Wellness Tips

How to Get Fit and Stay in Shape on a Budget

With COVID-19 among us, the health industry is undergoing another boom and will continue to grow for years to come. But, whereas in the past wellness often came at a hefty price, with global lockdowns and the growth of virtual content, there are ways to get fit and stay healthy for a lifetime, even on a budget. Here are seventeen ways you get started on an effective yet inexpensive health regimen.

Nature. Nature comes at no cost and is hands-down the healthiest way to get fit on a budget. Long walks, jogs, bicycle rides, swimming, hiking, gardening, and playing outdoor games with your kids are just a few great options to consider. They cost nothing!

Cook at home. I don’t need to be the one to tell you that apart from fast-food, most healthy food you eat at restaurants comes at a stiff premium. Plus, you never really know how the food you eat is truly prepared, and if it meets your nutrition requirements. You might think your meal is four hundred calories when really it’s double that amount. Save your meals out for special occasions and otherwise develop the skills to make your own food at home, right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Free online resources. The amount of free workout and healthy diet content online is staggering. All you have to do is google “free workouts,” “how to eat healthy on a budget,” “eating for fitness on a budget,” or “fitness meal plans on a budget,” or search YouTube with similar key words, to get endless ideas on the topic and more free fitness and diet content than you could possibly ever imagine.

Cheap apps and web content. If you have a little more spending capacity, then you can afford to be a bit picky. Cheap options abound for curated apps and website content that will enable you to exercise anywhere, anytime but with more discretion than if you were to partake in free content. From yoga to Pilates, HIIT to strength training with weights, there’s no doubt that you can find something you enjoy. The days of expensive gym and boutique studio memberships are over. You can do your workouts right in your living room, at an affordable price.

Work for a company that has a strong wellness program. Many companies offer free wellness programming to employees online and on site. From yoga classes to nutrition lectures, make sure to take advantage of that which your employer is offering. Furthermore, many corporations provide employee discounts at gyms and yoga studios, which even if you work remotely, you can take advantage of in your home workspace.

Purchase your food from discount stores. From Imperfect Foods online to Trader Joes, King Kullen to Price Shopper, you can find quality food at discounted prices nearby or online. Simply do an Internet search to identify the stores most convenient and accessible to you, and which deliver, if having your food brought to your doorstep is preferable.

Buy seasonal ingredients and look for sales. Produce which is local and in season is usually a lot cheaper and healthier than that which is not, because you don’t get the added cost with the need to transport and preserve unseasonal foods. In addition, seasonal produce often goes on sale after a few days, because it’s shelf-life is short. So, do some research to identify what’s in season in your area before heading to the store and look for produce on sale. Finally, produce is usually cheaper when you buy it in a package rather than individually.

Get to know healthy portion sizes. People often over purchase and overeat, but if you get to know what an appropriate portion size is (a piece of meat or fish should approximate the size of a deck of cards, a piece of fruit the size of a baseball), you’ll not only save dollars, but also pounds and waste. Once you have a grasp on how much is appropriate to consume, make a grocery list with quantities indicated and stick to it.

Educate yourself about what it means to be healthy by reading books, articles, blogs and labels. Watch fun and inspiring cooking shows and documentaries like What the Health? Game Changers, and Forks Over Knives, which can help inform your choices. The more information and skills you have, the more creative you can be about how to be healthy on a budget.

Workout with your friends or colleagues. Social motivation and even a little healthy competition, makes staying in shape easier and more fun.  Plan two Saturdays a month to meet up with your buddies to exercise. Establish a challenge between yourselves. Competition is fun and motivating and we always do better when we want to win!

Get Social. Follow inspiring and motivating social media health mavens. You will get daily yoga and fitness tips, pictures of delicious healthy food and that remind you of your mission, and recipes that make food preparation at home simple and delicious.

Coupons! Most businesses offer coupons. From food stores, to gyms and yoga studios, if you dig a little and check offerings regularly, you’ll definitely find coupons to turn in. Signing up fornewsletters is another great way to stay abreast of promotional deals (these can also be great motivators).

Join loyalty programs. Corporations thrive on loyal customers. It might seem like a pain and time sacrifice to join a loyalty program, but you will be paid back with financial perks.

Avoid fad diets and workout trends. These are usually expensive quick fixes. You need a lifestyle program in line with your goals so that you can look and feel awesome for the long haul. Writing down your long-term goals and devising a lifelong plan which reinforces them, can help avoid the temptation of getting sucked into trends.

Become your own instructor. Get to know yourself, your body and the exercises you like most for the best results. After each class, write down the moves and routines you’ll want to do again. This will help you do your own workouts at no cost at all for your entire life. The best thing about being your own instructor is that you can exercise anywhere anytime.

Become vegetarian or vegan. Diets that don’t rely on animal-sourced products are cheaper than you think. Despite the fact that many people believe vegan and vegetarian diets are more expensive than omnivorous ones, this is debatable. It depends on how and where you shop as well as what you buy. Pound for pound, many vegetarian and vegan staples such beans, rice, cereals, pasta, potatoes, and bread can be much cheaper than a pound of meat. Beans for instance, are approximately one dollar per pound whereas meat can cost three to four dollars per pound. If you plan well and do some analysis, becoming vegan could in fact be on your side as far as cost is concerned

Find the best fitness tracker watch on a budget. Studies show that setting goals and tracking your progress towards achieving them can be incredibly helpful in achieving your wellness goals. While Apple Watches might be out of your range, check out FitBit Inspire HR, Fitbit Inspire 2, Huawei Brand 3 Pro, Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4 and 5, Amazfit Bip and Honor Band 5. These cost between about thirty and eight dollars.

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