When talking about staying fit and engaging in physical activities, two excuses come up for why people don’t do this. One: lack of time. Two: lack of money. Having an active lifestyle means prioritizing time to exercise and focus on your health. If you’re like me, you’ve added a health and wellness goal to your yearly priority list. Below, I share my ideas for how to save money while exercising.
Get Creative with Your Time
One of my co-workers has soccer practice or goes paddle boarding in the morning before coming to work on Sundays (depending on the time of year). Another co-worker enjoys exercising at the Colorado sports center. I like to go for walks on the seawall across the street from work during my lunch periods.
Whatever you decide to do, know that you will need to make sacrifices. Maybe you sacrifice time spent watching TV or scrolling feeds on social media. Or maybe you sacrifice time spent socializing with your co-workers during your breaks.
Track Your Progress
It’s a widely held belief that what we focus on grows or expands. Tracking your progress can be as simple as getting a step counter to track how many steps you’re taking in a day (10,000 steps is my minimum target per day). Here are a few other ideas:
- Find someone to be accountable to. Check-in with a partner and update them on your progress.
- Use a device you wear on your wrist or strap to your clothing to track your heart rate, steps taken, and the amount of physical activity you experience.
- Have a calendar in a visible place where you put an X on each day you reach your fitness goals.
Check out the Stay in Shape While Staying on a Budget infographic from the resources section of the Loan & Go website for more information:
How to Save Money While Exercising
As the infographic above mentions, there are three ways to save money while exercising:
- Walk or run. These two activities are free and can be done any time of year. Malls are popular places for morning walks on days when the weather isn’t nice enough to go outside.
- Take part in a team sport. Team sports are great for accountability – people are counting on you to show up to practices and games. If you’re unable to commit to something like soccer, try setting up regular times to meet a friend or neighbour for a game of tennis or to ride your bikes together.
- Shop around before purchasing a gym membership. Some gyms allow you to pay for a drop-in session so that you can check out the gym and make sure it’ll work for your needs before you commit. Also check out leisure centres/community centres, which often have classes and swimming pools included in monthly gym membership rates.
What will you be doing this year to maintain an active lifestyle while staying on a budget?