It’s easy to think of exercise, sport and working out as reserved for the well-off – you might picture shiny gyms, exclusive tennis clubs and high-end workout gear. However, the reality is that staying in shape is important for your health no matter what your income – but if you’re going through a rough patch financially, the gym membership is often one of the first things to go.
Don’t resign yourself to a less healthy lifestyle because of your income! From online workout routines to cheap yoga pants, we’ve put together a few tips to help you break a sweat without breaking the bank.
#1 Find inspiration online
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One of the difficulties of exercising without the gym is that it can be difficult to keep up your motivation without anyone else around to help you set and meet your goals.
The good news is that there is a ton of free exercise advice online, from tracking tools and apps, to training plans, to daily exercise ‘challenges’, to YouTube workout classes. Keep up your commitment to yourself by setting aside a time to work out, putting it in your calendar and planning your activity ahead before you start your online-inspired workout session. You could even do your at-home exercise with a friend or family member for more support, encouragement and accountability.
Not all of the exercise advice online is from reputable sources: check out reviews and instructor qualifications before you get started.
#2 Check out what’s available for free in your area
If you’d prefer to exercise out of the house, take a look online or in your local paper to see if there are any free or low-cost options to stay fit using local parks, pools or other facilities. You might find a local free running club, tennis sessions in the park, low-cost swimming sessions or yoga classes…you never know until you look!
#3 Fit a workout into your daily routine
Are you putting off working out at home until you can afford those dumbbells you have your eye on? Tear up that excuse: you likely already have a surprising amount of fitness equipment in your house. Soup cans can double up as weights for upper body exercises. No soup? Fill a bucket or jug with whatever you have to hand (water, sand, salt, laundry detergent) and tape down the top. You can also use paper plates or plastic bags to help your hands, feet or knees slide along the carpet for some body sculpting moves. Do push-ups against your kitchen counter; make resistance bands out of old tights; take the dog for a run instead of a walk…if you have an unused bike lying around, why not save money and get fit at the same time by cycling to work?
#4 Get kitted out on the cheap
Here’s a secret that fitness magazines and bloggers won’t tell you, because they’re relying on the income they get from advertising pricey sportswear: you don’t need to spend a lot of money on high-performance workout apparel. Check out sites like DHgate for cheap yoga pants; go running in whatever sneakers you can afford.
We hope we’ve given you some inspiration: now get out there and keep both your body and your finances in shape!