I know that’s it’s hard to justify spending money on working out when you’re trying to save money and cut spending wherever possible. Want to get in shape? Don’t worry – you don’t need to go broke doing it. Here are my 5 suggestions to stay healthy and fit on a budget:
- TAKE IT OUTSIDE.
During the summer months, many communities offer free drop-in group activities taught by certified instructors including boot camps, yoga classes, Zumba, Pilates, hip hop, swimming, tai chi, and Jazzercise. In addition, you can join running, walking, mountain biking, and hiking clubs. To learn what’s available in your area, check out local parks, zoos, libraries, and even retail spaces like Lululemon and Athleta offer free classes. Not into a group experience? No problem! Then go out solo with your favorite pup for a walk, run, hike or bike ride.
- PRESS PLAY!
You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to get in a kickass workout (and you don’t need a basement gym – only a 6’x6’ space in your living room or bedroom or wherever!). You can access online workouts appropriate for all interests and levels of fitness – from the beginner to the advanced to the amateur athlete. And typically, the equipment required is basic – hand weights and a mat. For example, you can access over 600 BeachBody On Demand workouts from yoga to boxing to country line dancing to strength training for less than $14/month. If you workout 3 times a week, then you only pay a little more than $1 per workout. Not bad!
- MEAL PREP.
It’s true….Abs are made in the kitchen! Fitness and good health are not just determined by exercise. What you eat is as important, if not more. In fact, you can save money and become healthier by planning and preparing your meals in advance. On Saturdays, I look ahead at the week to plan and grocery shop, and on Sundays, I prep all of our meals and snacks. This prevents us from skipping breakfast, grabbing fast food, and emotionally eating the leftover mac-and-cheese because there’s nothing else in the fridge.
- DRINK WATER…LOTS OF IT!
I know that this seems like a no-brainer, but with busy schedules, so many of us forget to hydrate throughout the day. Take this as a friendly reminder! Drink at least ½ your weight in ounces daily. So since I weigh 155 lbs, I drink at least 80oz of water each day. Keep a bottle with you at all times and set one on your nightstand so you can drink 16oz first thing in the morning. You’re welcome!
- CHECK ON YOUR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS
In the last few years, employers and insurance companies are offering preventative health incentives like discounted gym memberships and providing free classes to employees on site. Their bottom line: the fewer sick days you take then the more productive you will be and the less your insurance company will need to pay out in the future. They definitely have their motives and they can benefit you!
I’d love to know your favorite cost-saving strategy when it comes to your fitness and health, so please share!