremendous difference in your fitness level and mental state.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business">Small Business Resource Center articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center exercise time management workout Wed, 16 Feb 2011 20:10:24 +0000 Julie Rains 489585 at http://www.wisebread.com Fitness For People Who Hate Exercise http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fitness_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finding a workout routine that can keep you healthy and in shape is difficult &mdash; after all, for many of us, working out is a tedious task, made worse by exercise that is uninspiring and repetitive. While some people get a runner's high, the rest of us get an attack of boredom. If you're not a fan of exercise to begin with, exercising on an elliptical machine is simply going to feel like a chore, rather than a heart-pumping journey towards health.</p> <p>The key to finding a good workout routine is finding forms of exercise that don't dull the senses. Exercise with another purpose can distract you from the fact that you are forcing your body to work hard, and you can finish a workout without thinking about the actual effort you had to exert.</p> <p>Obviously, some people can jump on a treadmill and get lost in their own thoughts, but others have to struggle to stay on task. Here are some exercise ideas that can get you in shape without putting you to sleep.</p> <h2>Boxing</h2> <p><img width="605" height="405" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/2840387532_4151130f7e_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/2840387532/"><em>Joe Shlabotnik</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Boxing gyms are in plentiful supply around the country, and you don't necessarily have to spar with anyone to burn fat and calories. There are group classes that can hep you hone your posture and jabbing techniques, and you never have to face down anything scarier than a punching bag. Of course, if you want to learn how to spar, you can join a gym. Or start your own Fight Club. Mind you, you'll never be able to talk about your fight club (Rule #1 of Fight Club), but at least you'll have some awesome scars to show for it.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Boxing is a great way to take out your aggression after a particularly bad commute home. It's an excellent cardio and upper body workout. If you chose to spar, wearing a mouthguard will allow you to keep most of your teeth.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>There aren't too many cons to boxing, although if you don't wish to continually pay money to attend classes, you may need to invest in a punching bag for your home. These can be found, cheap, on Craigslist.</p> <h2>Rock Climbing</h2> <p><img width="605" height="405" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/4897052861_45caca9d41_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by</em> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8136496@N05/4897052861/"><em>terren in Virgina</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Rock climbing is a great cardio and muscle workout that focuses your mind on survival, rather than the actual exercise. Because your entire goal is to avoid falling from a wall, you don't have time to check your heart rate or your reflection in the mirror. Rock climbing is a great sport for women, because so much of the work relies on leg and abdominal strength, as well as flexibility, rather than raw arm strength. Many climbing gyms offer affordable introductory classes &mdash; keep an eye out for online coupons that offer even cheaper rates.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>A couple hours of rock climbing can burn as many calories as running, and much of that time is not even spent on the wall, but rather sitting on the ground and contemplating the routes on a wall or cave. Even though it's an individual sport, climbing can be a good way to meet people, because climbers love to offer advice to each other.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>You'll need to start out at a gym, rather than in the great outdoors, and a gym membership may be necessary. Solid, safe equipment is key, and can cost a few hundred dollars upfront. Gym memberships can range from reasonable to ghastly, but many gyms do offer free memberships to people who are willing to belay (hold the rope for) other climbers. Ask your gym what kind of deals can be worked out.</p> <h2>Team Sports</h2> <p><img width="605" height="413" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/4697850589_de3ecd62b5_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by</em> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/31064702@N05/4697850589/"><em>Dawn Huczek</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Team sports are a great way to meet people, socialize, exercise, and find an excuse to drink beer. Most large cities are rife with intramural adult soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee, and softball leagues. Seattle, which is chock-full of hipsters, also has a fair number of kickball and dodgeball leagues, which can be lots of fun. Rugby is also a great sport if you are serious about beer and learning to swear like a sailor.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Team sports keep you motivated, because people depend on your presence to play the game. Team camaraderie can be a great motivating factor, and other players can give you tips. Plus, team fees are usually much cheaper than a gym membership.