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IF YOU REALLY WANT TO TIGHTEN YOUR BELT LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY HERE ARE SOME TOP TIPS FOR THESE PENNYPINCHING TIMES.
he financial crisis is bearing down on us all, so it’s understandable if you’re looking closely at your weekly spending to see where you can cut back. But health is such an important investment, it’s shocking to think that some people are cutting back on what they spend to look after themselves. It might be cancelling the gym membership, sacking the trainer, ditching the dietitian or even reducing the quality of food you eat. But exercise can be as free as the air we breathe.
Here are some exercises that will keep you fit cheaply. It can be hard to find equipment around the house that’s heavy enough to keep up the fitness challenge, so there are also some ideas for cheap equipment and exercises that need nothing but the great outdoors. Place two sets of books or bricks on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Assume a push-up position, with both hands placed on the books or bricks. Make sure you engage your abs so that your hips and abs don’t sink towards the ground. A well-performed push-up doubles as a core exercise. Reps: Three sets of 10.
ONE-BUCKET STRAIGHTLEGGED DEAD LIFTS
Hold the handle of a bucket in two hands. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keep your vision fixed on the horizon and have your knees slightly bent the whole time. Bend at the hips as though you are bowing and keep your back long and straight. Lower the bucket down to your feet and then slowly raise back up to upright. Reps: three sets of 10 to 15, with the bucket filled so that this is a challenge.
SIDE-BRIDGE TWISTS TWO-BUCKET SQUATS
Hold a partly-filled bucket in each hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your vision on the horizon, squat down until your backside lowers to the level of your knees, if you can. Keep your weight focused through your heels the entire time and stay long through your spine as you lower. Reps: three sets of 10 to 15. Choose a weight that makes this difficult. Lie on your side with your elbow directly below your shoulder. Raise your hips up and make sure your body is straight. Raise your top hand up to the sky. Then sweep it down across the front of your body, reach it under your body and try to reach a point on the ground as far behind you as you can. Your chest will turn to face the ground as you twist. Sweep your hand back to the start. Reps: 10 each side.
MILK BOTTLE LATERAL RAISES
Fill two old, plastic twolitre milk containers with water or sand. Standing, with feet hip-width apart, hold one in each hand just outside your thighs. Raise the weights laterally until they reach the height of your shoulders. Have your elbows slightly bent for the whole movement and don’t use a swing at the start to help the lift. Reps: three sets of 10 to 15. Fill the containers to a level that makes this a challenge.