This post is fueled by last nights Fit Blog chat. It was all about money, and being healthy, and how to balance the two. I see two sides of this, the food side and the workout side. To be honest, we don’t worry as much about the food side in my house. The workout side is what gets expensive because I love cute running clothes and I love to race! I thought I would give some tips for both sides of things. Today will be about healthy living from the physical side, and how to not break the bank running, working out, yoga-ing, etc.
1.) Really do some thinking about your gym membership.
If you go to your gym 4 times a week and use multiple pieces of equipment, the pool, the childcare, etc. then you should probably stick with it if you feel it necessary for your healthy living strategy. But, if you go to the gym 3 times a month, or just keep your gym card to whip out and show people so they think you are cool, or only use it for the treadmill, then maybe you should consider alternative means of exercise. If you only go to the gym for a treadmill, consider buying one for your home. You can find used ones on craigslist, or at a second hand fitness equipment store. If all you do is life light hand weights, maybe buy a set or two of lighter and heavier weights and a resistance band. If you love yoga but cringe at the thought of forking over a high amount for a month, consider buying a mat and downloading some free yoga videos from the internet to supplement going to classes every other visit, or once a week.
2.) Set a budget for races and make finding good/cheap ones a game.
Let’s face it, racing, especially destination racing, can be pricey! A fun thing to do is to set a yearly or quarterly racing budget that includes not just entry fees but also what you would spend at a hotel or transportation, etc. as well. A lot of times, you can find fun races that aren’t publicized in Runner’s World or on the big race websites. Sometimes with a little googling and key word searching you can find a local race you didn’t know existed. Trying to fit races into your budget is like putting together a puzzle and can be fun! Also, try to find things to help your budget like do a destination race close to where your aunt lives that you never get to see, and ask if you can spend the night at her house to save money on a hotel. yes, you may end up sleeping on her couch with a cat on your face, but better than forking out 100+ dollars for a hotel room.
3.) Think of things around your house that could be considered cross training
Look around you, there are plenty of things you could probably do or that NEED to be done that would work up a sweat and be considered cross training. it’s almost spring (at least here in the south…sorry people up to their eyeballs in snow) so go work in your flowerbeds pulling weeds. All of the up and down is like doing fun lunges! Polish your wood floors on your hands and knees. I would use volleyball knee pads and go to town. Talk about sore arms and working up a sweat! Rake some leaves, wipe down baseboards, paint your dining room, scrub the shelves in your refrigerator (no…I am not listing all the things I need to do…yeah…) Not only will you work up a sweat but your house will look awesome! Put on some music and get to work! Or, put on an old dress and sigh while pretending you are Cinderella. Hey, whatever works!
4.) Be Social and know your city.
If you did a little research, you may find a hiking trail you didn’t know about, or a walking club for moms that meets every Tuesday morning. Being in the know will help you to make decisions right for you and your family. Do you know an elderly lady with a big dog that needs some exercise? Volunteer your time to get to know her and her dog and then take it (the dog, not the old lady) for a run. Introduce yourself to the neighbor who just moved in and ask if they want to go on a walk around downtown with you and you can point out things like the best banks restaurants, etc. as you go to help them learn their new town. Getting exercise but also helping out someone else makes you feel good. Bonus points!
5.) Don’t spend a fortune on fitness gear.
This one is hard for me because I love cute running gear! A few tips I have learned. Yes I love Running Skirts. Yes, they cost as much as you should be putting into your kids college fund a month. I only buy Running Skirts when they are on sale or offer free shipping, etc. To me these are my one big exercise splurge because they are so awesome and comfortable. I get my other workout gear mainly at Target. Their C9 Champion brand has some cute and inexpensive stuff. My FAVORITE thing about this brand is the pants come in LONG! Being 5’9”, my workout pants always look like I am ready for a flood, but not anymore! They also have good sports bras and dri fit tops and have a lot of sales. I also buy a lot of things off of Running Warehouse. Free shipping and free returns, yes please! Discounts clothes, shoes, GU, accessories, awesome! I also take good care of my fitness gear. I wash it every time I sweat in it (totally can’t imagine re wearing sweaty workout gear. ew.) I hang dry everything, and take good care of it so it lasts a long time. Also, when people ask what to get me for Christmas/Birthday/just because I am awesome, I tell them running stuff, running store gift card, and the like.
Well, there you have it. 5 tips to still stay physically fit on a budget. Now, go do something!
QOTD: What is your best fitness on a budget tip?