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Cheap Exercise Machines

We began discussing how a healthy lifestyle can save you money.  Many might not see the value in a healthy lifestyle, and many more may not understand how it can save you money.

KrantCents, a frequent commenter and very insightful guy, left a comment that allowed me to address the hidden savings in a healthy lifestyle.

I’m including the comment below to better illustrate the hidden savings:

… a lot of the savings is incalculable because you don’t actually see the savings. You can’t add up the doctors visits that you haven’t made, you can’t count the medicine that you didn’t need to purchase because you didn’t get sick, and you don’t count the fancy vacation that you never had to consider because your mental state is so much better.

There are so many costs associated with eating, being, and feeling unhealthy. I’m not trying to cast too wide of a net, there are plenty of unhealthy people who are fine mentally, but numerous studies (Google it, for anyone who wants a cite) indicate a strong correlation between Physical and Mental Health.”

Be sure to check out one of Krant’s latest articles Inside a Millionaire’s Mind.  Now, you know that you can save money by being fit, but how do you start without spending a million dollars?

Inexpensive Exercise Equipment for Small Spaces

Versatility is your friend when it comes to home exercise equipment.  The more you can accomplish with the same piece of equipment, in the same space, the better!

Jump Rope

If you’re trying to lose weight, then the Jump Rope is the best bar-none.  You will burn far more calories jump roping than you will walking, jogging, or running.  Much of the reason for this is your entire body has to leave the ground over and over again.  Jump ropes are cheap, and extremely compact.  They aren’t exactly versatile, but they definitely will burn more calories than anything else that occupies the same space!

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are extremely versatile devices.  If you get between 2 -4 different types of bands, then you can simulate nearly every machine in a gym.  My suggestion is to start out with a shorter band, a longer band, and a loop band.  Resistance bands can get very pricey depending on where you purchase them from.

I purchased mine on clearance from Wal-Mart and TJ Maxx and have averaged them to cost only $5.00 each.  If you don’t want to shop around then you can usually get them for about $10.00 – $50.00 each.  With 3 of my bands I can do:

  • Curls
  • Bench Presses
  • Chest Butterflies
  • Tricep extensions
  • Seated Rows
  • Lateral Pull Downs
  • Upright Rows
  • and Pallof Presses

That isn’t all of them, that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head.  Many of those require huge machines in a gym, I just use a resistance band and (in some cases) the leg of my bed.  The best thing, I can do all of the exercises in one small room!

Doorway Gyms

These aren’t as versatile as the resistance bands, but you should be able to do at least 3 different exercises  with one.  I like to pair it up with my resistance bands so I can have an overhead anchor for lateral pull downs etc.  With doorway gyms, you can generally do push ups, sit ups, and pull ups.

The one that I have is surprisingly sturdy and was my gateway into consistent fitness.  I picked mine up for $30.00 and between using it as it is, and pairing it up with my fitness bands, it has definitely been great and cheap!

XBox Kinect and EA Sports Active 2

This is easily the most expensive thing on the list if you don’t have any of them.  If you already have an XBox, and you already have a Kinect (a motion sensor camera), then it is super cheap.  XBox’s will run you about $300-$400, the Kinect another $200, and the EA Sports Active 2 about $60 – $100.  We got the EA Sports Active 2 for $60.

This won’t be a full review of it, but ultimately, the EA Sports Active 2 is like a digital trainer that uses the Kinect to read your body movements, and a heart rate monitor to calculate calories and heart rate.  There are numerous workout programs for it, and I’m currently enrolled in the 9 week program.

It requires me to do 4 workouts a week, with 3 rest days, but I tend to do extra workouts on the rest days. It is a great way to keep you motivated, and it provides an excellent workout.  I’m actually sore as of this reading.  Don’t buy this game (game is a misnomer) with the intention of it being extremely fun, it really is hard work!

The upfront cost is high for the entire system, but if you actually use it, and don’t let it collect dust like most people do with all of their other games, your cost of “entertainment” per hour will become extremely low!

You Are the Variable

All of this equipment comes with costs, but the costs aren’t high if you use the equipment.  Just remember, the cost depends solely on you.  If you don’t use the equipment, then all of it is 100% loss.  If you aren’t committed, then start small.  Come up with a small 10-minute routine that you can do each morning or night.  Once the routine becomes a habit, then consider getting some equipment to help you out.

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