Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How to Get Healthy (On a Budget)

As a follow-up to one of the recent posts here (How to Get Healthy), I thought it would be helpful to acknowledge that not everyone will choose to invest in a gym membership or expensive step tracker. There are definitely budget-friendly ways to stay in shape, so I'll share the ones I know of here. I'd love your input for the rest!

  1. On sunny days, walk, bike, jog, or run outside.
  2. If you don't have a treadmill or other exercise machine, you can get a desk bike like I have for about $20 on Amazon - it's likely cheaper from a thrift store or Craigslist.
  3. Thrift stores, garage sales, and Craigslist are great places to look for larger equipment if you'd like that.
  4. Walk around your house/apartment. Walk up/down the stairs. This can get repetitive, but it does get you moving.
  5. Look on Hulu for exercise videos. Last I checked, there were some yoga, dancing, and strength training routines to choose from - all free.
  6. DailyBurn offers a 30 day free trial of their exercise videos. (After the trial it's $10/month - cheaper than most gym memberships but still over $100 for a year. You'll have to decide if it's worth that to you.)
  7. If you enjoy swimming, look for a pool in your area. There are a couple community pools here that charge about $3 each time. Some hotels will let you swim for a small charge, too.
  8. Invest in some weights. There's no need to go all out...you can get dumbbells from Amazon for about $5 each. If you're looking for a set, I'd suggest used.
  9. Recognize that while exercising is an excellent way to keep you healthy and is certainly important, if your goal is to lose weight, the main way to do that is to reduce your calorie intake. SparkPeople is free and a great way to keep track of what you're eating. (There are other calorie counting websites, of course, I just haven't used them.)
  10. Meat, fruits, and veggies are still important. I often shop at Aldi, since things tend to be cheaper there. The quality is sometimes not as good, but for the most part I've been happy with what I've gotten there. (And if there's a problem, their double guarantee is awesome.) Sales are good, too - and buying in bulk when it makes sense.

What else has worked for you?

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