When starting a healthy lifestyle, you may feel overwhelmed by the cost of new activities and equipment but getting fit doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve put together some tips on staying fit on a budget.
1. Skip Pricey Workout Gear
While it can be tempting to treat yourself to all new outfits and workout gear, be mindful of what pieces you truly need and avoid expensive, high-end fitness brands. You can find more affordable options by visiting discount retailers that often have last year’s styles at a lower price point or hitting the sale rack at larger retailers to stock up on the previous season’s gear. Keep an eye out for local yard sales and online marketplaces for workout gear. Oftentimes, people have the best intentions when starting a new routine but may not follow through, which can benefit you and your wallet. You can find new, unused workout gear at a lower cost than retail price.
2. Exercise Outside
Getting outdoors is free and has many health benefits in addition to exercise. Find an exercise you enjoy that you can do outside – weather permitting – so you can avoid pricey gym memberships or equipment as much as possible. If you’re a runner, find a route local to you that you’ll look forward to using each week. Consider non-traditional workouts, like hiking and kayaking, as outdoor exercise. Even a daily walk has shown to increase cardiovascular health and reduce stress.
Don’t skip your local parks – playground equipment can be used to complete bodyweight exercises. Or check out the local basketball court to shoot some hoops with friends or family.
3. Cook at Home
Getting fit isn’t only about exercising. You’ll need to fuel your body properly to stay in shape and have the energy you need to work out. Instead of buying prepacked meals and snacks, cook at home instead. You can prepare bulk items and freeze healthy meals like soups, grilled proteins, and smoothie ingredients. Look online for easy, simple recipes for protein bars, granola, and other portable snacks that you can grab and take with you instead of hitting your local gas station for supplies. You’ll find that you’ll save money by cooking at home and have better control over the ingredients in each meal.
4. Find Free Resources
The Internet has a wealth of online guides and workout plans. Find a series that caters to your preferred style of exercise and print copies to use each week so you can track your progress. Don’t overlook your local library. They typically have books available on a variety of topics from exercise guides to healthy cookbooks. Depending on your library, you may be able to find DVDs or other videos with exercise plans.
Use free apps and social media to seek out local meetups with folks who have similar interests and healthy hobbies. You’ll be able to find free or low-cost events and make new friends along the way.
5. Invest in Equipment You Enjoy
Saving money on workout gear is helpful, but it’s also important to invest in your health. Find an activity or exercise that you enjoy and consider making an investment. If you love cycling, a high-quality bicycle or spin bike may be a good investment for you. If you prefer yoga, a monthly membership to a local studio could be a good choice. What you’ll want to avoid is buying equipment for activities you don’t enjoy and won’t end up using. You’ll end up wasting money on unused equipment. Again, find local yard sales and use online marketplaces for discounts on new or lightly used equipment at a discounted price.
Sticking to healthy habits doesn’t have to be a financial burden. For more tips on saving money, visit our WalletWorks page.