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>Depending on where you live, sports can be seasonal, so you may need to pick up more than one in order to stay exercising year-round. Also, games are often only once a week, so you'll need to practice in between to stay fit.</p> <h2>Canoeing/Kayaking</h2> <p><img width="605" height="403" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/534050290_aa3e01645f_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brooke_anderson/534050290/"><em>Brooke Anderson</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>I can't even look at a canoe without it tipping over, but lots of people find canoeing to be a wonderful, low-impact sport. If you have a love of the water and want to find a way to spend more time outdoors, consider a paddle sport. Also, do read this article about <a href="http://artofmanliness.com/2011/01/31/your-partner-deserves-a-good-paddling-advice-on-canoeing/">the art of canoeing</a>. Although aimed at men, it's funny for everyone.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Canoeing and kayaking make for good upper-body and ab workouts while allowing you to see some lovely sites.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>If you are prone to motion sickness, a day at sea on a kayak will only help you lose weight through losing your lunch. Also, purchasing and storing equipment can be a challenge for some people. Keep and eye out for used equipment online and in the print ads.</p> <h2>Yoga</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/5197319399_e8569a2157_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/5197319399/"><em>lululemon athletica</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Yoga may seem intimidating or even a little hippie-dippy, but it has been popular in the West for a long time now. The benefit to you is that there are so many varieties of it now. It used to be that you could only find one kind of yoga class, and copious Om-ing was usually involved. Now there's hatha, Bikram, pregnancy, tantric, and <a href="http://www.yogaslackers.com/">slackline yoga</a> (this is yoga practices on a slightly slacken rope &mdash; no kidding!). Yoga classes are held indoors and outside on the beach. There are so many different ways to stretch and get fit in this practice, there's no reason not to try out the different types to see if you can find one that fits your needs.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>You don't need much equipment &mdash; just a mat and a towel, and sometimes a bottle of water. You can alter the yoga workout to fit your needs. So many studios are open around North America these days that you should be able to find some stellar deals on the classes themselves.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>It can be disheartening to take a class with people who are so free of body fat that they completely levitate off of the mat. It can be a good intro to look for the &quot;Yoga for All Bodies&quot; type classes if you feel a bit nervous about your shape when you first get started.</p> <h2>Dance</h2> <p><img width="605" height="453" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/5053242152_613a80ea82_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34094515@N00/5053242152/"><em>Richard Taylor</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>There are so many different types of dance class that you can take, the possibilities are nearly endless. Modern, tap, ballet, ballroom, flamenco, hip-hop, tango, swing, line dancing, clogging, square dancing, South Indian...you name it, you can probably find a class somewhere. Dancing is great exercise, and a perfect way to get fit without thinking about getting fit. You'll be too busy perfecting your steps to worry about how many calories you are burning. You can take lessons with a partner, but lots of classes allow you to show up alone, as well.</p> <p>Aside from lessons, going clubbing is a good way to burn hundreds of calories in a night. Just take it easy on the drinks and lose yourself in the music.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Not only does dance provide an excellent physical workout, it hones your sense of balance and might help alleviate any leftover adolescent clumsiness (which tends to stick around forever). Plus, how many people know how to tango? Dancing is an impressive skill.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>Dancing looks easy, but it's not. It's common for the first year of dance lessons to be an exercise in frustration, rather than just exercise. Don't expect to be twirling around the ballroom instantaneously. There's also the chance that you really hate dancing and would rather die than step foot on the dance floor. Consider a couple of classes to see if you can alleviate your fear, but don't push it if you know you'll simply be miserable the whole time.</p> <p>Some dancing styles require special shoes, and this can be an upfront expense.</p> <h2>Martial Arts</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/3823658879_c008241566_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/3823658879/"><em>Mike Baird</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>There are so many martial arts to choose from, but most encompass a broad practice of discipline, respect, bodily and mental control, and a hearty workout. Punching and kicking the air for a few months might seem strange at first, but the yelling and ki-ai-ing involved in tae kwon do and karate can be incredibly therapeutic.