Are you motivated to start exercising, but concerned about the high costs of joining a gym or investing in expensive fitness equipment? Do not worry! Whether you are a student or senior on a budget, there are lots of ways to get started exercising without a lot of money. With a good pair of athletic shoes and a set of inexpensive free weights, you can put together an excellent workout program providing the benefits of both cardiovascular and strength training exercise in your own home or neighborhood.

Why do you need both cardiovascular and strength training exercise? It's the combination of the two that provides the best benefit to your body. Cardio exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, improves overall energy and mood, and burns calories, which is fundamental to weight management and weight loss. Commercial gyms and fitness centers usually have lots of cardio fitness equipment, such as treadmills, elliptical machines, and exercise bikes. But you can get a good cardiovascular workout without going to a gym. Just put on a pair of athletic shoes and go for a good, brisk walk! Want to make your walk more challenging and burn more calories? Bring along a pair of handheld free weights, sometimes called dumbbells or dumbbell weights, and swing them gently at your sides while walking. The additional weight will make your body work harder, resulting in more calories burned. It will help tone up your arms, too.

Adding even a little strength training to your exercise routine can make a big difference. Benefits include improved strength, stability, and balance, as well as lower risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension. Strength training also revs up the metabolism which assists with weight management and weight loss. Free weights are ideal fitness equipment for adding strength training to an exercise routine. They are inexpensive, take up little space in the home, and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and weights to suit different levels of ability.

There are a multitude of exercises that can be performed with free weights. As an example, bicep curls are probably the easiest and most recognizable exercise done with this type of fitness equipment. To do this exercise, start by holding a weight in each hand with hands down by your sides and palms facing forward. Slowly contract your biceps to raise your arms up to your shoulder level. Inhale as you raise the free weights and exhale as you lower them back down to the original position. Focus on your biceps getting stronger and try to keep your body as relaxed as possible. Take it slow and steady and do as many repetitions as you comfortably can before resting.

If you are new to using free weights, it can be helpful to ask for initial assistance from someone in the exercise or fitness equipment fields. But there are lots of inexpensive ways to find ideas for free weight exercises, too, such as on the internet or at your local community center or library. Pay attention to the techniques described to ensure you are performing the exercises correctly. Also consider purchasing a few sets of free weights in different weight levels to allow more flexibility for performing different types of exercises. As you get stronger, you will want to increase weight levels slightly to continue challenging your muscles.