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5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Get In Shape

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In a difficult economy, joining a gym can feel like an expense we just cannot take on. In fact, even when we can afford it—more than 45 million Americans own gym memberships, which average $55 a month—more than 30 percent of us never use it!

But joining a gym is hardly the only way Latinos can manage weight and stay or get into shape. Here are five ways that everyone in your family can have quality exercise sessions without breaking the bank:

 #1. Run or power walk  outdoors

Regardless of the time of year, heading outside for a walk or a run will do your mind and body good. When people run or walk outside, they encounter a variety of terrains that stresses more muscle groups, therefore, providing a better workout. Running outside also requires more energy, due to the resistance of natural elements such as wind and terrain, than running on a treadmill, which exerts less energy when you run the same distance.

#2. Work out at home

This is by far, one of the least expensive ways to get in shape. Doing leg lunges, squats and sit-ups provide both simple and effective ways to work out, and they are completely free. Using items around your home such as canned food products or even filled water bottles, for example, can offer some of the same resistance as weights. Instead of buying a plastic step, find a set of stairs you can utilize for an excellent leg and cardio workout. If you want to invest in at-home dumbbells, free weights, exercise balls, or even a bench, this option can prove financially favorable compared to paying monthly gym fees.

#3. Cycling

Not only is cycling an excellent form of exercise, it is a great way to get around. According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, cycling outdoors proves much more beneficial than trying to burn calories on a stationary bike. The natural elements faced outdoors will burn more calories so for those wanting to burn the most calories on limited time, hit the open road. For extra motivation, consider joining a group such as International Bicycle Fund that encourages city biking on a regular basis.

#4. Hone in on technology

For a great alternative, shop online for your favorite exercise videos. There are numerous sites where you can pick and choose from bestsellers to older, discounted workout DVDs for only a few dollars. Video junkies also have many choices when it comes to working out. Consider systems such as Wii Fit or a dance revolution video that you can enjoy with your kids. If you don’t have a video system and don’t want to buy DVDs, companies such as Netflix offer on-demand videos straight to your screen.

#5. Dancing

A popular aerobic activity with all age groups, dancing along with one of many DVDs available, or signing up for a non-too-expensive salsa class are all ideal–and fun–ways to burn off calories and make new friends. This sociable and creative way to exercise is offered by a variety of studios, gyms, and even small groups for all ability levels. So whether it’s bomba y plena, salsa, or rumba, start moving those hips to some high-energy Latin music.

Regardless of which method you prefer, it’s important to remember that people have been exercising for thousands of years without equipment. If your gym budget hits zero, pick one of these activities and why not head out today to your local park where you can power walk alone or with a friend, use a tree branch to perform chin-ups, stand on rocks to challenge your balance and work out your core, or use smaller rocks for weight resistance?  Your body—after that good post-workout soreness fades—will thank you!

Provided by our friends at VidaVibrante.com

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