You Can Have Fitness On A Budget
Fun, Flexible and Free
Fitness on a budget is more than saving money. I like the variety and spontaneity of choosing what I do to keep fit and where I do it. When you are in the work force keeping fit can be part of your occupation. I was listening to a programme today about a women who farms 32 thousand hectares (yes hectares!) in outback Australia and she remarked that “the only way to keep going is to keep going” It seemed a pretty good quote for those of us in the retirement stage of life. No matter that your retirement plan didn’t provide the retirement income you hoped for. And even if it did that doesn’t necessarily give you the motivation to put it towards breaking a sweat. There is an unexpected bonus to keeping fit which you can discover in my post, Ageism is Discrimination (just in case you need a little more motivation!)
For me, being active has played an ongoing thread through out my life, Nothing major. No marathons, no trophies just something different most days depending on my mood. My health and fitness has centred on healthy eating using simple recipes and keeping active by doing things I like!
If you want to succeed at fitness (or anything else for that matter) you have to have a plan. Then you can reward yourself when you succeed!
Keeping in mind this is a retirement blog it would be foolish to think that we could or should attack our fitness plan without tempering it with our changing physical capabilities. A visit to your doctor/nurse practitioner to discuss your fitness plan is important. I took climbing Mount Everest out of my bucket list a long time ago. It was replaced with exploring my local national parks.
Don’t give up………Adapt!
8 Ways You Can Keep Fit On A Budget
1. Beach Walking
Walking along the beach is the best fitness exercise I know. Fresh sea air with its health enhancing ozone adds to the benefits of walking. The sand is equal to raising the resistance level on your static walking platform in a gym. Keeping in mind your physical capabilities, sand dunes work your calves and thighs for an extra level to your fitness plan. Nothing equals the feel off sand between the toes and waves lapping around your ankles. Throw in the beauty freebie of feet exfoliation and beach walking is a winner. Of course one has to be a coastal dweller but as a Kiwi I can also wax lyrical about bush walking!
2. Group Support
For those who find any group activity a turn off, I feel your pain! However since being retired (and starting this blog) I have learned that social interactions are necessary for holistic health. If you are still not convinced watch this short video by Susan Pinker and you may change your mind. The good thing is that this fitness plan is designed by you for you. You decide when to add social interaction to your plan and when you do not! Group support also acts as a motivator to keep going when your enthusiasm wanes
Retirement should be seen as an opportunity to do more rather than do less. Budget constraints should not stop you from applying this to your fitness plan. I used to go to a gym and even used a personal trainer for a short time to make sure I was doing the exercises safely. When I retired I joined a volunteer group, “Sailability” who take adults and children with special needs sailing. I admit fitness was not foremost in my mind but I soon realised I was getting an all round workout for free. Being taught to sail was the icing on the cake. Remember you are both the designer and the recipient of this fitness plan. Think outside the box. Most volunteer programmes offer training so do not let your lack of experience/skills deter you from delving into you bucket list
4. Dog Walking
Walking with dogs it not at all like solo walking! Its more like interval training at a gym! There is the fast paced walking towards other dogs. The slow recuperation period of the “sniff and wag” greeting. Dog walking is not necessarily only for dog owners either. We decided that boat living was not conducive to dog ownership so I took up dog walking as a way of earning a small income.
5. Use Technology
So far all the examples for fitness on a budget have been directed towards outdoor activities. As I live on the Gold Coast of Australia outdoors is a year round playground. However, I have also lived for some time in Birmingham (UK) so I have had experience of finding a fitness programme that fits in with a less supportive environment. Using technology gives us the resources for an indoor fitness programme. There are exercises programmes on TV that range from Yoga/Pilates style exercises to the more energetic Salsa/Zumba programmes. Do remember to think outside the box though. I found an exercise programme for teenagers called “Move it” which allowed me to learn the latest hip hop dance moves! Try inviting a neighbour to join you and you will taking care of motivation and social interaction. The post exercise “treat” should be as healthy as possible!
5. Bike Riding
I definitely do not fit into the lycra fraternity. I am also of the opinion that roads designed to move cars from A to B as quickly as possible are no place for me on two wheels! However, I must admit that my last visit to Pounawea (New Zealand) was enhanced by a bike ride. It was bit wet (not unusual) but my feeling of satisfaction when I returned back to base made it all worthwhile. Do some research and see if you can find a local group to join. Even if you prefer cycling alone they will share the best, quietest and flattest cycling tracks around
I know I am very lucky to say that this is my absolute favourite keep fit programme. Taking my grand-daughter for walks to the park (or the library if it’s raining) is an all round workout! Carousels, swings and running to keep up with her is a cardio programme that can’t be beaten. Even pushing a pram up hill becomes a workout. Therefore it is the ideal exercise for toning up your arms and legs. Remember to take water and snacks with you to keep the little one occupied during your rest interval time. (Books have never worked for me in a playground!)
7. Housework or gardening
Either of these may seem more like chores that fitness choices. However, they do burn calories and squats are squats whether in the gym or the garden. Here are some facts you may not know about these chores (sorry fitness programmes)
- Raking leaves – 170 calories
- Making the bed – 70 calories
- Gardening – 165 calories
- Mowing the lawn – 160 calories
- Washing the car – 153 calories
- Cleaning windows – 155 calorie
These figures are only guidelines as weight, age, gender and level of fitness will affect exactly how many calories are used for each activity. For motivational use only!
8. Dancing or Your Own Personal Fitness Freebie
The one thing that all fitness programmes should do is raise the heart rate. Dancing is a personal favourite of mine. Consequently as my significant other does not I have had to make alternative arrangements! Dancing to music with a beat behind closed doors is remarkably liberating. Your own individual fitness work out may seem unusual to others but if you like it then add it to your fitness plan. For example, hula hooping can use up to 300 calories every 30 minutes!