Working it Out…and keeping your pockets full

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With the coming of a new year, I see so many people making resolutions to do things that better their lives, whether it’s financially, spiritually, or physically.  That even applies to frugalistos and frugalistas. We love to give ourselves a new challenge for the year, but of course, the price always comes into effect.  I think one of the biggest resolutions that is hardest to keep, money-wise, is the resolution to work out more. The cost of a gym membership can easily sway your budget into the red, especially if you are already on a tight one. Well, here are a few ways I have saved money over the years while still staying in shape. 

Pick up that Hula Hoop
This is the most effective way I was able to lose all of my baby weight, plus more, after I had Sonny Boy. This and breast feeding put me on the right track and had me back to my regular weight, and tummy, in about 5 weeks.  While he was sleeping, I’d grab my Hula hoop from when I was a young girl(yes, I  took it with me when I moved out), turned on my favorite show, and hula hooped my way back into shape.  Just think about it: those beautiful hula girls you see in Hawaii have great shapes to them, right? Wonderful, flat tummies and amazing strength to keep up those dances for so long. Although you won’t be dancing like them, you will be working the same muscles. Plus, it’s fun! It will work your abs, obliques, your glutes and your thigh muscles. Pick up a hula hoop at Toys R Us and try it out in the store. You’ll feel all the muscles that are ready for a workout. Best yet, if you buy a new one, its a 5 to 7 dollar investment. Much better than a gym membership, or a 10.00 a pop to take one of those ab classes at the local YMCA.

Vaccum with heels
Ok, this one is pretty much for the ladies, but it’s also another fun, and cheap, way to stay in shape.  I heard of this little tip years ago from one of those airhead celebrities that was being interviewed on the “red carpet.” Although the source of the tip wasn’t a genius, the idea definitely was. We all have to do some sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming at one time or another during the week, so why not throw on some heels and really give yourself a workout? Vacuuming automatically makes you lunge to get in all those corners and get up that little extra dirt. By adding some height to your “workout” it really works your bum and burns it into shape. Plus, if you aren’t a pro at walking in heels, this is a great way to learn. We now have my 14 year old sister doing this so she doesn’t look like a crazed person at her prom(s) trying to walk in “grown up heels.” This also does wonders for your calves.

Extreme dusting
When you have to dust in high places, you immediately work the sides of those tummies, right? So, challenge yourself to “feel the burn” as much as possible! Have one of those swiffer dusters? Don’t extend it all the way and leave a little bit of length for your arms to create.  This will work the your sides as well as your back muscles. If you really want to take it to the extreme, throw those heels on again. Work your glutes, back muscles and sides all at the same time!

You tube it!
Have you experienced the magic of You Tube? No, I don’t mean watching the surprised chipmunk or endless videos of kittens playing. I mean the many how-to videos from how to put up drywall, clean a scratch ipod, or yes, do your favorite exercises.  If you are into pilates or yoga, you can subscribe to accounts that continuously upload new exercise videos for those particular types of classes. You can also take it to a different tangent and look up some of your favorite songs. Jamming out to music you love is a great calorie-burner and will put you in a great mood. Just dance like no one is watching and feel yourself sweat the pounds away. Richard Simmons didn’t make all those videos for nothing!  One of my favorite things to do is to look up a current chart topper that has a video full of choreography, and learn the moves. You can even sometimes find choreographers on You Tube with videos teach those with left feet how to get the moves down. Last year, Beyonce’s “single ladies” kicked my butt back into shape. I also impressed my teenage sister by keeping up with her when she would do the moves. I call that a win-win!

“Forget” something
If you have a big house, or many rooms in your living space, remembering to “forget” something can yield you some extra miles of walking during the day.  To stay healthy, we need to walk 10,000 steps a day. That’s a lot! Although I know that I can’t make that goal everyday, I do make sure to “forget” certain things in other rooms, so when I need them later, I’ll have to get up and walk to get it.  My favorite thing to leave around is my cell phone. Since it’s the only phone we use here(got rid of the house phone to save money), whenever it rings, I have to get up and find it right then and there. And yes, it rings quite a bit.  So, no matter where I am in the home, once I hear that loud ring from the cell phone, I know I have to find it quick and move my bum to get it.  I may only burn a few hundred calories, but doing that 5 or so times a day really adds up!

Have any of your decided to make 2010 your year of getting in shape? How has it been going for you? Do you think any of these tips will help?

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

Plan Your Year Now!


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  1. 2.23.10
    jskell911 said:

    Funny you should bring up this topic. I just started a diet and vowed to get more active. My son has a Wii that he bought with his own money. I brought it into the living room and use it. I didn’t want the expense of buying a WiiFit board etc, so I play the Sports Resort for about 45 min to an hr a night. Free workout!

  2. 2.23.10
    Precious said:

    Thanks for such a nice post. Wii is what we have been using here in the apartment. Soon when we move, I will have my exercise equipment and I will be a very happy camper.I am also looking forward to some beautiful walks once the weather gets a little better.

    I hope you are feeling well.

  3. 2.23.10
    Rhonda said:


    I love the post. The hula hoop is awesome. Also, remeber as part of Michelle Obama’s focus on reducing obesity she was hula hooping with the children. Great way for the whole family to get exercise.


  4. 2.23.10
    Alex M said:

    Well this is weird because I posted on a weight related issue today before I even read your post!

    And the now astoundingly popular Betty White once claimed her forgetfulness was what was keeping her in shape too — she has to go back up and down her stairs all day because of things she forgets.

    Hey, if it’s good enough for Betty, it should be good enough for all of us.

  5. 2.23.10
    Kathleen said:

    I re-joined Weight Watchers. As a lifetime Member, I am (was) 15 lbs over goal. I want to attribute that to the fact I quit smoking in December, 2008. Gotta blame it on something, right? I need to get back into the routine of walking and soon our snow will be gone and I will do that. I like the hula hoop idea! I am also trying to eat healthier all around. I am in the process of giving up artificial sweetener which I use a lot of in tea and oatmeal. I will eventually give up diet Coke (just hook me up to an IV) but that will have to be a gradual process. Good luck to all of us!!!

  6. 2.24.10
    cvsaddict said:

    Great posts & great ideas! Heading to the garage now to bring in a hula hoop. I hope if it is sitting in the kitchen, maybe the kids will use it a little while waiting on dinner 🙂

  7. 2.25.10
    JennysMom said:

    Loved this post. Um, I just won’t be vacuuming in heels. *Chuckle* Will flips (or flops) work???

    But I did have a pedometer on when we moved a few years ago. Whew! I never sat down the whole day and never looked at the # of steps until I hit the sack after midnight: over 21,000 steps! No wonder I was so tired…

  8. 3.1.10

    Hula hooping and hoop dancing is super popular now. I recently took a hoop dancing class. I have to say though that it is really hard for most adults to be able to hoop with the cheap ones from the store because they are often too small for an adult’s body. If you hooped as a kid you can probably pick it up quickly, but I never did so it’s taken me a long time to get it. has a lot of resources for learning as well as a tutorial to make your own hoop if you find it difficult to do with children’s hoops.

  9. 3.2.10
    Amiyrah said:


    so not true, my friend! I heard that the new “fad” thing was hula hooping a few days after I posted this, just like the “pole dancing” thing was a few years ago. lol…you just have to look for the “real” hula hoops at Toys R Us. They are more on the heavy side, have bigger balls inside and the plastic is a bit thicker. One of those really big toys r us stores will definitely have them, and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for those specialty hoops.