There are countless excuses for not exercising or eating right. One of the most popular justifications is that exercise and health food are just too expensive. And this can be true. Gym memberships, personal trainers, organic produce, dietary supplements, and even running shoes can be remarkably expensive. The health and fitness industry is a multi billion-pound industry in the UK. But just because fitness can be (and often is) expensive, doesn’t mean it must be. Unless it involves starvation, money is never a valid excuse for not living a healthy life. Here’s how to stay fit without increasing your budget:
Use What’s Around You…
You don’t need the gym to work out. You don’t even need the gym to get massive biceps and a sculpted chest. Pushups and pull-ups are arguably the best upper-body workouts available (yes, even better than those fancy machines at the fitness center). Squats and lunges are excellent lower body exercise. Believe it or not, you can get a fantastic workout in your living room with no equipment at all.
Run, Swim, Ride
For those looking to trim fat and improve energy and endurance, cardio is a necessity. Running costs nothing but a pair of shoes (or nothing at all if you can run on the beach). Swimming is free wherever there is an ocean, lake, or public pool nearby. Cycling is an excellent, low-impact workout that can be done virtually anywhere.
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‘Health Food’ Isn’t Often Healthy
As a general rule, packaged food you see being advertised as ‘Healthy’ or ‘Low-fat’ is probably not very good for you. It also means you are paying for packaging and processing. Water is always better than ‘health’ drinks, and is considerably cheaper. Whenever you can, get fresh produce, whole wheat pastas, rice noodles, fruits, grains, and fresh breads. Of course, farmers markets and most co-ops are very expensive, but all of these foods can also be found at your local grocery store.
Personal (YouTube) Trainer
For those who need a bit of motivation, YouTube can act as a free virtual personal trainer. Courses are available for yoga, pilates, jazzercise, and just about every other exercise or fitness activity you can imagine.
Certain supplements can be helpful for those trying to add muscle quickly or trim away fat more efficiently, but these tend to be incredibly expensive in vitamin and supplement stores, where they’re routinely marked up by 170% and more. Fortunately, it is now possible to purchase these supplements online for a fraction of the price. Just be sure to research and know what you’re buying.
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Time is Money
Many think they simply don’t have time to exercise. But it doesn’t take long to live a healthy, active life. Spend 20 minutes each day doing sit-ups and pushups at home before showering, or go for a short jog. If you can’t afford to invest a half-hour a day in your health, you need to re-evaluate your lifestyle.
Most importantly, staying healthy requires determination. Getting fit simply doesn’t happen unless you commit to making it a major part of your life. This doesn’t mean you have to transform yourself into an endorphin-charged, spandex-wearing, workout addict. And it doesn’t even mean you have to spend many hours a day exercising. It just means making healthy food choices, being conscious of your body and what you put in it, and leading an active lifestyle. Walk more, stand up more, and eat fewer processed foods. In the end, it isn’t difficult. But it does require a life-long commitment.
Look Out for Deals…
Some gyms offer new deals from time to time, if you prefer this environment in which to loose weight, why not search for a reasonable deal? The internet is a great tool for this. It is also possible to buy some of your own equipment for home, while some gym equipment costs thousands, there are some very reasonably priced options out there, and again offers can help you save a lot of money- remember January is a great time to find those opportunities, especially in the health and leisure industry.
About the author: Kirsten is a freelance writer for vouchercloud.com a money saving voucher site. She enjoys fitness and money saving. She found exercise classes to be too expensive, so has since developed her own way of getting fit free of charge using these tips. It also fits around work!