If you’ve ever considered joining the local gym, you’ll know that it certainly doesn’t come cheap.
Most gyms these days will charge anywhere from $30 to $150 per month in membership costs alone and as if this wasn’t enough; many of them charge a pretty hefty joining fee too.
For a lot of people, joining a gym just isn’t affordable considering the current economic climate but the fact is, this shouldn’t stop you from achieving your goals. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to boost your health and fitness levels without shelling out hundreds of dollars a year on overpriced gym memberships; and a lot of them are they’re pretty simple too.
#1 – Go Jogging
Jogging has to be one of the most simple, yet often overlooked ways of getting fit and healthy on a budget. It doesn’t cost a penny to experience the great outdoors and one thing’s for sure, it’s going to be much more scenic than staring at the wall in front of the treadmill down the local gym.
Sure, it might be difficult forcing yourself out of bed early in the morning when you know it’s cold outside but once you start jogging, you’ll soon wake up and hopefully, start to enjoy it too.
If you’re really not one for enjoying the morning silence, grab your iPod and stick some tunes on!
#2 – Eat Properly
With increasingly hectic work schedules and families to take care of, many of us don’t look after our bodies as well as we should, often resorting to junk food in order to save time.
As any fitness expert will tell you, eating the right food is a huge part of the puzzle when it comes to staying healthy. By dedicating more time to cooking “proper” meals and cutting out processed high fat foods (e.g. burgers, chips, pizza, ready meals etc), you’ll soon start to feel healthier and more motivated than ever before.
If you don’t eat much fruit or veg, make sure to incorporate these into your diet too.
#3 – Walk To/From Work
These days, we rely on transport far too much to get us from A to B. It doesn’t matter whether you drive, take the bus or even the subway, you’re not going to be burning off many calories at all.
So, instead of relying on transport to get you where you want to go, try walking. Walking will burn off anywhere from 70 – 200 calories per mile (depending on your weight/fitness level) so if you live a couple of miles from work, walking to and from your workplace each day is likely to increase your fitness level significantly and also, cause you to lose weight.
#4 – Do Bodyweight Exercises
If you’re looking to increase muscle mass or tone your body, bodyweight exercises offer a great way to workout without spending a fortune on home fitness equipment (i.e. weights, dumbbells etc).
There are a lot of different bodyweight exercises you can do including push-ups, squats, sit-ups, lunges and plenty more. Perhaps the best thing about them is that they can be performed almost anywhere and without any equipment at all.
#5 – Buy A Fitness DVD
Fitness DVD’s are in plentiful supply and if followed correctly, can offer a great way to workout on a budget. Although a decent fitness DVD might set you back $20-or-so, it’s still going to be a lot cheaper joining a gym and best of all, you’ll only have to purchase it once.
No matter what your goal is (weight loss, muscle building etc), you’re sure to be able to find a fitness DVD to suit your needs as these days, there are literally hundreds on the market.
#6 – Drink Less Beer/Alcohol
We all like a drink every now and again but the fact is, too much can make you fat and unhealthy. Alcohol contains around 7 calories per gram which means that gram-for-gram, it has more calories than protein or carbohydrates (both of which have 4 calories per gram).
It’s not just beer that makes you fat either, it’s wine and spirits too. Furthermore, these calories are empty calories meaning that they have almost no nutritional value at all.
#7 – Do Yoga Classes
Yoga classes have been rising in popularity over the years and for many, they offer a great cost-effective alternative to the gym. Yoga classes usually don’t require a membership which means you’re free to do them whenever you want, without being bound to any kind of contract or monthly fee.
If you’re really short on money, you can quite easily do yoga at home too. There are plenty of yoga DVD’s that will show you how or if you prefer, you can head to YouTube where there are hundreds of yoga guides available for free.
#8 – Buy An Exercise Game
Video games are commonly regarded as one of the causes of obesity but in actual fact, video games can actually help you get fitter and healthier.
Unfortunately, we’re not talking about buying the latest PS3 game but we are talking about things like the Xbox Kinect and Wii Fit consoles. These consoles take the traditional video game and add a fitness element to them.
Sure, they might cost a couple of hundred dollars to buy in the first place but after that, you won’t have to spend any more money at all, which is more than can be said for a monthly gym membership.