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Five exercises that don’t require a gym membership

2012 is the year to finally stick to those resolutions, and we're willing to bet most of you are looking to be gentle on your wallet as you toughen up your fitness regimen. Here are five ways to kill two birds with one stone.

1. Good, old-fashioned running. Remember, back in the day there were no treadmills (and you don't need a moving belt to cover some serious ground, now do you?). All you'll require for an invigorating jog are a pair of running sneakers and some stimulating scenery.

2. A bike ride. This fun activity offers way better scenery than those stationary machines at the gym – not to mention it allows all you city dwellers to trim your waistline and your transportation budget!

3. Any "ups" – push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, etc. It may take a bit more discipline to crank out those sets of 25 with no one else around to keep you focused, but these are all valuable exercises that won't require much besides a comfortable floor space and perhaps a portable pull-up bar.

4. Yoga (or pilates). We get it – there's nothing more effective than a heated room with a real-live instructor pushing you to hold that pose just a few seconds longer. But if you're determined to go sans-gym membership this year, you can find low-cost online streaming classes, DVDs or books and get your stretch-and-strengthen on right in your living room.

5. Stairs and chairs. Most people forget that they have their own primordial stair-master available for use right in their homes. Go ahead – do a few laps up and down your stairs, and try a few tricep-busting chair dips while you're at it (place your hands behind you on the edge of the chair and proceed to raise and lower).

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing