Inexpensive Ways to Stay in Shape

Do we need expensive gym equipment or a gym membership to stay physically fit? No, there are many ways to stay in shape without spending a lot of money. Staying fit will also reduce medical bills and increase your energy.

Drink water

Water is cheap from the tap and it does the most to keep us healthy. Water cleanses our system and keeps our blood flowing. Drinking enough water prevents headaches and so many other health problems. Generally, you need to drink eight glasses of water a day or half the ounces of your bodyweight in pounds.

Eat Right

We don’t need expensive diet foods to stay fit. Instead, your basic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and meat can keep you full and energized. About half of our plate should be fruits and veggies. You can also indulge in junk food on occasion. It’s really about balancing each food and keeping it in proportion to your activity level. Too little food causes weight gain when the body goes into starvation mode and stores fat. Too many calories is stored as fat.

Ensure you get a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats for every meal. It helps you stay full longer. Any diet that excludes carbs, protein or fat will upset the body. Fad diets usually deprive the body of essential nutrients. Carbs give us energy; protein repairs muscle; and fat maintains the nervous system and other organs.

You may choose to count calories, but watching portions helps too. There are several free websites to track food, calories, and exercise: MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, and LoseIt!

Exercise

There are three components to any exercise routine: cardio, toning, and stretching. Cardio you can do anywhere for free from walking, jogging, taking the stairs, or biking to work. It doesn’t have to even be formal exercise. Living a more active lifestyle even makes a difference. Choose an activity that you enjoy and you can afford. You can find free video workouts on YouTube. MyFitnessPal has made a list of some of these videos here.

You want to tone every major muscle group two to three times a week. To tone your muscles, there are more options than weights and weight machines. You can use just your bodyweight to tone your muscles. Check out this article “50 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere.” To add more resistance to your routine, you can buy a resistance band, body ball, or a set of weights. These are only about $10 each and a long-term investment.

Remember to stretch after exercising to improve your flexibility and mobility. Go slow when stretching to make sure you don’t pull muscles.

Save on Memberships and Trainers

Some fitness centers offer memberships in exchange for services. For example, if I worked four hours a week at my local gym, I could have a free monthly family membership. Other gyms have special offers. Others have low monthly costs. Check out deals with coupons and on their websites.

If you want to have a personal trainer, a good way to go is group sessions. I train with four other people and only pay $10 a session instead of $60 a session. Fitness classes may be another way to go. Look around for deals.

Staying fit can be a low cost endeavor (not free since you have to eat food). Use these tips and enjoy the savings and healthy benefits.

How do you save money staying fit?
Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

I'm a crazy redhead. I have three hyperactive boys and a wonderful husband. I earned my BA in English Language from BYU. I grew up in Southeastern Utah in the middle of nowhere. I now reside by a big lake in Utah.
Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

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