Are you looking to get fit in 2017? If so, you might be a little hesitant to take the plunge due to the high costs of fitness gear and gym memberships. Fortunately, we’ve put together this list of frugal fitness hacks that can help you achieve your health goals without spending a fortune. Check out some of the best ways to get in shape on a budget during the upcoming year.
Buy Used Fitness Gear
If you’ve shopped for any fitness clothing or equipment lately, you know that it’s gotten really pricey. A number of clothing brands have their own stylish fitness lines now, and the equipment is more high-end than ever before. For most people, the fancy fitness clothes and equipment simply aren’t necessary. If you want to go jogging in your neighborhood a few times a week and maybe lift some weights at home, you can get most (or all) of the gear you need used.
For example, let’s say you need some leggings and a jacket for running in the cooler weather. Rather than shelling out $40 for a jacket and $20 for the leggings, stop by your local thrift store. At many places, you can get a nice windbreaker and leggings for under $10 (maybe even under $5!). When it comes to weights and other at-home fitness equipment, try a thrift store or local used sporting goods store to get the best deals. Another great resource for this kind of gear is Craigslist, where many people are looking to make a few bucks on the fitness gear they no longer use or need.
The one thing you might not want to skimp on is shoes. If you just need some sneakers for light exercises, used shoes may suffice. But if you plan to run, walk, jog or participate in more intense workouts often, it’s best to get a new pair of shoes that fit you well and offer good support.
Take Classes at Home
Many people aren’t big on going to the gym and coordinating their own workouts. However, attending a fitness class is a great way to get bitten by the health bug. You’ll have someone running the class, providing helpful instruction and generally making it fun to work out. Unfortunately, fitness classes at a gym or yoga studio can be expensive. But if you want to save money and still take some classes, there are some great resources out there to help you.
YouTube has become a great resource for workout videos. Many trainers want to get their name out there and help people get fit, so they create their own workout videos and post them online for people to watch for free. Just a little research and testing out some videos you find online can help you discover great fitness videos that feel just like taking a class at the gym. Some of the most popular YouTube channels for fitness videos include FitnessBlender, BodyRock, Blogilates and Tone It Up.
Another popular way to get the experience of a fitness class at a fraction of the cost is to buy fitness DVDs used. You can often find these at thrift shops or on Craigslist at significantly discounted prices.
Plan Your Meals
All that exercise won’t do much good if you’re not eating a healthy diet. An essential component to getting fit is eating right, but without planning ahead, you can end up overspending on foods that are too expensive or go to waste when they go uneaten.
To save money on your grocery bill while trimming your waistline and feeling healthier than ever, plan out your meals in advance every week. All it takes is looking up some healthy recipes before you head to the grocery store. Figure out a few larger meals you can enjoy throughout the week both freshly cooked and as leftovers. Write out each meal on the calendar so you know exactly what recipes you need to buy ingredients for. Then, head to the grocery store to get the foods you need. On a healthy diet, you’ll be eating a lot of fresh produce. While it’s not necessarily expensive, it’s important to know exactly how much you need to make your meals for the week so you don’t end up having any go to waste (or buying an expensive meal as a substitute if you run out of food for the week).
One great tip for saving even more on your healthy diet is to plan your meals about which fruits and vegetables are in season. A strawberry smoothie might sound delicious, but you’ll pay a hefty price if those strawberries aren’t in season. When you buy foods that are in season, they’ll be at their cheapest prices – and they’ll taste better, too!
Getting fit takes effort and commitment, but it shouldn’t require a lot of spending. With these tips, you can make health and fitness resolutions without going over your budget.