If you’re one of the many folks out there looking to get (or stay) in shape, then you know how expensive it can be to get fit. Gym memberships, meal delivery subscriptions, fitness coaches, workout clothes, home weights, and workout DVDs all add up quickly. But that doesn’t mean you need to blow up your budget just to get in shape. There are many ways you can focus on better physical health without spending a ton of money. Here are five practical ways:
Pay off your debt
Yes, paying off your debt can actually benefit your health! The stress of debt affects your mental and physical well-being, so you must keep your financial health in check, too. The best ways to pay off debt quickly can often create a ripple effect that many report improves their mental health, sleep and helps them drop a few pounds, too. Don’t sleep on paying off your debt if you’re focusing on getting in shape this year; you’ll be surprised at how much your debt could be weighing you down.
Too often, we’ll jump into a goal gung-ho and throw good money away on things that just end up collecting dust. While you may feel motivated now and want to have as many options available as possible to reach your goals, studies show that small steps are the most effective way to change your physical health. Pick one small goal like dropping that first five lbs and decide how you’ll accomplish that in a budget-friendly way. You can commit to adding another 2,000 steps to your daily walk, cutting 100 calories a day, or anything else that creates an actionable plan that doesn’t involve spending money unnecessarily.
Use bodyweight exercises
Getting fit doesn’t need to mean getting a monthly gym membership that’s both expensive and difficult to get out of. Bodyweight exercises, or using your own body’s weight for strengthening exercises, is a fantastic and free way to trim down and get in shape. Check YouTube or Reddit for hundreds of free workouts you can do at home or in the office that can get you fit without spending a dime.
Hit up your local thrift store
Thrift stores are full of weight-loss resolutions gone wrong and are excellent places to shop for weights, workout clothes, used bikes, and even expensive cardio equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes. Your local Goodwill or other thrift chains might even have 50% off days or coupons available, saving you even more.
Plan and cook your meals
The cost of meal planning services and takeout can wreak havoc on your budget. Planning your meals for the week and cooking them yourself will save you hundreds of dollars every month if you use them wisely. The internet is full of free meal plans that are tailored to be budget-friendly but if you don’t know where to start, check Pinterest or Reddit for ideas.
The bottom line
Staying in shape while on a budget is possible with a bit of creativity and effort. If you’re not sure where to start, try any of these five methods to ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle without blowing your budget.