Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thrifty Acres - Almost Free Fitness

Hello! When I exercise, I prefer the convenience and privacy of my own home for workout sessions. I'd get mighty bored if I was doing same routine over and over, but thanks to thrift stores and other secondhand sources, I have a small collection of fitness routines on hand for variety and new challenges as I see fit (no pun intended!).  I'll discuss a few favorites below:

Power Of 10 (subtitled The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution),  Adam Zickerman, author.  In this case, "slow motion" means ten seconds up, ten seconds down per repetition, with the exerciser using weights to the point of muscle fatigue for each exercise. If that sounds tough, it is, but it works pretty well. It's a big timesaver over traditional weight training routines in that there are only 1-2 workouts per week, each lasting a little more than 20 minutes. The author also has some sensible diet and lifestyle tips. 

The Core Program (subtitled 15 Minutes A Day That Can Change Your Life), Peggy W. Brill, P. T., author. I didn't do any weightlifting in February because I shoveled so much snow. As that month went on, I felt my shoulders becoming more sore. I also felt that my hips and legs needed more flexibility, so when I spotted this book at a thrift store, I snapped it up. The author is a physical therapist and has a great information on what she calls "hot spots" of the body - areas where muscular weakness and tightness are common. The hip and leg exercises seemed to help me a lot, but another bonus was the simple series the author says "...will tone and strengthen the muscles of the face and neck...The exercises tone the muscles of the cheekbones and neck, shrink jowls..." I'm pleased to report that her claims appear to be true; the ugly jowls I was beginning to develop really do seem to be diminishing. 

Yogacise, Vimla Lalvani, author. I like this book because it has several routines one can follow. None of them take more than 20 minutes per session, although I usually do a half hour at a time (I just do more repetitions of the poses than what is specified). The "Energizer" routine delivers what its name promises, but my favorite section is "Ultimate Stretch". There are simple explanations about the poses and just enough photos to be helpful with body positioning. 

Just for fun, I have a couple of late 1970's fitness books; both were purchased at a AAUW used book sale. They may be older books, but still have some good info in them. They are as follows:

Barbara Pearlman's Dance Exercises (subtitled 8 Weeks 15 Minutes A Day To A Shaplier You), Barbara Pearlman, author. This is a series of stretching and toning exercises, most of which are similar to warm-up routines in modern dance classes, the author informs. Other exercises in the book are based on yoga poses. The author looks impossibly long, lean and limber in photos demonstrating the exercises, but her tone throughout the book is pleasant and encouraging. 

As I'd said, I tend to get bored doing the same routine over and over, so I just started using this book again in place of Brill's book (I'll continue to do those face and neck exercises though!).

The Miracles Of Rebound Exercise, Albert E. Carter, author. As I already had a rebounder (aka mini trampoline) at home, I got this book. Apparently Carter is a pioneer in the promotion of rebounders for home fitness use. It was interesting to read of the many benefits he says rebounding has, and various rebounding movements and some exercise routines are included. I have found my rebounder to be especially helpful during times of inclement weather - I can get a good workout in no matter what it's like outside! (Carter has since published an updated version of this book).

For even more variety in my exercise routines, I've picked up various fitness magazines at thrift stores, garage sales, etc. At a quarter or so apiece, no need to keep the whole magazine - I just tear out the workouts I want to try.

Thus,  as you can see, there's always a workout to keep me interested and challenged - and so I have no excuse for not working out on a regular basis! 


  1. I wish I were better with exercising. Sigh. Keep it up!

  2. Every little bit helps, Ms. KC! If I didn't exercise on a regular basis, I'd look like a bowling ball!