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Frugal Fitness: Budget-Crunching Cardiovascular Workouts

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 5/16/2011

You don't need a gym to get a great workout. As a matter of fact, you don't need much at all. No matter what your fitness level, there are a lot of great ways to stay fit on a low budget. Here are some frugal fitness activities for those who love variety and great cardiovascular workouts.

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    Free Fitness is a Beautiful Thing

    Building cardiovascular endurance and losing weight is usually right up there on the list of fitness goals, but how do you get fit when you can't afford to join a gym or buy a bunch of exercise equipment? Tough times dictate that most of us cut down on unnecessary luxuries, so joining a gym is sometimes out of the picture. Who needs the gym anyway? I always hated the smell, and it just gave me more excuses to not work out. Instead, let's look at some budget minded, fun ways of working out at home. Frugal fitness is a beautiful thing!

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    Cheap Ways to Work Out

    Look right outside in your own backyard or neighborhood. It's a great place to go for exercise. Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise, and can be done right in your own neighborhood. No car or gym required, just a good pair of shoes. I put my toddler in the stroller and walk every evening. He loves the routine, and I get my exercise. It's become more than just fitness to me, but time spent with my son. This is much better than sending him to the gym daycare in my opinion. Another twist on walking is ski walking. Using "nordic poles", ski walking burns more calories and pumps up walking a few notches. Plus, you can ski walk in the snow or on dry land. There are some great scenic trails that ski walkers are burning up across the country. Nordic poles can be purchased for a mere $70 a pair here.

    Another great way to get fit at home in your own backyard is by jumping on a trampoline. While there's an initial cost of around $150, you may already have one for the kids. If you do, make use of it yourself. Jumping on trampolines is so much fun you'll forget that it's exercise. I like to jump for a select number of minutes, then rest before getting right back up and going again. If you love the idea of a trampoline, but can't swing the investment, I would suggest a small jogging trampoline. You can still bounce, but the cost is less than $50 and it will last a long time.

    Jump ropes make for awesome cardiovascular workouts that also trims arms and legs. Talk about cheap, you can get a great quality jump rope for less than $20. Head outside and start skipping for a workout that burns nearly 1,000 calories an hour. Jump for a set number of minutes and then rest. Try to increase the number of minutes jumped every week.

    Build a library of workout videos. Trade with friends or check out ebay for some great deals on workout DVDs. Build up a variety of cardiovascular workouts that can be done right in your own living room for next to nothing. Looks like there's really no excuse for skipping your workout after all. Fitness can be a priority in your life no matter what your budget. You don't need a lot of money to stay in shape. Frugal fitness is easy, just go for it!

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    1. Nordic Walking Poles:

    2. Prevention Magazine: