If you think staying fit is expensive, you’ve got it all wrong. Yes, monthly gym memberships can be pricey, but the gym isn’t always necessary to get and stay in shape. There are plenty of other ways you can stay fit without breaking the bank.
1. Skip the Membership
Forget the pricey gym membership and work out in your own home. The average gym membership costs $58 per month, according to a study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute. Many people argue that they don’t feel motivated to work out when they’re at home. Devoting a certain time of day to work out will make it easier to do, as well as having a certain area in your home designated as your workout space. If you are still feeling unmotivated, step outside!
2. Use the Internet
The internet is home to endless workout videos that you can access for free from the comfort of your very own home. There are also plenty of free apps available that provide a variety of guided workouts and track your progress. Some great free fitness apps include Workout Trainer and Nike+ Training Club.
3. Try Free Classes
Many gyms and recreational facilities allow potential guests to try fitness classes for free. Gyms and facilities typically provide classes such as yoga, spin, Zumba, pilates, boot camp and more. Once you’ve maxed out your complimentary classes, check out websites like LivingSocial and Groupon for discounts on local fitness classes.
4. Join a Local Group on Meetup.com
Meetup.com is a great way to try a new fitness activity, or get back into one you once loved. Connect with others in your area who are also looking to stay fit. You can get together and play soccer, shoot some hoops, take a yoga class, take a hike or go for a run. It’s easy to find the perfect group you’re looking for – just browse by category, and enter your location and the farthest you wish to travel. Meetup.com is free to join, but if you would like to start your own group there is a charge. However, you have the option to charge participants of your group. This is also a great way to meet new people!
5. Avoid Fad Diets
Fad diets like the South Beach Diet or the Atkins Diet rarely work; or, they work at first, but once you stop the diet you gain your weight right back. Not to mention these diets are crazy expensive, and often lack essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
6. Instead, Focus on Healthy Foods
Instead of jumping on the fad diet bandwagon, incorporate more fruits, veggies and lean proteins into your diet. Cut out junk food and limit yourself to one cheat day a week (you still have to live!). This incorporated with exercise is enough to start seeing results – no pricey fad diet needed!
7. Meal Prep
When trying to eat healthy and lose weight, meal prepping is important. Create a grocery list and make time before your week starts to go food shopping. Then, prepare as many meals as you can for the week. If you’re stumped on how to best meal prep, Pinterest provides endless suggestions. Having your meals ready to go for the week avoids last minute pizza orders and visits to fast food restaurants, which are both pricey and unhealthy.
8. Fancy Equipment is Not Necessary
As convenient as it would be to have a home gym, that dream doesn’t always fit into the budget (or your house). There is plenty of cheap exercise equipment out there that works the same muscles as those big machines at the gym. Check out Amazon or Walmart for the best prices. You can also avoid purchasing any equipment at all by focusing on exercises that use your own body weight. If you’re really dreaming of having that treadmill, look on Facebook Marketplace or other swap shop sites for someone nearby selling one for cheap.
9. Drink Plenty of Water
Different experts have different opinions on how much water we should drink a day. The bottom line is this: stay hydrated. Drinking about eight cups of water a day can keep you energized and focused, as well as reduce calorie intake and boost metabolism. Always choose water over sugary, high-calorie sodas and juices. Water is free and healthy, while sodas and juices are expensive and will pack on the pounds. If you’re an avid soda and juice drinker, switch to water only and you’ll see a significant difference.