Health & Wellness Wellness Wednesday

How to strengthen and tone your body without spending a cent

September 11, 2018
How to strengthen and tone your body without spending a cent

This month’s Wellness Wednesdays prompt is Strengthening Exercises and tips.

Most of us hear the word weight training and immediately think of lifting heavy weights in the gym and looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger with bulging muscles.

However, in reality we can build strength in different ways and the best way I find is using our own body weight.  Back in 2015 when I first started my blog, I wrote about a Basic Strength Training Program with 7 exercises you can try at home. 

Please note:  Before you start any new form of exercise consult a professional and get the okay from your doctor.

I’ve written before about the importance of keeping a strong core and muscle tone, especially as we age.  It helps to keep our bones strong to support us and also helps with our balance to avoid nasty falls.

I’ve suffered from back pain in the past, however, if I maintain strength exercises and stretching as part of my fitness program, I feel no pain and my flexibility improves.

What is Strength Training?

The Better Health Channel describes strength training as:

Resistance training (also called strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles.

We can use weights but using our own body weight is quick, easy and costs nothing!

How to strengthen and tone your body without spending a cent

  • This article I found, 50 body weight exercises you can do anywhere gives you plenty of ideas.  From squats, lunges to push ups, bench dips and my favourite the plank.
  • Yoga & Pilates are excellent ways to strengthen and tone our bodies as well as improve our balance.  I use the  Yoga Studio App which has so many varied practices that I’m never bored
  • Walking costs nothing but the benefits are enormous.
  • Grab a couple of cans from the cupboard and use them as weights to tone your arms

Do you include strength training as part of your fitness program? 

What do you do to keep your body strong and toned?

A quick update on my Wellness Goals

  • Hubby and I have now been 6 months alcohol free- now that is a huge achievement for both of us.
  • I ran my second marathon in August two weeks before my 61st birthday (you are going to be so tired of hearing about this!)
  • Started a 5 day Flipping Fifty Kickstart Challenge to get me back into my workouts after so much running.
  • Continued with regular yoga sessions
  • Ran the 20km River Run
  • Took my all important rest and recovery days
  • Wrote about Women’s Health Week 3 – 7 September

Will you make your health your #1 priority?  You are so worth it!

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40 Comments

  • Reply Kim September 11, 2018 at 21:52

    I’m TERRIBLE at keeping up with strength training. I know how important it is, I just need to get off my behind and do it! 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 16:54

      Hi Kim, yes I prefer yoga or running but we do need to incorporate some strength training to keep toned and keep our bodies strong. Hopefully I have given you some ideas. 🙂

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb September 11, 2018 at 22:55

    Like Kim, my strength training is not consistent – but your wellness posts are keeping me a bit more aware of all the different pieces of wellness so I’m becoming more consistent. Thanks for the reminders!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 16:55

      I’m so happy my posts are helping you Janet – you have made my day! xx

  • Reply Donna September 11, 2018 at 23:14

    Hi, Sue – This post is an excellent reminder that we can stay fit for free. That’s one less excuse for me! For those who find they need the external encouragement/commitment — walking groups or walking partners are usually free as well!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 16:56

      Hi Donna, I think that there are so many ways to stay fit without spending money or time at the gym inside. Walking groups area great idea and it costs nothing. Sometimes we just need to think outside the box. Have a lovely week! xx

  • Reply Suzanne September 12, 2018 at 04:26

    Alcohol free for six months! Not gonna happen, but I admire that you did it. I do give myself a one month – two months “dry period” at least one time per year, just to shed a few quick pounds and curb any bad habits that I might have fallen into. It is amazing how many empty calories are in a glass of wine. I am in complete awe of your running accomplishments.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 16:59

      Thank you Suzanne, I sometimes feel like a glass of wine, but at the moment I’m supporting my husband so will continue AF for some time. 🙂 x

  • Reply Donna September 12, 2018 at 06:19

    Shared on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
    #MLSTL.

