I’m not going to lie to you here. It is very challenging to lose weight without extra activity. The good news is that it only takes about :30 minutes per day to start seeing the weight loss benefits of exercise!
And you do not need to spend a lot of money on a gym membership or fancy exercise equipment. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to exercise – & some are even FREE! Here’s my best list of Budget Exercises to Help You Lose Weight:
1. Jump Rope
It may be child’s play, but jumping rope offers an unusually complete workout. It improves aerobic fitness at the same time that it strengthens legs, buttocks, arms, and shoulders. Boxers, wrestlers, & other athletes use jump ropes to train so why shouldn’t you? They are easy to pack or store in your house – & you can do it right in your own living room! Put a timer on & jump rope for 5 minutes, then walk around your house for 10 minutes (maybe getting chores done at the same time!). Do that twice a day to see an increase in your metabolism.
Cost: Under $10
2. Resistance Bands
They’re cheap, portable, and can be used to give virtually every muscle in your body an intense workout. Muscle building will help you lose weight when you are sedentary so it’s an important component of weight loss. Most come with a basic set of instructions. Pick 2-3 of the exercises & do three (3) sets of 15 reps each. Then walk for 15 minutes.
Cost: $10-$25 for a basic set of bands with 3 resistance levels
Having trouble motivating yourself to take a brisk walk every day? Studies show that step counters, or pedometers, help inspire people to be more active. Many versions are available, from basic ones that simply tally up steps to fancier models you can hook up to your computer to keep track of your progress over time.
Cost: $20 to $30
4. Hand Weights
A pair of hand weights — also known as dumbbells — offers a great upper-body strengthening workout. Another option: use everyday weighted objects you can easily grasp in each hand, such as a water bottle filled with rocks, socks filled with dried beans or sand, or a bag of rice. Cost: Free for Household Items – $15
5. Yoga Mat
If you do yoga at home, you probably already own one. Even if yoga isn’t your thing, mats still come in handy for doing basic calisthenics such as sit-ups, push-ups, deep knee bends, and other exercises that use body weight — and gravity — to strengthen muscles. Jogging in place or doing jumping jacks add aerobics to your routine to burn calories & increase your metabolism.
6. Medicine Ball
About the size of basketballs, medicine balls are weighted and can be used to add intensity to a basic set of floor exercises. You can squeeze a medicine ball between your knees while doing reverse curls to strengthen abdominals or hold it above your head while doing lateral flexes to tighten up oblique muscles. Most come with instructions for a set of basic exercises.
Cost: About $20
7. Stability Ball
Stability Balls are quite larger than a medicine ball. They are big enough to sit on & offer a great way to add intensity to floor workouts. The ball is wobbly so your muscles have to work to help you keep your balance. The more muscles activated, the more complete your workout. Stability balls are especially good for working out abdominal and back muscles.
Cost: $10 to $20
8. Walking or Running Shoes
If you love to walk or jog, decent shoes are critical. Comfort is the most important criteria. When you shop for shoes, try the pair on and take the time to walk around the store a few times to make sure you get plenty of foot support. Shoes should be snug without rubbing your feet the wrong way.
Cost: $40 to $120
9. Fitness Videos
If you can’t afford a gym membership at this time, Fitness Videos are a great way to work out at home. There are hundreds to choose from in the stores or library – or you can even get a Netflix subscription for $8/month so you can try out different ones. You can choose from walking, yoga, strength training or cross-training.
Cost: Free from Library to $20
10. Stairs or A Stairstep
Walking up and down stairs offers an amazing cardiovascular workout. You can mix it up by running up & down, walking 2 steps at a time, or whatever suits your fancy. Just doing this 3-5 minutes a few times per day can increase your metabolism immensely. If you live or work in a building with stairs between floors, use them for your gym. Or find a building or park nearby with steps you can use. And if you don’t have any stair-access, you can splurge on a step platform to keep at home & use with a Step-Aerobics Video:
Cost: Free to $100