If you believe the commercials and magazine covers, you might think that it is impossible to get in shape without paying for an expensive gym membership, money-munching diet plans and loads of pricey equipment. However, not only is it possible to save money on getting healthy, you can usually find everything you need free (or at no additional cost to what you are already spending).
Unused gym memberships: Save money by cancelling rarely used memberships and try some of the below tips for getting healthy without the blowing the budget.
Skip organic: If you have a sink, you can wash your fruits and veggies before you cook or eat them. While organic can be healthier, if you are on a shoestring budget, the benefits are not worth the extra expense. If you must go organic pick your battles, choose one thing (like meats), and just take a little extra time washing everything else off.
Buy frozen: Yes, eating fresh fruits and veggies is usually the best option. However, fresh fruits and veggies can be expensive and they go bad quickly. Frozen fruits and veggies (sans extra sugar) are nearly as healthy as fresh and they are cheaper.
Cook at home: Great for your budget. Great for your waistline. It is much easier to adjust meals to meet healthier goals when you cook at home. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you for saying no to the extra grease.
Say no to Soda: The Sugar. The sugar. The sugar. Did you know that one 12-ounce container of Coke has about 7.5 teaspoons of sugar? Take a minute and measure that out so you can see it. Soda may not look so appealing anymore. Opt for water when you are thirsty and save 200 calories and a couple bucks.
Go for a walk: Walking is great exercise. It is also free. Toss on your headphones and head out for a stroll around your neighborhood. Take your dog or your little ones and make it a family affair.
Ride a bike: Bike riding is an excellent way to build leg strength and burn a few cardio calories too. For maximum benefits, nix the car and take your bike to and from work when weather permits. You will get in a good workout without taking away from the rest of your day.
Use your body: Skip the expensive hand weights and fancy kettlebells and make the best of what you already have. Your body is a great tool for strength training. Yoga and Pilates are great options for learning how to put your body weight to good use. (Check online or at your local library for free or cheap DVDs).
Go Swimming: Swimming is an excellent option for weight loss because you are using your entire body. You get heart-healthy cardio and strength training in all at once. If you live close to the beach, take advantage of your location and hit the surf for a few laps. You can also add a little difficulty to your morning walk by trudging through the surf at about ankle deep.