On Sunday, for the first time in a long time, I walked for a half an hour around my neighborhood. The weather has been close to 70 here in the northern Texas area. I've was grateful to take the walk, and had not realized how much I missed it.
Anyone who has known me a long time would be astounded by the last statement. I abhor "exercise" and "working out". I managed to get through high school and college with minimal PE and no sports activity. Although I've heard that the longer one exercises, the more one enjoys it, it's never happened for me. For a great many years my only exercise was the normal walking done by a person living in an urban village area. I walked to the library (half a mile each way), to the movies and home (about the same) and explored my immediate neighborhoods. I traveled all over Europe and walked on cobbled streets. I managed to stay in halfway decent shape, although I was overweight and had arthritis.
Then, as often happens, things changed. Many things, actually. I took an extremely bad fall from a height onto cobblestones. I moved to a place where a car was required for every errand or trip. My arthritis became worse. I ate whatever I wanted during a grief spurt, and had a TIA (my warning bell). I had never had large medical bills before, or medications other than for the occasional antibiotic. I wanted to improve my health, as well as spend as little as possible of my small income on medical costs. I was willing to make a conscious effort at regular exercise to reach those goals.
What I've come to realize is that even a little exercise can go a long way for me, and probably for use as well. Exercise builds bones, and helps with balance, strength, and flexibility. Of course it's also good for our hearts. In my case, it's great for creativity as well. I walk alone, and it's a change to do some creative thinking alone. Along with making us healthier, exercise is a :"frugal" choice as well. Since I've begun exercising, my blood pressure medicine has been cut in half and I hope to eliminate the medication soon. I still have arthritis pain, but it's manageable, and easier to deal with lately.
Exercising need not break the bank. I cannot affored to join a gym. There are all kinds of alternatives, and if you need the boost of another person to motivate you, invite a friend. Walking is free (just choose a route that is safe, and even to prevent falls). In the warm weather Iwalk or swim in my community pool.. A while back, I invested in a "chair aerobics" CD (before you laugh, its a half hour work out and can kick my you know what). Your local PBS may have a choice of exercise programs, and if you have cable your "on demand" choices will allow you to work out at any time.
Are you working out now? How do you do it cheaply?