Becoming fit and healthy doesn’t just require you to mental pay the price, but there can also be a financial cost as well. Between replenishing healthy food and investing in either at home workout equipment or a gym membership, it can add up. This doesn’t even take into account workout gear or a program to give you structure and accountability. By the time you finished reading this first paragraph, I bet you went and checked your bank account. But have no fear! As someone with constant champagne and caviar taste, I’m always on a shoestring budget, so I understand your struggle. This post (and the next post or two) will cover how to go about this health and fitness thing without going for broke.
Budget Friendly Burn
I know the feeling, the first thing you want to lose is weight, and the last thing you want to lose is your entire paycheck. I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible to hit your goals, all while keeping your bank account in check.
If you don’t want to spend any dough, while moving forward towards your goals, it’s as easy as heading outside. Something as simple as a lengthy walk around the neighborhood can be enough when you’re first starting off to jumpstart your fitness journey. As well, that neighborhood walk, when done for 30 minutes 3-5 times per week, can be enough cardio exercise to keep your heart beating healthy and strong. Along with cardio, you do need to incorporate resistance training into your routine to increase your metabolism and increase your muscle and bone strength. Resistance training is a form of strength training where your muscles must act against a resistance. This resistance can even be your own bodyweight moving against gravity. Yes, after a while, you will need to overload your muscles to make progress, but to start, bodyweight movements can be incredibly helpful. It will not only increase your muscle strength, but also help to improve your movement patterns, as you can focus on form without needing any weights.
Sample Bodyweight Circuit: 10-15 repetitions of each
*Pushups (against a wall, countertop, on knees, or full)
The health and fitness industry understands that the average person doesn’t have the means to, and doesn’t want to, spend an arm and a leg on activities that they don’t enjoy. This means that there are plenty of ways to get your fitness in without breaking your budget. Standard gym memberships can range from $25-$50 per month, which can be a bit pricey for us with slim budgets. Gyms such as Planet Fitness, YouFit, and Crunch offer affordable membership options, which allow you to get the benefits of the gym without a hefty price tag. Most of these gyms start as low as $10 per month for the basic membership, which is a price that most people can swing. I recommend looking around and pricing out different gym options around you to see what is offered and what you can afford. As well, these gyms tend to offer a membership that allows you to bring a guest or visit multiple locations without a significant price increase, usually around an extra $10 per month, which can help with adherence, as you can go to any location or bring a friend to workout with you to make it more fun.
You can also purchase your own gym equipment to make your at home gym a bit better, especially as you start to progress. I personally built my at home gym with less than $200 and shopping on Amazon. Do you even need to spend that much? Nope. I purchased a set of dumbbells that are adjustable and can be built to up to 50lbs ($50), a set of resistance bands with handles, a door anchor, and ankle straps ($26), a kettlebell handle to make the dumbbells into a kettle bell ($30), slider disks ($12), and my measurement tools, such as a scale ($14), measuring tape (include with scale), and a handheld body fat reader ($25). With all of this equipment, I have the tools to do almost any exercise, besides ones that require a barbell and a rack. I can still do heavy weight and stress my muscles, all without leaving my living room. Just a small investment, even with just the dumbbells and resistance bands (less than $100), can make a huge difference in your fitness journey.
No matter what your budget is, you will be able to find a way to reach your fitness goals. Sometimes it will take a bit of a creativity, but even with spending no money at all you will be able to reach your goals.