This is a guest post written by Dr. Bryan Warner, St. Louis Bioidentical Hormones Expert
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Many people are under the impression that eating right and exercising often is an expensive habit reserved for celebrities and CEOs. Truthfully, that type of attitude is exactly what expands waistlines and depletes health – especially when it comes to physical activity.
You do not have to be a member of a fancy health club or trendy yoga studio and you don’t have to own expensive gym equipment or hire a personal trainer to get into healthy shape – you may be surprised at what you can achieve in the great outdoors or in the comfort of your own home. Below is a list of the exercise styles and the best ways to learn and do these exercises without lofty expenses.
- Yoga. Forget the personal sensei and overpriced yoga gear. Grab a towel and plop down in front of your TV or computer. There are plenty of inexpensive yoga DVDs or websites that offer tips for learning and progressing in yoga. Tara Stiles has become a renowned yoga expert who teaches and practices yoga from an athletic perspective, rather than simply a meditation perspective.
- Pilates. Many people think that you can only get an effective Pilates workout on the fancy spring loaded machines, but plenty of Pilates gurus have made their fortune through mat Pilates. Much like the yoga suggestion, all you need is a towel, a DVD or website and a few feet of space. There are hundreds of Pilates exercises that can tone you up without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
- Cardiovascular training.Not to state the obvious, but if you have a pair of sneakers, there is nothing less expensive and better for your health than heading outside for a brisk walk, a long jog or an intense run – whatever you choose – it is good for you. Outdoor activities like these will not only boost your cardiovascular health, it will also stimulate the formation of vitamin D inside the body thanks to the extra sun exposure.
If you get bored walking or jogging or running is not your style, don’t fret – rollerblading, jump roping, basketball and other activities that get your heart racing are suitable too. Just remember, to reap the benefits of the activity, your rate should be elevated throughout the activity and in keeping with 2011 ACSM guidelines for healthy adults, you should get your heart pumping for a minimum of 150 minutes total each week.
- Resistance training. Men tend to be drawn to weight training, while women run straight toward the cardiovascular exercises, but each sex should participate in both forms of exercise on a routine basis. Resistance training can come in many forms and there are plenty of ways to participate in this activity without breaking the bank. In your home or at the park, you can perform push-ups, crab-walks, planks, lunges and a host of other exercises without any equipment from the gym. Many parks offer a “wellness path” where stationary equipment is available for pull-ups, sit-ups, dips and step-ups. For a little cash, you can invest in resistance bands, which are light-weight and travel-friendly – the list of exercises you can perform with this simple piece of equipment is endless.
- Aerobic dance. Remember the days when you used to blast the stereo, grab a hairbrush and belt out tunes in front of the mirror, while gyrating “flawlessly” when no one was looking? Let your inner teen shine again – clear the furniture and crank up the music. You do not need a spandex-clad instructor or ten other people attempting choreographed dance moves around you to dance for exercise – just get moving. If you prefer to learn while you burn, rather than flailing wildly about, there are plenty of DVDs and websites that offer choreographed aerobic dances moves, including hip-hop, Latin and step.
- Interval training. This is by and far becoming one of the most popular ways to train and drive intense results in less time – and it is more effective outside the gym that inside. Interval training is perfect for the park, an empty football or soccer field and does not require much equipment. Run 30 second sprints and then perform push-ups and sit-ups and then back to sprints. By mixing up the activity and initiating constant fluctuation to your heart rate, you “surprise” your body and build muscle while burning fat.
Remember to talk with your doctor before engaging in a new physical activity regimens. Certain forms of exercise may be risky, if not performed progressively and in the proper form. Regardless of you financial status – physical activity is one thing you do for your health that is absolutely free.
About the Author: Dr. Bryan Warner practices anti-aging and preventive medicine at BodyLogicMD of St. Louis, helping women and men suffering from menopause, andropause and other hormone imbalances achieve a longer and better life.