</p> <p>Learning with students of varying ages and abilities is both inspiring and humbling, and of course, you can pick up some awesome self-defense moves.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Most martial arts schools will issue you a uniform, so everyone else will look equally pajama-clad.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>You have to wear pajamas, like everyone else.</p> <h2>Roller Derby</h2> <p><img width="605" height="414" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/4700437495_9ca57b2f8b_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobjagendorf/4700437495/"><em>Bob Jagendorf</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>If boxing seems a little too tame, you might want to consider careening around a track on roller skates while other people try to knock you over. <a href="http://wftda.com/">Roller derby</a> has enjoyed something of a renaissance of late, and although you don't have to be a tattooed mega babe to try out for your local league, it's a good place to hang out with tattooed mega-babes. Roller derby is an intense cardio workout, but you don't have time to think much about it as you dodge your teammates and the flying fists of your opponents.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Like other team sports, roller derby is full of social events. Also, having cheering crowds attending your exercise regimen can be a real thrill.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>Social events take up a great deal of time, to say nothing of the league meetings. Derby is not for the shy.</p> <h2>Fencing/Sword Play</h2> <p><img width="605" height="378" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/3776618502_6671c4b155_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo courtesy of </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/qrodoflickr/3776618502/sizes/z/in/photostream/"><em>Qrodo Photos</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.fencing.net/">Fencing</a> is a solid workout that requires lessons and training. It's also heart-poundingly exciting, and makes you look like a true blue-blood (if you care about those kinds of things). Getting started in fencing isn't cheap, but it's a sport that you can take up at almost any age. Plus, you can say French phrases without sounding any more pompous than usual.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>It's exciting! You get to stab people with swords!</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>The initial cost of equipment can turn some people away, but like most sporting goods, fencing clothing and supplies can be purchased used online for cheaper than new.</p> <h2>Walking</h2> <p><img width="605" height="484" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/390607320_c2d49e27a3_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/390607320/"><em>Mike Baird</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Walking might seem like a fairly boring way to get fit, but it's as good a workout as jogging, and there are plenty of things you can do to make it more exciting. First, many people find success when they walk while listening to their favorite, energizing music. If Lady Gaga is your secret shame but her music moves your feet, put all of her tunes on your MP3 player and walk around the neighborhood. Walking the dog is a good excuse to get out and about.</p> <p>Another way to make walking more appealing is to find a good place to walk. Parks, urban trails, beaches, and country roads all make for scenic and quiet places to contemplate nature or get lost in your own thoughts as you tread along. If you live within a couple miles of your workplace, walking to and from work is an option that gives your workout purpose.</p> <p>Of course, you could always take up a sport that includes copious amounts of walking, like golf (pricey) or frisbee golf (much cheaper). Geocaching is a popular hobby that gives real meaning to your walking. You can solve puzzles and collect tokens, and the game of it all drives you forward.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Walking is one of the cheapest ways to get a good workout. It can done alone or with friends.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>Sometimes you have to drive until you find a place that you want to walk around. Also, winter months make finding time to walk alone a bit treacherous, especially in dark, isolated areas. Always carry your cell phone and a can of pepper spray if you are walking alone.</p> <h2>LARPing</h2> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u11/116561830_cfb80b6235_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mornathedark/116561830/"><em>Monique</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Oh, what the hell, you're a nerd anyway, right? Of course you are. Otherwise, you'd be at the gym. You've probably already got your twenty-sided die and your duster all ready for this weekend, so why not consider your <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_action_role-playing_game">Live Action Role Playing</a> as a part of an exercise regime? Of course, this really depends on your flavor of action, but plenty of LARPers end up tramping around the woods &mdash; it's like hiking, but without the expensive gear from REI. If you can manage to get together a couple of times a week to larp, you can be fit as a fiddle in time for the next Renn Faire.