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SaveHealth & Wellness The Ultimate Guide to Getting Fit on a Budget

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Fit on a Budget

Want to get fit without the expensive gym memberships? We’ve got your back! Here are some fun ways to get fit, eat well, and enjoy life while on a budget!

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Fit on a Budget

Gym memberships can get expensive! Plus the trips to the gym’s smoothie bar, the stylish workout clothes you absolutely must buy to have a good workout, the driving to get to and from the gym...

You get what we mean!

Working out is important, but so is your budget. That’s why we’ve created this guide on how to get fit faster on a budget!

1. Go for a walk!

The hot girl walk has taken over. It’s the ultimate fitness activity in part because it’s just so easy—and so overlooked. You don’t need much in the way of expensive supplies. Just walking shoes, comfy clothes, and a bottle of water. It’s also something you can do everywhere. Take the stairs in your office building, walk around the block, turn it into an event and spend afternoons getting lost on your favorite hiking trails. Create new routes each week or each day to challenge yourself and keep it interesting—and watch yourself get fitter day by day.

2. Try yoga or pilates

Both yoga and pilates can offer you a great workout with minimal supplies. A comfy yoga mat and non-restrictive clothing are the only two requirements, but if you want to step up your game, you can do so with inexpensive extras like a fitness ball, yoga blocks, or stretch bands. Or, check around your house to DIY these items! A rolled-up towel or stack of books can do more than you think.

The best part? There are tons and tons of great YouTube videos out there for free. Choose between yoga or pilates—or (yes, it exists!) yogalates—and start learning a fun new routine.

3. Set goals with a couch to 10k challenge

Love jogging but haven’t done it in a while? Inertia is super tough to overcome—and that’s where the couch to 10k challenge comes in! Most programs out there, including those guided by fitness apps, are 12-week plans that start you off easy and gradually work you up from being a non-runner to capable of doing a 10k race in 12 weeks.

What’s great about this is that you can customize your goals if you want. Couch to 5k in eight weeks? Go for it! Would you rather turn it into a walking or cycling challenge? You can do that, too. It’s easy to make your own progressive challenges to meet your fitness goals.

4. Get a stationary bike...or a stationary bike stand

Love cycling? This idea might stretch your budget a little bit—but it’s still a great one because there are a couple of great ways you can go about it.

So if you’re not a huge fan of outdoor cycling, an inexpensive stationary bike will be your best bet. Save even more by buying a second-hand stationary bike. This is a great way to get fit in the comfort of your own home—and it’s low impact, too, so there’s not a lot of stress on your joints.

But what if you like going on the occasional outdoor bike ride? Then you may want to buy a bike—and better yet, buy a stationary bike stand so that you can ride it indoors whenever the weather is bad or you don’t have time to head out to the local bike trails. These stationary stands are usually relatively inexpensive, and they’re designed to let you mount your bike’s back wheel on the stand, which prevents it from moving while you cycle away in front of the TV.

5. Learn a new dance!

Dancing is not only a fun way to unwind after a stressful day, but it can also be a great way to help you get fit. As with yoga and pilates, there is a ton you can do here, too. Take up Zumba, learn Broadway dances, learn hip-hop dancing, or choose from hundreds of other different styles. You can grab your partner and turn it into a couples activity. Just hop on YouTube and search for dances you can learn at home to get started.

6. Use an app to get fit

This is another idea that gives you a ton of variety without a big investment. You may even be able to do it for free!

Because there are thousands of fitness apps out there, the first step is to find an activity you enjoy. Running, dancing, hiking, geocaching, strength training—the sky is the limit. 

Next, find an app to match. Make sure it’s one that keeps track of the goals important to you so that you find yourself encouraged to keep making—and achieving—new goals. Anything from distance traveled to yoga or dance moves learned, just make sure the goals are ones that you’re motivated to achieve.

7. Use foods to get fit

One old saying says “you are what you eat.” Among bodybuilders and strength trainers, it’s common to hear people say “muscles are made in the kitchen.” There’s a lot of truth to these statements! Part of getting fit is nourishing and fueling your body with healthy foods that give your body what it needs. 

So where to get started? First up, eat mindfully. It's super easy to scarf down a bag of chips or completely polish off an over-laden plate without even thinking about it — and before you even realize you're full, no less. Mindful eating means chewing slowly, focusing on every bite, and listening to your body's cues so that you stop eating before you get to that overstuffed, "ate too much" feeling.

And if you need to make adjustments to the way you eat? Then skip the expensive fad diets that don't work anyways, and look for cheap but healthy ways to eat well. Here are some ideas:

  • Swap out bad carbs for good carbs. Try something like black beans, which are inexpensive, delicious, and rich in fiber, protein, and essential nutrients.
  • Skip expensive processed breakfast foods in favor of the simple egg. An egg a day gives you healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and a bit of protein.
  • Have oatmeal instead of sugary cereal. Top it with fruits and berries instead of sweetening it with sugar or syrup. Add nuts or granola to give it crunch and even more flavor.
  • Make sweet potatoes! You can air fry sweet potato fries, dice and bake them with seasonings, or add grated sweet potatoes to meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs for a beta carotene-rich punch—plus iron and vitamins C and E.
  • Be careful with beverages. Sodas, fruit juices, that grande latte — lots of drinks we love to have on the daily have a lot of sugar, and we don't always need it. If you're low on sugar, juice or pop can help you balance it. But when you don't need it? Save the sugary beverages to treat yourself and enjoy a glass of cool water. You can also get your flavor and fizz with fruit flavored sparkling waters, which are sugar-free. Other sugar-free options include coffee and tea (without the cream and sugar, of course!).

Save money while you get fit!

It’s easy to get fit on a budget—and we can help you save even more. Check your weekly Save mailer for deals and coupons on healthy foods and fitness gear for your favorite activities!