Manic: My nonexistent fitness plan and winter eating…too little fitness and too many calories during the winter months!
Managed: My increased level of exercise and decreased number of calories over the last two weeks. This is when I really dug in and got serious about getting ready for shorts season. But this time, I didn’t want to try some new diet. I didn’t want to spend money on Jenny Craig or My Fit Foods, either. Though I really liked both Jenny Craig and My Fit Foods, I really wanted to get fit and eat healthier without being tied to gym fees or food plan bills.
So I tried two free apps on my iPhone and a couple of other low and no budget tools and guess what?! My new fab and almost free fitness plan is working! Read on to see what I have found and try it with me. Feel good, get fit, eat well and do it all on your budget. I’m really excited to share today’s post because these ideas are mostly free and effective!
Low Or No Budget Get Fit Motivators
*Treat yourself to some fitness wear to get motivated — I say low or no budget because I did buy myself some fitness wear to get motivated. I always jog in my yoga clothes, but this year I decided to go to the Adidas outlet store in the new Phoenix Premium Outlets shopping center to buy some running shorts. I’m no runner…I have tried that and running is not for me or for my feet that have recovered from plantar faciitis, but putting on lightweight and vibrant colored running shorts was the motivator I needed to get back out there to do some serious speed walking and light jogging.
*Borrow or Buy Some Good Get Fit DVDs — Trade fitness DVDs with your gal pals to save money and to mix up your home fitness plan. I did purchase one new workout tool and DVD set. My daughter asked me if we could buy the Reebox Weighted Stability Ball DVD workout. At first, I hesitated because I’m truly trying to get fit for free, but I was impressed that she wanted to work out with me. So we bought the smaller one for her and the larger one for me. My review of this workout is good. Because the balls are weighted with sand inside, you truly get a good resistance and weight workout. I like that the DVD combines cardio with floor work that includes some good ab exercises. Plus the DVD has two options, a 50 minute stability ball workout or a shorter 20 minute strength express workout for those extra busy days.
*Clean out your old DVD collections — Chances are you will find some old fitness DVDs and even if the fitness routines are outdated, they still work. With our huge winds we had this week, my outdoor fitness route was limited, so I popped in one of my new fitness DVDs, followed by an old yoga one and I had a good in home workout.
*Look at your neighborhood’s free fitness options— I truly considered all types of gyms when I was pondering just how I was going to come out of my exercise hibernation and jump back in. We have a Pilates studio, hot yoga club, local YMCA, Orange Fitness circuit training, a fancy LifeTime Fitness and a bunch of other options. But the more I thought about gym fees, the more I wanted to challenge myself to save on the cash and on my car’s miles.
Plus I drive a ton taking my kids everywhere, so I didn’t want to add driving to a fitness club to the list, too. So look around your neighborhood and make a fitness plan. For me, we have steep hills behind us, a desert walking trail and lots of paved sidewalks. Two days ago, I set out with a pedometer and discovered that if I walked several of our sidewalks, followed by speed walking up our hills and then a jog around the desert trail, I put in one hour of fitness, burned over 400 calories and went close to 3 miles. I just added a fitness plan that I can do at least 4 times a week and it is free and right in my own backyard. I proudly do my own odd combination that I call walk/speed walk/quick run/jog/speed walk routine that takes me down my neighborhood’s fantastic desert walking trails.
Free Apps That Add Fitness & Cut Calories
*Find a good pedometer app and put it on your phone — They say that active people who want to be in good shape take 10,000 steps a day. I wanted to do that and I was curious about how many steps I was already taking. I worried with the amount of time I spend doing my freelance work on the computer and the insane hours I spend driving these days were limiting my steps to an unhealthy low number. So I loaded the free Runtastic Pedometer on my iPhone and I love it. I discovered that I can take 5,000 steps on a good housecleaning day. Plus having the app encouraged me to take multiple trips up my stairs, instead of making piles to take stuff up all at once. If I coupled my housework and putting laundry away with my neighborhood fitness route that I discussed earlier, I can hit my 10,000 steps in a day. When my daughter and I shopped in the mall, I discovered that I could wipe out 5500 steps or more. Having the free pedometer app has definitely motivated me to get off the computer and get on my feet for fitness.
*Track your food with my favorite free app — This time around I didn’t want to pay money to eat less calories, period. I have been there and done that with Jenny Craig (post pregnancies), My Fit Foods, fad diet books and more. Don’t get me wrong…Jenny Craig worked great and I love the healthy food and easy pickup locations that My Fit Foods offers, but now that our oldest goes to college in just three short years and our girl is almost a teenager with higher-priced teenage needs (car, homecoming dresses all in the not so distant future), I’m watching our budget more than ever. So I told myself that I can eat clean and count my calories without having to pay someone. So I was thrilled to find the Livestrong website’s free app called My Plate.
It is so easy to plug in your daily foods because the app or the website does the rest. It keeps track of your daily calories and it also calculates the protein, fat, sodium, carbs and more. You see charts that give you your percentages for the day compared to what percentages are recommended for your weight, height and daily activity level. Since I started tracking my meals and snacks with this free tool, I’m way more aware of what I put into my mouth and the best part is that I may still treat myself to an ice cream or wine (my two huge weaknesses), but I will have a Skinny Cow ice cream bar and only one glass of Vino since I know that I will be accountable to myself later when I record my treat on the My Plate page.
This app also keeps track of how much water you consume and your daily fitness, too. Once I complete an exercise, I simply enter it in the Livestrong page and the numbers of calories I burned are calculate and recorded. You can even enter activities like vacuuming or steps taken, so everything counts and that is a real motivator.
So here’s to fabulous free fitness and good eating. With these tools, I am already seeing a physical difference around my waistline and in my skin, too. Plus, having an app (that also includes a journal) is an easy way to stay on track as I work hard to not only look better, but more importantly be healthy for my very active family, who by the way, have noticed, been impressed and have been cheering me on. And that is something to feel very good about 🙂
I think you’re smart to try healthy eating without going on a meal plan because it teaches you healthy eating that’s easy to maintain. The problem with diets and paid eating plans is that a lot of times people lose the weight they want to lose, then go off the diet or plan and go back to eating the way they used to. Naturally, the pounds come back with the old eating habits. I’m a big fan of ‘lifestyle change’ versus diet. Great advice!
Thanks Julie….this way is a lot cheaper, too!