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <p>Those familiar with LARPing already know the rules; just amp it up a notch for a better physical challenge. Role playing is fun and a good way to socialize while indulging in an escape from the dullness and stress of everyday life. Larping is time-consuming, but it means that you can enjoy hours of physical activity without noticing that you are getting exercise.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <p>You are a nerd.</p> <p><em>Have you found alternative ways to stay fit and healthy? Tell us about your workout routine in the comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise" class="sharethis-link" title="Fitness For People Who Hate Exercise" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Lifestyle diabetic exercise exercise frugal exercise routines non-boring exercise type II diabetes unusual exercise ideas weight loss workout Fri, 04 Feb 2011 14:36:06 +0000 Andrea Karim 487886 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Pre-Workout Snacks to Keep You Moving http://www.wisebread.com/6-pre-workout-snacks-to-keep-you-moving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-pre-workout-snacks-to-keep-you-moving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/weight_lifting.jpg" alt="LEGO man lifting a weight" title="LEGO man lifting a weight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of us, a balanced meal 4-6 hours ahead of a workout provides enough energy to get through a 30-45 minute routine. But once we start adding intensity and duration, we need a bit more than breakfast or lunch to sustain the workload. That's because after about 60 minutes, we will have burned through the ready stores of glycogen stockpiled in our muscles and livers and begun to burn other sources &mdash; fat and protein.</p> <p>Burning fat during a workout may sound like a good thing (and <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37492881/ns/health-fitness/">some researchers think it can be</a>, occasionally), but it's inefficient. We run out of steam, intensity suffers, and fitness improvements come more slowly. As for protein, our bodies have much better things to do with such an essential ingredient than breaking it down and converting it to energy.</p> <p>A small snack of 200 calories or fewer, 30-60 minutes ahead of a workout can give us just what we need to make the most of every rep. The <a href="http://www.jissn.com/content/7/1/7">International Society of Sports Nutritionists</a> suggests a snack that has a ratio of 4-1 or 5-1 carbohydrates to protein. The carbs should come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or other complex carbs that take a while to break down. The protein helps replace some of the protein burned during intense exercise.</p> <p>Lots of small bites fit the bill. Here are six to get you inspired &mdash; and keep your workout motivated.</p> <p>(All nutrient data are from the <a href="http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/">USDA database</a>. cal = Calories, CHO = Carbohydrate, PRO = Protein, F = Fat, in grams.)</p> <h3>1. Banana and Peanut Butter</h3> <p>(1 medium banana: 105 cal, 27CHO, 1PRO, .5F; 1 TBS chunky peanut butter: 94 cal, 3CHO, 4PRO, 8F)</p> <p>Take away the bread, and Elvis's favorite sandwich makes a pretty good pre-workout treat. There are plenty of carbs to avoid a late workout slowdown, plus potassium to keep electrolytes balanced and help prevent cramps. If peanut butter is impractical, a handful of almonds is a good substitute for the protein (but not the Elvis impersonation).</p> <h3>2. Protein/Energy Bars (in the Correct Ratio)</h3> <p>It's hard to beat the convenience of these, but watch out for sugar, which will give you the wrong kind of boost too soon in the workout. The goal is to have carbohydrates available at the end of the workout, not to replace glycogen at the beginning. Protein bars will be a little light on carbohydrates, but the energy bars such as those offered by sports drink manufacturers are usually at 4-1 or 5-1.</p> <h3>3. Oatmeal</h3> <p>(1 cup, cooked: 166 cal, 28CHO, 6PRO, 3F)</p> <p>Who knew oatmeal had so much protein? <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/stella4.htm">Bodybuilders</a>! Plus it's got lots of good, slow-to-digest carbohydrates and fiber, and little fat. Cook your own to avoid the sugary pre-packaged kind.</p> <h3>4. Nonfat Yogurt with Fruit</h3> <p>(1 cup, plain: 137 cal, 18CHO, 14PRO, .5F)</p> <p>Not everyone's stomach can tolerate dairy during a tough workout, but it's hard to beat yogurt as a convenient source of protein. Add some fruit &mdash; perhaps a banana or an apple (95 cal, 28CHO, .5 PRO, .5F) &mdash; to boost the carbs.</p> <h3>5. Trail Mix</h3> <p>(1/2 cup: 346 cal, 34CHO, 10PRO, 22F)</p> <p>Look for a good-quality trail mix with lots of dried fruit, and avoid the chocolaty chunks. Nuts pack a lot of protein &mdash; and a lot of fat. Fortunately, those fats are the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/NU00262">&quot;good&quot; unsaturated fats that lower cholesterol</a> and blood lipid levels. If your trail mix includes flax seeds and walnuts, you're getting Omega-3 fats that can improve heart health, too.</p> <h3>6. Half a Turkey Sandwich</h3> <p>(2-3 oz. turkey: 60 cal, CHO1, 13PRO, .5F; whole wheat bread, 1 slice: 69 cal, 12CHO, 4PRO, 1F)</p> <p>Pack this ahead of time with your lunch, and it's almost as convenient as an energy bar. Packaged sliced turkey is usually higher in sodium and fat (the &quot;bad&quot; fat) than freshly sliced turkey from the deli or meat counter. A slice of tomato and a dab of mustard make this more delicious and won't slow you down.