It is fairly common for a mountain of excuses to stand between people and their fitness goals. Among the most common excuses for postponing exercise are the lack of time, lack of money or both. If you are one of the many people thinking that fitness is just out of reach because you don’t have time or money to spare, there is good news for you. You don’t need to pay a monthly fee to lose weight and you don’t need fancy gym equipment to build muscle. You can get fit simply by using what you have or by using low- or no-cost resources and facilities provided just for military families.
If you have a desire to get fit, then you have all the “equipment” you need to reach your goal. Brisk walking and jogging around your neighborhood are great examples of free and convenient exercises. By simply adding one or both of these exercises to your schedule most days each week, you can see a change in your body and an improvement in your mood. If you’re a parent and need to bring your children with you while you walk or jog, push your young children in a stroller or pull them in a wagon. Your older children may enjoy walking or jogging with you or riding their bikes alongside you.
If hitting the trails isn’t for you there are plenty of other exercise options that you can do anywhere with no equipment, including cardiovascular moves like jumping jacks, jump squats or high knees. Strength training is possible without equipment too. Moves that use your own body weight to strengthen your muscles, like squats, pushups or sit ups can build lean muscles without straining your budget with expensive gym membership fees or high-cost equipment. If you happen to have a few basic pieces of equipment around your house, including a jump rope, a pair of hand weights, medicine ball or resistance bands, you can take cardiovascular exercise or strength training to the next level by adding an extra challenge. While these small, generally inexpensive pieces of equipment can help you reach your fitness goals, you can still create a quality workout without any of these items.
If you’re new to exercise and you need a little guidance, you may find success by following a workout DVD or Internet video. You will find that you have all kinds of options, including workouts of various lengths, target areas, intensities and techniques. Consider your goals before making a purchase, or network with others who may have suggestions or videos you can borrow, or check out the local library.
For anyone who is not easily self-motivated, exercising without the gym may make it a little too easy to give up on fitness goals. Fortunately for military service members and their families, resources are available at low or no cost to help you reach your goals without straining your budget. Visit www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil for information on fitness facilities on your installation, which may include a full gym, pool, track, and sports fields and courts. You may even be interested in active clubs or groups on your installation or in your community, including recreational sports teams, jogging and walking clubs, biking or annual races.
If you are an active-duty service member, Guard or Reserve component member or family member, but you aren’t located near an installation or you would just like some additional support on your journey toward health, consider the health and wellness coaching program offered through Military OneSource. Health and wellness coaches can help you identify your beliefs, values and vision, create an action plan to achieve your goals and help you eliminate any roadblocks standing between you and success. To sign up, visit www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness or call 800-342-9647 and a consultant can register you and set up your first session.
With your own determination to succeed, little to no equipment and very little cost, if any, you can get fit, feel great and experience a healthy lifestyle. No more excuses – take the first step toward your fitness goals today!