*Original post date 2016, updated May 2019*
When you think of getting fit and healthy, you don’t have to also see lots of dollar signs. There are ways to be healthy, get fit, and reach your goals without breaking the bank. You only have one body, so it needs to be a priority when it comes to the money you spend in your budget. Check out my 5 tips below for help:
1.) Really do some thinking about your gym membership.
If you go to your gym 4 times a week and use multiple pieces of equipment, the pool, the childcare, etc. then you should probably stick with it. But, if you go to the gym 3 times a month, or only use it for the treadmill, then maybe you should consider alternative means of exercise. If you only go to the gym for a treadmill, consider buying one for your home. You can find used ones on craigslist, or at a second hand fitness equipment store. If you lift lighter hand weights, maybe buy a set or two of lighter and heavier weights and a resistance band (We have had luck on Facebook Marketplace). If you love yoga but cringe at the thought of forking over a high amount for a month at a studio, maybe buy a mat and download some free yoga videos from the internet.
The FASTer Way to Fat Loss has a “home” version of workouts, so if you join one of my rounds, you can workout at home with just dumbells and lose fat!
2.) Set a budget for races and make finding good/cheaper ones a game.
Let’s face it, racing, especially destination racing, can be pricey! One option is to set a yearly or quarterly racing budget that includes not just entry fees but also what you would spend at a hotel or on transportation, food etc. as well. A lot of times, you can find fun races that aren’t publicized on the big race websites if you do a little digging (hello Google!) Trying to fit races into your budget is like putting together a puzzle, and can be fun if you are a planner like me. Also, try to find things to help your budget, like run a destination race close to where your aunt lives, and ask if you can spend the night at her house to save money on a hotel. Yes, you may end up sleeping on her couch with a cat on your face, but it’s better than forking out 150+ dollars for a hotel room. Maybe you can find a friend online running the same race as you and share a hotel, or a cab from the airport. Every little bit helps!
3.) Think of things around your house that could be considered cross training.
Look around you, there are plenty of things you could probably do or that NEED to be done that would work up a sweat and be considered cross training. Some things to do are work in the flowerbeds pulling weeds, scrubbing wood floors on your hands and knees, raking leaves, wiping down baseboards, painting your dining room, scrubbing the shelves in your refrigerator, vacuum/mop, walk the dog, stain the deck (no…I am not listing all the things I need to do…yeah…of course not). Not only will you work up a sweat, but your house will look awesome! Put on some music and maybe add in some lunges or squats as you go.
4.) Be Social and know your city.
If you did a little research, you may find a hiking trail you didn’t know about or a walking club for moms that meets every Tuesday morning. Being in the know will help you to make decisions that are right for you and your family. Do you know an elderly lady with a big dog that needs some exercise? Volunteer your time to get to know her and her dog and then take it (the dog, not the old lady) for a run. Introduce yourself to the neighbor who just moved in and ask if they want to go on a walk around downtown with you and you can point out things like the best stores, restaurants, etc. as you go to help them learn their new town. Join a local mom’s Facebook group and start your own running or walking club! Getting exercise but also helping out someone else makes you feel good. Bonus points!
I found a trail!
5.) Don’t spend a fortune on fitness gear.
This one is hard for me because I love cute running gear! Wait for sales or free shipping for online products. Hit up the outlet mall. Sometimes you can find affiliates who are offering discounts on products you love online. Buy the model that is not in production anymore and they are usually cheaper (for shoes at Runningwarehouse.com). I also take good care of my fitness gear. I wash it every time I sweat in it (totally can’t imagine re wearing sweaty workout gear. ew.) I hang dry everything, and it lasts a long time. Also, when people ask what to get me for Christmas/Birthday, I often tell them running gear, or a running store gift card.
QOTD: What is your best fitness on a budget tip?