8 Fun Ways to Get Fit and Firm

A high-energy workout can be worked out at a lower price.
8 Fun Ways to Get Fit and Firm

While we might admire the toned, beautiful bodies of the celebs in the glossy magazines, fitness isn't just for the rich and famous. The truth is, it's free, you just have to know how. Here are some easy, fun ways to get fit and firm, without spending a penny.

Get Into Step
Getting fit doesn't mean you have to wear the latest fancy sneakers while trudging away on an expensive treadmill. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other.

A brisk walk to the park or the shops is just as effective. Plus, it's more natural for the body. The great outdoors doesn't come with handrails or rubber treadmills, so walking in the open air helps to improves your body's ability to balance and stabilise itself.

And on a beautiful day, wouldn't you rather be out in the fresh air anyway?

Walk the Dog
Why pay a trainer to keep you company when your best friend is only too willing to do it for free? Your dog will be only too delighted to go for a walk, or a jog, will never complain or make excuses and never seems to notice the rain.

And as an added bonus, a dog, especially the larger varieties, can provide added security if you're out on your own at night.

Take a Hike
Don't get swept up into all those confusing (and expensive) cardio cross-training classes. Trail walking is a great way to vary the intensity of your cardio routine. The variation in terrain not only changes the cardiovascular workout but also the muscles used, which can offer a more thorough lower-body workout.

See the City
You don't have to pay for confusing (and pricey) stairmaster sessions at the gym.

Walking up and down hills (in the city as well as in the country) is a great way to give your heart and lungs, not to mention the muscles in your legs and bottom, a really good, variable-intensity workout.

Remember to keep your head held high and don't let your bottom stick out. Keep your tummy tight and your bottom tucked in and you'll not only work your stomach muscles but protect your back, too.

Ride Into the Sunset
Remember how much you loved your bike when you were a child? It was a great way of getting around town and it still is - no gas, no parking worries - and it gets you fit and earns you activity PointsPlus values too.

But you don't need a glitzy mountain bike, look in your local paper for a second-hand bike, pump air into the tires, oil the chain and you're off! (Drop it off at the bike store for service if you're at all concerned; it won't cost much.)

You'll save yourself a fortune in travel costs and, if you stick to cycle lanes and off-road paths and use your road sense (and wear a helmet!), you'll be perfectly safe.

Group Therapy
Hiring a personal trainer can be a great way to get fit. They don't listen to excuses, they'll encourage and motivate you and they'll make sure you don't hurt or overstrain yourself.

Unfortunately, you pay a high price for this one-on-one attention. So why not spread the cost and share a trainer with a group of friends?

The rewards and the results are just the same. It's more fun, too.

Weight a Second
If you don't want to shell out the cash for a set of weights, there are other ways to firm those muscles.

Gallon containers of water weigh about eight pounds, the half-gallon only four. Jars and cans weigh a bit less and can be very effective for working the smaller muscles of the arms, shoulders, back and chest.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
Why pay for expensive dance classes when you can dance the night away with friends? It's fun, it's social and it's a great fat-burning activity.

It earns you 2 or 3 activity PointsPlus values per half hour, too, which you can spend on a couple of drinks or put toward a meal afterwards, if you want a treat.