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Money Fix: Get fit without breaking the bank

Having a tight budget is no excuse for

Having a tight budget is no excuse for allowing fitness to decline. There are plenty of cheap ways to do it, so get off the couch. Credit: iStock

If you haven't made good yet on your New Year's resolution to get in shape, money is no excuse. There are plenty of cheap ways to do it, so get off the couch.

1. Walk! Running is free. But if that's not you, walk. Count your steps with a pedometer or tracking device. Aim to accumulate 10,000 steps daily, said Joan Pagano, author of "Strength Training Exercises for Women." To avoid the ice and snow, check out local malls -- some open early for indoor walking.

2. Use what you have. There are hundreds of workouts available online. Try YouTube, which has videos from experts in yoga, aerobics and Zumba, for example. Other sites may charge nominal fees. Even your kid's Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution can make you break a sweat.

3. There's an app for that. Can't afford a personal trainer? Fitness Buddy is free, or $1.99 for an upgraded version on iPhone or Android. "It's similar to having a trainer," said Linda Descano, president and CEO of Citi's Women & Co. in New York City. "A video shows you how to do the exercises. The app also tracks your progress."

4. Sign up and go! Many adult education programs offer six to nine weeks of Jazzercise, tennis, dance and other low-cost activities. And there's no need to fear the gym. "Gyms have come down in price. Many places you can pay as little as $10 a month. Your health insurance may even reimburse you for membership costs," said Marlo Mittler, a registered dietitian with North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park.

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