  • Reply Donna McNicol September 12, 2018 at 06:42

    You are such an inspiration!!! I AM GOING TO START YOGA AGAIN!!! I so need it. Thanks for the push.

    #MLSTL visitor (shared on SM)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:01

      My job is done! I love to inspire people, Donna and when I get feedback like yours it just makes my day! You go girl! x

  • Reply Michele September 12, 2018 at 07:47

    Hi Sue, you are doing an amazing job in the fitness realm! I am inspired by your running! I swim regularly, but I could probably do a little more core work. I did learn a lot of good exercises when I had my knee replacement. I should try yoga again, although I haven’t loved it. I think I might just need to find the right teacher.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:02

      Hi Michele, I think the most important thing with keeping fit is to find an activity that you really enjoy. Swimming is a great workout. I didn’t really like yoga at first but once I stopped trying to turn myself inside out and just do what I could, I found it quite enjoyable. xx

  • Reply Agnes September 12, 2018 at 08:00

    You are such an inspiration, Sue!
    For this month of September I am leading the seniors’ fitness class I taught for 15 years before moving 11 years ago. They too are an inspiration as they are mostly all in their 80s and 90s now and while the class is tamer now, they are still as dedicated. Great role models too!
    #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:04

      I would love to do something like that, Agnes. In my early days I had a ballet studio but mainly young children and teens. I did have an Adult class but not seniors. They are wonderful role models!

  • Reply Mary Lou September 12, 2018 at 08:21

    Your enthusiasm is contagious Sue! Just what I need right now. I gave up my fitness club membership because of the cost and this article stresses the ways that don’t cost much. Thanks so much! I’ll be sharing this on FB and Twitter tomorrow for #MLSTL
    http://www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:06

      I’m so happy you feel enthusiastic, Mary Lou! I do try to inspire others especially in the health and fitness area and many of us think we need to spend so much at the gym etc when a good, brisk walk is free and you can enjoy your surroundings at the same time. Thanks for sharing and good for you in feeling motivated! keep up the good work!

  • Reply Jennifer Jones September 12, 2018 at 09:13

    Great advice here Sue. I will come back and check out the links later. As you know I’m a huge advocate for strength training and it’s many benefits. You’ve also reminded me that I need to set my health and wellness goals again after going a bit awry lately. By the way I’ll pop back and check the posts I missed last week #MLSTL Will be sharing on SM

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:07

      Hi Jen, it is hard to keep on track 100% of the time with our health and wellness goals, especially if life gets a little hard. I need a reminder now and then so I write the posts not just for others but for myself. Don’t stress about #MLSTL last week, you are okay. xx

  • Reply Natalie September 12, 2018 at 10:34

    Great post, Sue and thanks for the link to the 50 body weight exercises. I’ve done them over the years. I do strength training three times weekly and like planks, too. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:08

      Hi Natalie, I don’t want to boast but last year I held a plank for 12 minutes! Not sure I could do that now but it was certainly an achievement. 🙂

  • Reply Johanna Castro September 12, 2018 at 11:44

    You are such an inspiration with all your physical activity. I walk every day and try to do 10,000 steps in the course of my day, along with a few yoga/pilates/tummy exercises. But I know I should be doing more strength training. Not quite sure what to do because it must be easy and fit seamlessly into my day or I know I won’t keep it up. Well done for being alcohol free – I’ve cut down my wine intake significantly in the last two months and already my joints are thanking me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:09

      Hi Jo, You sound like you are active enough and yoga, pilates are good for strength so you have it covered. My husband had to detox so I thought I would support him by giving up alcohol as well. I’m so proud of him going 6 months! Have a beautiful week – are you home now? xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au September 12, 2018 at 11:50

    You always inspire me with how fit and proactive you are with your health Sue – I will never get close to your level, but I always have you in the back of my mind cheering me on when I’m doing the right thing fitness wise 🙂 #MLSTL and shared on my SM xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:10

