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25 ways to exercise on the cheap
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12. "I'm 45 and work in a box -- a cubical -- as a computer programmer. I took a part-time weekend job involving parking and security at a local ski resort. The job comes with a season pass and I get exercise by hiking around in a beautiful winter wonderland all weekend."

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13. "I wanted to do more swimming, but didn't want to pay a big membership fee at a health club (that I would only use during the winter months), so I called the local park system and they directed me to some area high schools and middle schools. They have open swims and adult swims throughout the week and it only costs $1.50. If I don't go swimming for a day, I don't pay and I don't feel guilty that I'm wasting money."

14. "I learned that a public park near my home has a gym (equipped with weight machines, treadmill, and stationary bikes) open for free for residents like me. To use the machines correctly, I borrowed a book from the public library for free. I also learned from others in the gym to do exercises using the parallel bars in the park, when the gym is closed."

15. "I put on my tennis shoes (and coat during cold weather) and head outside to walk around campus for each of my 15 minutes breaks. It gets me away from my work, clears my thoughts, and revives me. I also have a puppy, so must walk her before and after work."

16. "I jog or walk, with inexpensive wrist weights, around the local high school track and break it up with runs up and down the stadium bleachers. In the winter, I do the same, sans the bleachers -- instead I find some local hills to trek up."

17. "This runner jogs in my neighborhood daily and buys running shoes once a year. To extend the life of my shoes and my joints, I supplement the shock absorption benefits with cushy inserts. A great way to exercise, protect my body and save dollars."

Closer to home
For time-constrained parents and working individuals, sometimes leaving home for hours at a time to work out isn't practical. Don't despair: You already live in a potential gym.

18. "Best exercise: Clean your house and yard, adding some music to move to. Results: a clean home and a trim body."

19. "Dumbbells are incredibly versatile. You can find inexpensive iron weight sets at discount sporting goods stores and many authors tout them as resistance training superior to barbells and many machines.

"I do the majority of my workout with dumbbells, and if it were the only piece of equipment I had, I'd be able to replicate most of the ones I use other equipment for now. I've gotten weight sets as cheap as $50 on sale at a discount store."

Next: "Know thyself."
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