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25 ways to exercise on the cheap

With bathing-suit season approaching faster than a Jet Skier, the time has come to shape up that soft form you call a body.

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Don't worry, this doesn't involve another fad diet or some crazed workout routine that's meant for an elite athlete. We're talking about good old exercise, regular strength.

If the very mention of exercise makes you think of packed gyms and hefty membership fees, think again. With a little creativity and motivation, you can incorporate exercise into your everyday routine, whether that includes activities such as playing video games, walking the dog or going to the library. Even better than saving on gas burned driving to the gym, these easy moves cost little to nothing.

Coming to you from other frugal-minded readers, these tips explain how to stay in shape without doling out the dollars. After polling them for a week in our newsletters, Bankrate compiled these tips for keeping frugally fit.

Get ready to explore your town, clean your house and rediscover music videos. Anything goes!

Here are the best 25 tips from Bankrate readers on how to exercise inexpensively:

Tune in to TV exercise
Coach potatoes need not think too far outside the box. Dance, workout right in front of the screen and feel productive with these easy everyday tips.

1. "I record Denise Austin's workouts on the Lifetime channel. She has two half-hour workouts, five days a week, and every workout is different. Not only do I never get bored, as I did when I was purchasing workout videos, I am toned and fit."

2. "Every morning while I'm waiting for the coffee to brew, I exercise to the MTV or VH1 channel, depending on which one is not showing a commercial. I dance and do exercise moves to the music and then top off the 15-20 minute routine with as many crunches as I can manage."

3. "I have recently found Exercise TV on Demand within my cable system. I can pick and choose whatever workout I am in the mood for, be it cardio, Pilates, yoga, or tai chi. And it's not extra on my cable bill. If I need weights I use the heaviest cans of food such as soup cans or jars of tomato sauce as my weights."

4. "I invested in a 'dance pad' for my Xbox and play Dance Dance Revolution ... it's not necessarily an intense workout, but it's a fun way to burn a few extra calories. I also bought a chin-up bar for $20 and do pull-ups every time I walk underneath it in my apartment."

Get cheaply equipped
Of course, working out at home would be convenient, but the cost of machines and accessories can stunt good intentions. These readers secured exercise equipment without paying the full price.

 
 
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