Exercising on a budget

Normally, I’m not a big fan of the Boyfriend’s thrift-store shopping habit. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I’d rather have brand-new crap from Walmart than someone else’s used crap.

This Schwinn exer-cycle was a steal at $20.

Still, he persists in picking up stuff like this exercise bike. Sure, it was a steal at only $20 — but I hate the thing. The monitor console doesn’t work and it makes my arms hurt every time I use it.

I know, I know. That means it’s working my arms, right? That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Its best feature? The front wheel creates a cool breeze that rushes over my face as I’m riding.

Fun? Not so much.Yeah, I know exercise can’t always be fun — it’s not all Zumba and yoga, friends. But I like to at least enjoy myself a little.

I’m much more excited by the Boyfriend’s most recent thrift store find: a treadmill.

Not too shabby, eh?

It’s not the biggest treadmill in the world, but it works … even the display works perfectly. It counts distance and calories and will take your pulse if you want it to. There are four pre-programmed workout tracks, or you can use it in manual mode.

There’s also an incline, which the Boyfriend takes great delight in cranking up all the way. I prefer a more gentle incline — or better yet, none (for now, anyway. I’m sure I’ll work up to hill climbing someday).

It’s every bit as torturous as it looks … but I love it.

The Boyfriend looked the model up online — Image 10, I believe — and discovered that it retailed for about $400 at Walmart. You wanna know what he paid for it? $20. Yes, $20. Another steal … and this time one I can enjoy using. We can open up the garage door so we have a view of the great outdoors.

What’s wrong with walking in the real great outdoors? Nothing, of course — at least not right now. In another month or so, it’ll be way too hot to walk in the desert unless I get up at 6 a.m. … and I don’t get up at 6 a.m.

I’m looking forward to getting regular treadmill time again. It was one of my favorite cardio machines at the gym. I gave it a test run (walk) Sunday afternoon. I went for 30 minutes at speeds varying from 3.2 to 4 mph.

Now that I have access to a treadmill at the Boyfriend’s and at home (my roommate bought one a month or so ago, and she just showed me the secret to turning it on — the power switch is hidden), I decided to tackle the Couch to 5K program again. I even downloaded the app for my iPhone.

Armed with the app to keep track of what I was supposed to be doing, I hit the treadmill again Sunday night. I did the 5-minute warm-up at 3.5 mph, then alternated 60 seconds of jogging at 4 mph and 90 seconds of walking at 3.2 for 20 minutes and did 5 minutes of cooldown at about 3 mph.

That app from active.com is super-cool. I love that it tells me when to switch from jogging to walking without me having to watch the treadmill timer or my watch. And it, too, is a bargain at just $1.99.

Can you see the sweat pouring off my face? It’s there, believe me. And my cheeks aren’t normally quite so red.

The timekeeping might have been super-simple, but the actual moving was anything but easy. More than once during the jogging parts, I thought I might keel over. My heart thundered in my chest and I gasped for breath. Sweat literally poured off my face. Lucky for me, the walking bits gave me time to compose myself for the next run.

I’m ready for Workout 2 …

I’m also ready to admit that sometimes — only sometimes — thrift-store shopping can be a good thing.  I can overlook the fact that gently used exercise equipment used to be someone else’s used crap when it comes at a bargain-basement prices like that. Heck, since someone gave it away, it probably didn’t get all that much use to begin with. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I still don’t particularly want to visit thrift stores with him, but I’ve instructed the Boyfriend to start looking for 8-pound weights. I’m sure he’ll find some somewhere. He’s cool like that.

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One response to “Exercising on a budget

  1. Pingback: Thrift store shopping pays off again « Adventures in weight loss, cooking and life·

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