      Hi Leanne, I’m glad I can inspire others and we are all at different fitness levels. The main thing is that we consistent and give it a go. Any activity is better than sitting at home on the couch! xx

  • Reply Victoria September 12, 2018 at 12:32

    I get tired sometimes Sue just reading all you do to stay healthy. lol Right now I work out in the pool as many days as the weather permits but I know that is fast coming to an end. I know strength training is important but I don’t do as much as I should.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 12, 2018 at 17:12

      Hi Victoria, sometimes I get tired doing it LOL 🙂 Swimming is great and there are many ways to do strength training when we don’t even realise we are doing it. You will need to work out a winter program to replace your swimming unless your pool is heated 🙂

  • Reply cherie September 12, 2018 at 19:31

    Sue, I think you are a Rock Star. I walk several miles a day with Jack the Dog, but I am not a runner. If a man was chasing me with a knife, I would turn and try to take him before I even considered trying to run, It’s just not in me. I am always amazed by my runner friends. I do yoga almost every day, and of course the walking….but no running for me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 13, 2018 at 07:13

      Oh thank you Cherie, you are too kind! Walking is great and you don’t need to be a runner to keep fit. I’m just a crazy lady who enjoys running with my Saturday Sisters – it is great therapy for me. I try to do yoga at least once a week but I’m thinking when I return from our holiday I might try a month of yoga as it will be too hot to run in Summer here unless I get up at 5am for a run. 🙂

  • Reply Candi Randolph September 12, 2018 at 20:44

    Strength training is so critical to us as we age…I use weights and just purchased a resistance band to use with a new workout routine. Gotta keep those muscles working for me!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 13, 2018 at 07:14

      Hi Candi, I have some resistance bands which I haven’t used yet so would be interested in hearing about your new workout routine. 🙂

  • Reply Molly Stevens September 12, 2018 at 21:40

    Strength training is so important for healthy aging, Sue. And I’m all for doing it without spending a lot of money. I need to be able to do it in home or without driving somewhere so I rely on a program called ‘Classical Stretch’ which combines yoga, tai chi, ballet moves, and pilates for gentle strengthening. I also LOVE to walk. My challenge is doing the walking during winter months but I have a treadmill. I trick myself into using it by rewarding myself with podcasts I love to listen to. What benefits have you found from going alcohol free? I’m curious about that. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 13, 2018 at 07:15

      I love the idea of the Classical Stretch, Molly do you have an app? I had a ballet studio in my younger days so would love to try some ballet moves again. I’ve responded through PM re the alcohol free questions. 🙂

  • Reply Christie Hawkes September 12, 2018 at 22:10

    I’m impressed by all you’ve achieved with your wellness goals, Sue. Good work! I’m still doing Orangetheory twice a week, which includes a weight training segment. I also do yoga (pretty light) once a week. I could probably stand to work strength training into at least one additional workout a week, but I feel pretty good about the routine I have going right now. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 13, 2018 at 07:17

      You are doing well also with your fitness, Christie. Isn’t it wonderful how we encourage each other to keep going. It is good to hear you are feeling good about your health routine – that is so important for motivation. Have a beautiful week, my friend. xx

  • Reply Leslie Clingan September 16, 2018 at 09:06

    Six months alcohol-free. Well done, both of you. Huge accomplishment.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:17

      Hi Leslie, I have to admit apart from the odd occasion when I think it would be nice to have a glass of wine, we haven’t really missed it. Although Mike probably does, his strength and will power has been amazing. I’m so proud of him. xx

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski September 16, 2018 at 14:18

    I need to be more consistent with strength training. I love all your suggestions and am saving them.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 17, 2018 at 06:19

      Thanks Rebecca, I’m the same. When I had a personal trainer, I never had to think about what workout to do as I just followed her instructions. Writing these kind of posts help me too as they give me a push to go do a workout! Have a lovely week. xx

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