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5 Ways to Break a Sweat Without Breaking the Bank

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Gym memberships are expensive. And with Americans getting in better shape in preparation for the summer, more are joining fitness facilities. But there are plenty of ways to shed pounds and tone your body throughout the course of your everyday life without spending a dime.

1. Stretches to Start

Determining how well your day starts off is entirely up to you. If you ever feel achy or sluggish in the morning, it may have to do with more than just starting off with a healthy breakfast. Stretching your body out when you wake up is known to stimulate, energize and help you avoid injury throughout your daily routine. Setting aside a total of less than a half hour each morning for stretching can make a world of difference in your daily life.

2. Take the Stairs

When you get into your office building lobby in the morning after battling fellow commuters, the last thing you may want is physical activity. But opting for the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator is a great way to burn calories, according to Men’s Fitness. When you take the stairs, you greatly improve your aerobic fitness and running speed thanks to the leg muscle mass you use.

3. Bike When Possible

The average American commutes a half hour to work, sitting in their car, slowly creeping down the highway. But this half hour would be better spent participating in physical activity other than lifting a donut to your mouth and pressing your foot on the gas. Consider that a 185-pound man will burn 335 calories on a half-hour, casual bike ride. Also, if you live in a bigger city like New York or Chicago, you might have better access to bike-sharing programs allowing you to get around with ease.

4. Core Workouts Before Bed

At the end of the day, after you’ve burned all these calories, toning your core will be much easier. So doing a few exercises for your midsection will help you burn through that spare tire in no time.

5. Watch What You Eat

Be careful not to fall into the I-can-eat-anything trap, though. Many people who workout assume they can eat whatever they want and still lose weight. Unfortunately, this is more of a one-step-forward, two-steps-back mentality. So striking a balance between an active lifestyle and a healthy diet are essential to finding happiness with your self image.

Eating well can also help you to save tons of money on food, especially if you’re willing to cook a little. You’ll find that planning ahead is key, as is using some smart shopping techniques.

Following a passive regimen like this one won’t help you gain pounds of muscle mass, but these tips will help you shed pounds, tone your body and flatten your stomach. And most importantly, it will help you pinch pennies while you do it.

Remember, keeping your credit score in top shape is also a huge deal when it comes to saving money over your lifetime. If you’d like to see how you can improve your financial fitness, check out Credit.com’s lifetime cost of debt calculator. You can also check your free credit scores, updated monthly, to see where you can make improvements on your credit report.

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Image: Xavier Arnau

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