Friday, March 25, 2011

Working Out on a Budget

image credit

I posted a little bit last week about how we are working out on a budget.  Since then I've gotten my husband on the EA Sports Activebandwagon and he is also doing the 30 Day Challenge.  I'm happy to say that I'm now almost 2 full weeks into it and I'm still holding strong.

A couple of nights ago I even used some of my Amazon credits (earned via Swagbucks, thank you very much) to order an extra leg strap, so that we can work out together.

In the past (when I thought I had money) I've worked out with a trainer, and I have to say there are upsides to having a trainer, but overall, I think that EA Active does the job just as well, if not better.  The routines are very similar to those I would have done with my trainer.  We were in a gym and would also use the weight machines, but the trainers I've worked with always tended more towards a circuit style training, which is what EA Active uses.  The biggest upside I find to using EA Active is that it's an every day kind of thing (almost).  It's actually set up to work you out for 2 days, then you rest for 1 day and then back to the 2 days of working out, and so on.  Even when I could afford a trainer, the most I went was two days a week, what was I doing the other 5 days of the week?  At best, I was getting on the treadmill, and that's just not enough if your goal is to actually lose weight.  I did lose weight, but no faster than I probably would have just doing weight watchers alone.

With a trainer, I had someone to hold me accountable. They would look at my food journal and ask me what I did when I wasn't with them.  But, what's the worst that could happen? They'd give me a disappointed look.  This time it's different, because if I'm going to work out five days a week, I have to be doing it for me.  I am doing Weight Watchers at the same time, but more to help me keep myself in line with what I eat.  With the new Weight Watchers system I actually find it hard some days to eat enough food.

Working out on a budget, is all about using what you have.  Whatever you have.  If you have a Wii, you can pick up a used copy of EA Active on Amazon for under $20 (and you can probably do the same in a local video game trade in store).  If you don't have a Wii there are still plenty of great free and cheap options for working out, that don't require a gym membership or a trainer and with the weather getting nice, the options are just increasing.

  • Walk the dog (if you have one), if not just go for a walk
  • Go for a hike, find local trails and start wondering them. You'll be amazed at what you'll find.
  • Go for a bike ride (most of us have an old bike in the garage, you just might want to air up those tires first).
  • There are plenty of great exercises you can do without leaving your house 
    • Crunches
    • Push Ups (start out slow by doing pushups against the wall while standing, as you get better, do them with your hands on a chair or the couch, then work your way to the ground).
    • lunges (side and front lunges really work your legs)
    • Walk or run in place.
  • Look for free workout videos on Youtube (there are plenty).
  • Don't have hand weights? Grab a couple of cans of vegetables or bottles of body wash
Whatever you do, don't use money as an excuse not to get a good workout.  The only excuse you have is yourself (and I know, because I was my own excuse for way too long). FWIW, I've lost 2 pounds so far!


    1. Great tips! I'm the process of trying to lose weight too. I actually purchased The Biggest Loser Challenge for my Wii to add in addition my Wii Fit. I've also been doing more walking outside with my dogs (since the snow has gone away they have been VERY demanding about being walked regularly).

    2. How are you finding the Biggest Loser workout? I was thinking about picking it up if I saw it used somewhere, as an alternative to the 30 Day Challenge when I finish it (in another 2 weeks).