Get Fit On Any Budget
From Web Sites to Podcasts, ShopSmart Shares Dozens of Motivators, Many That Cost Nothing!
YONKERS, NY — Even the most dedicated jogger, walker or aerobics junkie can lose motivation. And we all know what happens if you’re not motivated (hello, Häagen-Dazs!). So whether you’re on a tight budget or have money to burn, check out the March 2010 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, for dozens of new ideas to jump-start your workouts.
“There are some really fun options that are completely free. Our guide covers everything from the best fitness phone apps and podcasts to cushy sneakers that will get you running again,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “And if you decide to spring for a personal trainer, we tell you how to get the most for your money. So no more excuses! We’ve got the skinny on everything you need to know to get started.”
ShopSmart lists more than two dozen ways to enhance your workout and help you get in shape this year. Below is a sampling of these items. For a complete list of ShopSmart’s Get Fit tips, please visit ShopSmartmag.org.*
Web sites: Learn a new workout or just track what you are doing on these helpful websites.
- FitToday.com is a free Web-based diet-and-fitness journal to help track eating by calories, carbs, fat, fiber and protein. See how you measure against RDA recommendations.
- SparkPeople.com is a free way to create personalized diet and fitness plans. Get access to YouTube powered videos of a certified trainer demonstrating new moves or a top chef preparing a healthful meal.
- NikeRunning.Nike.com is free to access but compatible equipment costs extra. Best for training for a race, the Nike+ sensor ($19) will sync with your iPod or Nike SportBand to track your time, distance, pace and calories burned.
Podcasts: Download these onto your smart phone or your computer and check out iTunes for even more options.
- iTrain.com costs 99 cents and up. The site offers 300+ workouts including cycling, ballet, boxing, stretching and strength training for beginners to experts.
- Nutrition Diva on QuickandDirtyTips.com is a free way to get inspired with fun cooking tips and other info shared by professionally trained chef Monica Reinagel during weekly audio podcasts.
- YogaToday.com is free for one class a week, $3.99 for any class you like or $9.99 a month for unlimited access to 180 classes taught by certified instructors, ranging in skill level from beginner to guru.
Apps: There’s an app for everything, and there are some great ones to help you get fit.
- iMapMyRide/iMapMyRun is free or $4.99 for an ad-free version and is best for tracking rides and runs. It uses your Blackberry or iPhone’s GPS to measure distance, time, pace and speed and then syncs to MapMyFitness.com to create a training log, view past map routes and chart new ones.
- Health Cubby has a free trial for the iPhone or iPod Touch. Using accountability and good-old fashion competition to help you stay on track, the social networking app connects you with others working towards similar goals.
- FitnessBuilder offers two free full-body workouts but then costs $9.99. This app turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a mobile library of more than 2,000 exercise images and videos with step-by-step instructions. It offers 200 ready made workouts or you can create your own personal routines.
Software: Thoroughly chart your progress as you get fit with a good software program.
- VidaOne Diet & Fitness 3 costs $39.95 for a comprehensive, interactive workout and weight-loss software package. Colorful graphics note your measurements, weight and even your mood, in addition to weather conditions and other details for each workout day. The weight-loss functions include suggested daily calories based on your goals.
New Gear: Can’t afford a gym membership? Invest in some relatively inexpensive items to get a great workout at home or outdoors.
- Accelerometers cost $45 and up. It’s like a pedometer but measures more than just steps, capturing every move throughout your day and measuring intensity (reaching for the remote isn’t the same as running). Some even track the calories you burn.
- Balls, Bands and Other Toys cost between $5 and $90. Spend just a few dollars for an item with get-fit potential. Many come with DVDs or instruction sheets to show you how to use them for best results. Great options include a set of stretchy resistance bands ($5 for a single band to $40 for a set), a jump rope ($7.50 to $45), a pair of hand weights ($10 to $50) and an oversized stability ball ($9 to $90).
- Shoes can cost as little as $45. Updating your sneakers is important because shoes lose their shock absorption, cushioning and stability over time, which could cause excessive impact on legs and joints. ShopSmart recently tested athletic shoes from a variety of manufacturers and gave top honors to those by Ryka and Asics for fit, cushioning, flexibility, stability, breathability and weight.
* If you would like to receive additional information about ShopSmart’s Get Fit tips, contact Rachel Konik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon Consumer Reports’ celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. The magazine features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. ShopSmart is ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.