</p> <p>After you've finished at the gym, your pre-workout bite helps your body rebuild its glycogen stores for tomorrow's workout. You can accelerate that process by drinking something that's in the same 4-1 or 5-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. There are lots of options here, including sports and recovery drinks, but none are simpler or more effective than an old favorite &mdash; a glass of <a href="http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20100604/chocolate-milk-refuels-muscles-after-workout">nonfat chocolate milk</a>.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pre-workout-snacks-to-keep-you-moving" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Pre-Workout Snacks to Keep You Moving " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post by Lars Peterson from our sister blog, <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/">Healthy Theory</a>. Visit Healthy Theory for more health tips and news.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/10-minute-vegetarian-it-s-ok-to-just-go-part-time">10-Minute Vegetarian: It's OK To Just Go Part-Time</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/how-to-avoid-injuring-yourself-shoveling-snow">How To Avoid Injuring Yourself Shoveling Snow</a><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/a-good-night-s-sleep-is-a-weapon-against-childhood-obesity"><br /> </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/organic-milk-consistently-better-quality">Organic Milk Consistently Better Quality</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/acai-berry-a-beginners-guide">Acai Berry: A Beginner's Guide </a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-theory">Healthy Theory</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/food-and-drink">Food and Drink articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty exercise healthy snacks nutrition workout Mon, 31 Jan 2011 15:00:46 +0000 Healthy Theory 486490 at http://www.wisebread.com Half Moon, Full Wallet: Free Online Yoga Videos http://www.wisebread.com/half-moon-full-wallet-free-online-yoga-videos <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/half-moon-full-wallet-free-online-yoga-videos" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/morning_yoga.jpg" alt="Woman doing yoga in the morning" title="Woman doing yoga in the morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Practicing yoga can improve your strength, flexibility, and focus. It can also remove between $5 and $20 from your wallet per class. I already have a membership to a gym that unfortunately doesn't offer yoga classes, but I occasionally like to add yoga to my workout routine. When I do, I turn to one of these online yoga videos:</p> <h2>YOGAmazing Video Podcast</h2> <p>This is the yoga resource I use the most. Run by Chaz Rough, a yoga instructor from Kentucky, the <a href="http://www.yogamazing.com/podcast.html">YOGAmazing Video Podcast</a> provides yoga classes that range from 10 minutes to over a half-hour long. Each class is on a different theme, from &ldquo;Yoga for Beginners&rdquo; to &ldquo;Yoga for Upper Body Strength&rdquo; to faster-paced classes like &ldquo;Morning Flow.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <h2><em>Yoga Journal</em> Practice Podcast</h2> <p><em>Yoga Journal</em> provides <a href="http://www.yogajournal.com/podcast/">20-minute classes</a> that can be downloaded as video or audio. The classes feature host Kathryn Budig narrating the poses while another yoga practitioner demonstrates. These videos tend to incorporate more advanced poses than YOGAmazing, and classes include &ldquo;Strengthen Your Core,&rdquo; &ldquo;Arm Balances,&rdquo; and sequences for morning and evening.</p> <h2>Yoga on YouTube</h2> <p>Searching for yoga on YouTube provides a variety of classes and instructional videos from <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf1MtRZx_J4">30-minute weight loss workouts</a> to short seven-minute videos from <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/yogatoday">Yoga Today</a>'s &ldquo;Light Practice&rdquo; series to &ldquo;Steamy Hot Yoga,&rdquo; which appears to be much less focused on the &ldquo;yoga&rdquo; part, and more concerned with the &ldquo;steamy hot&rdquo; (and I'm not talking in a Bikram heated-room way).</p> <h2>Netflix</h2> <p>Okay, this isn't technically free, but if you already have a <a href="http://www.netflix.com">Netflix</a> account, multiple yoga videos are available through their instant-stream service.</p> <h2>A Note for First-Timers</h2> <p>If you are completely new to yoga, it's worthwhile to pay for a few in-person classes to learn the basic poses. Yoga can push you to move in ways you haven't before, and taking a class gives you the opportunity to have a seasoned practitioner adjust your movements so you know that you're getting the poses right. Once you understand how, for example, a downward-facing dog pose should feel, it's easier to repeat the pose in your own home. Many popular daily deal sites, such as <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> and Living Social, frequently feature discounted yoga-class packages that would be great for getting up to speed.</p> <p>If you've never done yoga before, you'll also need to purchase a yoga mat. Some of the videos do suggest having a yoga belt or block for poses as well, but if you're just starting with yoga, I'd recommend in only purchasing a mat first.</p> <p><em>Do you use online yoga videos? Know of any good resources I missed here?