As we have recently made our New Year’s resolutions, here are some tips to help us affordably stick to exercise in 2015:
2015 is here, folks, and with it comes another opportunity to fulfill your New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps one of those resolutions is to get in better shape, but worries about cost, time and convenience are holding you back. Fear not, getting in shape these days is easier and more affordable than ever!
Whether you like the idea of exercising at a gym, or if you would prefer to get in shape outdoors or at home, you have some great options. But strike now while you’re motivated or another year might slip away. So put on your workout gear and read on to learn how to get fit without spending a lot of money.
1. Take Advantage Of Specials At Your Local Gym
Many gyms have great membership deals for people who are starting the New Year with new fitness goals. But do a couple of things before you sign up. Ask prospective gyms for a free trial (most offer them), and then use it! You want to know if this is the right gym for you, and whether you want to commit to traveling back and forth to workout. And read your membership agreement prior to signing! If you decide a gym isn’t right for you, you want to make sure you can leave without an early termination fee.
2. Consider Working With A Personal Trainer
If you’re fairly new to exercising, hiring a personal trainer for a session or two is a great investment. A good personal trainer will understand your fitness goals, and create a specific exercise program to help you reach those goals. Programs can even be designed around your home gym equipment. Consider a training session once a quarter to keep your routine fresh. As with gyms, shop around and read reviews as all personal trainers are notcreated equal.
3. Exercise Outside– It’s Free!
There are so many great options for exercising outdoors, and most of them are free. You can head out to your local outdoor track for a walk or run, or search the internet for hiking or walking trails in your area. If you want a challenge, consider walking or running stairs at your local high school stadium. Community biking, hiking and running clubs are everywhere, and groups of friendly, like-minded people can really help motivate you to stay on track.
4. Shop Online For Used Exercise Equipment
If you prefer to exercise at home but want that gym feel, consider buying some used equipment. There are great deals to be found on Craigslist, or even your local classifieds. Used equipment from sites like these tends to be lightly used, and very affordable. If you desire some peace of mind, search for a site or store that sells used equipment, but offers warranties, returns or buy-backs on equipment. While you’re at it, consider purchasing a full-length mirror as this can help you can keep an eye on your form (and new muscles) while exercising.
5. Tap Into Free Resources
If you have a computer, you can access hundreds of fitness and workout videos for free. The most popular free resource is Youtube, where you can find videos on just about everything to help you achieve your fitness goals. Your local library is another great resource for free stuff. You can access streaming videos of everything from weightlifting and Kettle Bell routines to Pilates and Yoga. If you like to research first, you’ll find a big section of books dedicated to fitness, exercise and nutrition.
6. Combine Fitness With Technology For Added Motivation
A quick search for exercise or fitness in your favorite app store will return a ton of results. Exercise apps are great for people on the go, and offer lots of cool options like exercise programs, performance tracking, workout scheduling and even reminders to keep you on your toes. My favorite exercise apps are the New York Time’s original Scientific 7-Minute Workoutand their new Advanced 7-Minute Workout. Best of all, they’re free! And who can’t spare 7 minutes a day?
7. Bring Your Lunch To Work
Given how busy life is, eating out at work usually means extra fat and calories, not to mention the extra time and expense. By packing your own lunch, you have the opportunity to limit the fat and calories typically present when you eat out. You’ll also provide your body with better fuel to get more out of your new fitness routine. And with all the time you save not running out for food, you can go for a walk!
Starting a new exercise program can seem daunting, but nobody said you have to run a marathon your first week. Start by doing a few sit-ups or push-ups on commercial breaks when watching television. Simple activities like these can help jump-start your desire to exercise, and are healthier than visiting the refrigerator. And once you feel comfortable, you can progress to something more challenging.
But be careful, exercise is addictive, and once you get into a habit you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve. In the end, your heart will thank you, and if you follow my tips for getting fit on a budget, your wallet will too! And as always, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.