The following contribution is from a reader of My Money Design. If you’d like to write for us, please feel free to contact me.
Staying fit and healthy is important for our long-term health as well as for out short-term happiness and looks.
But getting in shape is something that can sometimes seem like an expensive business! Gym memberships, exercise classes, personal trainers… there is a reason health and fitness is a booming industry and there is certainly a lot of profit to be made from unfit people looking to get fitter.
If however you want to become a fitter, healthier version of you without spending a small fortune every month to do so, there are plenty of options that you can choose for getting fit on a budget which don’t cost you hundreds of dollars or cause you to haemorrhage money from your bank account.
It just takes a little dedication and self-motivation. Here are a few things you can try:
Jogging – The Original Low-Cost Sport:
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to get fit is to take up jogging.
Other than some decent running shoes and perhaps some high-visibility clothing for drivers, you don’t need to spend any money at all. Jogging is a great way to get out and about in the fresh air and leaves you feeling invigorated and refreshed, burning off loads of calories and building muscle at the same time.
Don’t jog in secluded areas or late at night. Search online for a local running club. Most are free or have minimal one year membership fees so that you can jog safely with others. This is also a great way to meet new people!
It’s also worth having a look on Gumtree or a similar site to find cheap classes in your local area. You can find everything from locally run yoga classes to ‘boot camps’ in the park. Online voucher sites are also great for picking up discounted fitness camps and classes that you might not usually be able to afford.
Exercise by DVD:
If group exercise is not your thing, there is a wealth of home exercise DVDs out there offering loads of different routines that you can do from the comfort of your living room.
Buy these instructional videos second hand online to save even more money and you’ll be spending what you would probably spend per month at a gym on a workout you can use again and again. Build your collection up so that you have a few workouts to choose from to avoid boredom.
Keeping Track with an App:
There are loads of free apps out there to motivate you on your path to fitness. Apps such as RunKeeper allow you to log your runs, including time, pace and distance. You might even want to try a calorie counting app where you can enter your meals each day and keep track of your calorie consumption.
Getting Fit on a Budget:
If working out at home isn’t an option for you and you don’t want to give up going to the gym, remember that you don’t have to fork out a small fortune every month. Most gyms only want you to part with your money and commit to a 6-month or yearly contract with them plus a joining fee. Use this position to your advantage.
Firstly, shop around for the best priced gyms and see what offers are available. If there’s a particular gym you want to sign up to, use this information to negotiate a better deal. Usually gyms will waiver the joining fee with a little persuasion but you might even be able to negotiate a cheaper monthly deal as well.
Also remember that local sports centres usually have similar equipment to some of the more expensive gyms and will certainly be a cheaper option.
With all the attention on healthy living recently, there will be a lot of really good choices for getting fit on a budget. Find one that fits your schedule and goals for becoming healthy. It’s an investment you’ll never regret!
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