We all want to be fit and we all want to save money. It’s two things that almost everyone has in common and we often feel that one, fitness, cannot be accomplished without sacrificing the other. Well, we’re here to tell you that you can, in fact, get fit without spending a truckload of money. So let’s take a look at how we can all tighten our belts while tightening our belts.
Walk it Off
Let’s face it, one thing that Fit Bit has added to the world is people’s desire to “get their steps in”. You don’t need to have a Fitbit, or even a step goal in mind, to utilize this tried and true cardio. All you need to do is ditch the car on the way to work or take the dog for a spin after work. On top of that, including the use of your arms in the walking action can increase it’s impact even more. According to Professor John Pocari, an exercise physiologist at the University of Wisconsin, “Just the fact that you are using your arms through a greater range of motion than normal means you are increasing calorie expenditure,”
He goes on to add that simply adding walking poles can burn an additional 20% of the calories you burn with straight walking. So there you go, Walking is a solid full body work out that you can do anywhere and it’s free. So why not.
Ditch the Gym
When we think fitness the first image that pops up in our mind is rows and rows of fitness machines and elliptical as far as the eye can see. But really, you don’t need everything in a gym, and the odds are that you are only using about 50% of the machines and free weights at best. Some of the best workouts you can do when getting into shape are body weight based exercises. According to David Smith of Greatist.com, “Bodyweight exercises are a great choice because they’re easily modified to challenge any fitness level. Adding extra repetitions, performing the exercises faster or super-slow, and perfecting form are a few ways to make even the simplest exercise more challenging.”
It means that where ever you are you have all the weight you need with you, and guess what, it’s free.
Join the Resistance
Free weights, machines, and body weight aren’t the only options when it comes to getting fit. After all what all of those things are just providing different forms of resistance. So why not swap any and all of them out for resistance bands. These bands come in different degrees of resistance and can stand in for weights for any and every body part. In fact “Band training allows you to train the whole body using multiple vectors” says Dave Schmitz, Co-Owner of Resistance Band Training(resistancebandtraining.com), adding, “multiple speeds, and a changing ascending resistance while exercising in any posture or position you choose to use.”
This one isn’t free, but it’s a onetime charge and the bands can easily travel with you once you’ve bought them.
It’s a fact of modern life that almost everyone is on social media, and when I say that, I don’t just mean everybody reading this and everyone they know. I mean EVERYBODY, and that includes some of the best trainers and nutritionists, and while they aren’t giving away everything, you can still add them and get a whole lot of knowledge. From fitness recipes, to exercise breakdowns, to full-on fitness plans. Again, all of this out there, and for free, so take advantage of it.
Food is Life
Let’s face it, fitness has two main components. Working out and eating. So on the kitchen side of things, there are plenty of ways that you can eat healthy and cheap at the same time. One of the best ways to go here is buying in bulk. Whether it’s protein powder, chicken breasts or vegetables, the more you can buy at the same time the more you stand to save overall. “This allows you to buy a larger family pack, freeze what you don’t immediately need, and save money on a bulk purchase,” says Roger Adams, Ph.D., nutrition and weight loss expert and founder of Eat Right Fitness.
Visiting a farmers market to get the freshest fruits and vegetables is another way to eat healthily and save some money. Avoid frozen “diet” dinners. There are a ton of them on the market, and while they often position themselves as being a cheap way to eat healthily …they aren’t. The majority of them don’t live up to their price when you break them down in terms of protein amounts, nutrients provided and let’s face it, the sodium is usually off the charts, so let’s just leave them in the free
Water is Free
Water. Water. Water. It is an incredibly important part of staying healthy. It fuels your body, keeps you hydrated and can make you feel full. Also, it’s free. It literally comes out of the taps, almost everywhere. So take advantage of this literal resource.
The Internet Has Everything
We already touched on the resources available through social media, but that’s not all that the internet has to offer in terms of helping you to get fit. YouTube alone has thousands of instructional fitness videos, teaching you everything from the proper form with free weights to yoga, to Pilates. There is seriously a video for every muscle group, every work out style and every niche. Also, it’s free. Well, I mean you pay for internet, but it’s 2018 so you’re likely paying for that anyways. There are even big-name trainers on there dropping knowledge for free. Check out Bodybulding.com, Fitness Blender, or Livestrong on Youtube as a couple of examples.
Working out for cheap doesn’t mean foregoing the gym altogether. It could mean skipping the big box gym franchises, and checking out what your local gym, community center and YMCA (http://ymca.ca/) have to offer. They might lack the bells and whistles, but they still have weights, they still have machines and they still have all the cardio equipment that the big gyms have to offer, often at a much lower rate.
So there you go. Not having a lot of weight in your wallet doesn’t mean that you can’t still get yourself into better shape. In every facet of fitness, where there is a will, there is a way.