Get Fit on a Budget: Exercise Tips to Benefit Your Body and Your Wallet
Many people have made it a goal to lose weight, increase their energy, and feel and look fabulous in 2017. But in the midst of an economic depression, it may seem difficult to achieve results without dropping a ton of money on a gym membership or expensive home exercise machines. It is possible to get fit and remain lean without shelling out a lot of cash!
Create a workout plan ahead of time. Research the best ways to achieve your fitness goals. A well-rounded workout regimen will include four or five days a week of cardio, for at least 30 minutes, and two or three days of resistance training. At the start of each week, plan workout times and choose activities.
Fit exercise in throughout the day. Drive everywhere? Try walking to one errand per day: the post office, the coffee shop, or the drugstore; or walk the kids to school instead of driving. If errands are too far away, walk around the block a few times in between laundry and lunch; or in between a meeting and starting a project.
Cultivate cheap exercise habits. Learn to run outside, and you’ll be set with an exercise habit that’s available nearly everywhere you go. Can’t run yet? Work up to it by walking for five minutes, then jogging for one; repeat for a total of 30 minutes. Decrease walking and increase jogging, then running, as you become stronger.
Additionally, many cable companies offer an exercise channel; websites like ExerciseTV offer dozens of free workout videos and hundreds available for download for only a few dollars. Utilize these to round out a workout regimen. For instance, if it’s too cold to run outside, access cardio videos; if already running or biking outdoors, add yoga stretches and core strengthening videos to the routine.
Invest in a few inexpensive basics. Subscribe to a fitness magazine, such as Shape, to help maintain motivation for your weight loss goals. These magazines are packed with expert advice on beginning an exercise regimen, fighting plateaus, and eating healthily; cardio and resistance routines are often included as well.
Also, invest in one type of equipment for resistance training. Resistance bands are probably the best (and least expensive) option and can be held tighter or looser depending on the exercise. Dumbbells are also a great investment and are just as versatile.
Enlist help without paying for a trainer. Perhaps another friend or co-worker is committing to exercise in the new year as well. Suggest working out together; or, if you’re both competitive, compete for a prize. Set parameters and a timeline: perhaps the winner will be the one who has lost the most weight in eight weeks; perhaps the one who logs the most minutes of exercise in a month. The loser can treat the winner to a (healthy!) dinner or bottle of wine.
As the holiday pounds begin to come off and lean muscle takes their place, you’ll have so much energy (and money saved!) you’ll be ready for a beach vacation in no time!