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-moon-full-wallet-free-online-yoga-videos" class="sharethis-link" title="Half Moon, Full Wallet: Free Online Yoga Videos" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/health-and-beauty">Health and Beauty articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty exercise at home workout yoga Fri, 31 Dec 2010 13:00:10 +0000 Meg Favreau 410517 at http://www.wisebread.com Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First. http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/509920393_10c0278c10_o.jpg" alt="Bike dumped" title="Bike dumped" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="174" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don&rsquo;t worry, this is not an expos&eacute; on bad equipment or faulty products; I&rsquo;m no expert on exercise machines and products. But I do know a little about human nature and after many chats with friends and family, I&rsquo;ve come to one conclusion &ndash; most people don&rsquo;t buy exercise equipment to work out; they buy it because they think it will <strong>motivate</strong> them to work out, and make working-out easier and more fun.</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">How many times have you walked past a garage sale in your area and seen a barely-used piece of exercise equipment parked on the sidewalk? Or, to be more direct, how many times have you bought a piece of exercise equipment that you used a few times and then put into storage?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;m guilty of it. I first encountered this phenomenon back as a young boy intent on building some muscle. I bought a weight set (that my dad had to help me carry home &ndash; now that&rsquo;s irony on a base level) and assembled it in my bedroom, ready to make myself look like a young Schwarzenegger. I think I gave up after 10 weeks. The weights were dismantled and stored in my closet. Well, except for one small dumbbell that served as a very handy doorstop.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> In college, I bought a pull-up bar and a sit-up machine. This time I was ready to do some serious crunches and build some big biceps. I don&rsquo;t even think the pull-up bar made it out of the box. But I did do some crunches. Not many, but some. Then it was hidden from view under my bed for three years, before being given away to a friend for the princely sum of one beer. By the way, he never used it either.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> When I got married, I bought more weights. They are currently gathering dust in the garage. I also bought a rowing machine, and yesterday I finally pulled it out to start using it. Luckily, I bought it used for $25 &ndash; my thinking here was that if I was going to buy something I would only use a few times, at least I had only dropped $25 on it. What kind of mentality is that?!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>It's all about motivation</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Anyway, after asking around, I discovered that I&rsquo;m in a huge majority. Most people buy exercise equipment because they have romanticized the idea of working out. They watch the ads and infomercials, and everything looks so easy and so much fun. Plus, people look great after just a few months.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s not the equipment that&rsquo;s to blame by the way. My rowing machine works great. Elliptical machines and exercise bikes work really well. Weights are guaranteed to be effective if you use them correctly. No, what is missing here is a lack of motivation, and it&rsquo;s something that no amount of money can buy.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here&rsquo;s the crux of the matter. Most of us already own a fantastic piece of workout equipment. It&rsquo;s our own body. We can use our own bodies to work out, using push ups, sit ups, jogging, yoga, pilates and more. I knew a guy in college that was built like a tank and he didn&rsquo;t own one piece of equipment. He couldn&rsquo;t afford it, so he worked out in his bedroom by doing a mixture of exercises, including 100 push-ups, every single morning. He had the motivation, and the dedication, and if he&rsquo;d been given a piece of equipment you can bet your bottom dollar he&rsquo;d have used it.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> The promise of looking great, coupled with slick advertisements and the quest for a better, healthier body, is enough to make us all open up our wallets and drop a bunch of money on the next great hope. But sadly, for most of us, that shiny new piece of equipment will one day become a dusty new bargain in a garage sale.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">So, by all means buy your new workout machine, but make sure you have the motivation first. If you&rsquo;ve sat on the sofa for six hours every night, eating chips and drinking soda, an exercise bike won&rsquo;t turn you into a new person. But if you get off that couch and start doing something about it, from a walk to a few push-ups every morning, then maybe you are ready to invest in something that will help you out. Remember&hellip;there is no substitute for motivation and dedication. And no amount of money can buy that for you.</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first" class="sharethis-link" title="Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First." rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Shopping exercise Health jogging machine running workout Thu, 09 Jul 2009 16:35:57 +0000 Paul Michael 3363 at http://www.wisebread.com