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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trim the Cost of Exercise While Still Trimming Your Waistline

     Can't afford the cost of a gym membership but need an organized program to keep you accountable?  Try online fitness programs.  These programs provide you with ideas for exercise routines, online discussion forums, methods for tracking progress, and incentives to continue exercising such as certificates of accomplishment.  
     Two programs to consider are The President's Challenge offered by The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and Choose to Move offered by The American Heart Association.  Both offer free services and are outlined below. 

The President's Challenge:
 1.  Offers a series of individual and group based programs for youth, adults and older adults.
2.  Categorizes programs based on fitness level
3.  Provides downloadable and/or online activity log to record progress
4.  Gives awards as an incentive for fitness goals achieved (for a fee)

Choose to Move - A Free Physical Activity Program for Women:
1.  Offers a step-by-step 12 week program for women
2.  Provides tips on increasing physical activity and on selecting and eating healthful foods
3.  Offers online discussion/support groups
4.  Sends weekly motivational emails and reminders to help you stay on course
5.  Opportunity to join the Go Red for Women movement which sends out a monthly e-newsletter with health advice, recipes and announcements of special events and promotions

     These online programs provide a good alternative when money is tight.  Other options to consider include mall walking (refer to my February 14th posting On the Move With Mall Walking), initiating your own neighborhood walking club, and recruiting family and friends to join you in your efforts to exercise.  Regular exercise is important to help you relieve stress and maintain your physical health during these trying economic times.

Have you tried an online fitness program yourself or plan on trying one of those listed above?  If so, I would like to hear about your experience.  Post me a comment below. 

Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.




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