You don’t need to break the bank getting in shape. You can affordably get into shape by making some simple changes to your exercises.
Fitness and finances are two aspects of life that many people struggle to improve. In fact, the questions “How to lose weight” and “How to make money” are among the 25 most-searched questions on Google!
Improving your fitness and your finances involves forming good habits, being consistent, and putting in the work.
Make no mistake, becoming fit is tough, but over time, you can do it.
What if I told you that you could address both fitness and finance simultaneously?
All of these tips to save money and get in shape have one thing in common: they are all tips you can implement today.
In this post, I will be sharing with you 9 ways you can save money while getting in shape. Let’s get into it!
9 Affordable Ways to Get in Shape to Save Money
Getting in shape can be very affordable. While having a fancy gym membership, spending hundreds on supplements, and buying the most expensive equipment might seem like you are getting closer to your goals, these aren’t necessarily for your fitness.
Below are 9 ways you can get in shape and spend less getting fit on a budget:
- Set a daily steps goal for yourself
- Explore the great outdoors
- Change your commute
- Start with bodyweight exercises
- Make the most of your gym membership
- Buy supplements appropriate for your goals
- Research and find free workout plans online
- Find a side hustle which uses exercise
- Become healthy and save money over time
Let’s dive into each of these awesome money saving tips below.
Walking is Free, Set a Daily Steps Goal
Walking is free and a great way to get your heart rate going.
While you may not become the next World’s strongest person, walking is the most common and budget-friendly way to improve your health. Walking is simple, enjoyable, easy to implement and, most importantly, easy to measure.
One of my favorite quotes is:
“What gets measured, gets managed.” – Peter Drucker
By setting a daily step goal and measuring this goal, you can start to improve your fitness over time.
A common goal that people set is 10,000 steps a day.
However, I think it’s more realistic to first track how much you currently walk, and then create a goal based off that.
The simple act of walking more has been shown to have health benefits such as lowered risk of heart problems, improved mood, and improved cardiovascular fitness.
You can get a FitBit or a similar fancy watches, but even a typical smartphone is accurate enough for most people’s purposes.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Our earth is beautiful. Find some time to enjoy it!
Find some time to take a break from everything and walk outdoors, even if it’s just for half an hour.
Depending where you live and how much time you have, you can find time to go to a beautiful trail or natural park near you. I personally do believe it pays off to be a traveler in your home region.
If you enjoy biking, kayaking, running, or hiking, all of these are possible as well!
By implementing exploring the area around you, you will:
- see the beautiful world ,
- improve your health through exercise
- hardly spend a dime!
Getting outside and into nature is such a great way to be active.
Change your Commute to Bike or Walking if Possible
If you live close to work, it is very possible that you can save money and improve your fitness by biking or walking to work.
“Active transportation” is the practice of using walking or cycling as a mode of transportation, and it’s all the rage among municipalities, engineers, and urban planners these days.
These people want to make it easier for you to bike or walk to work!
I urge you to seriously consider it if it’s a possibility to you, even if you only do it occasionally on a nice spring day.
Not only do you improve your fitness level and overall health while commuting, but you’re also saving money indirectly.
The operating cost of a bicycle is cheaper than transit, and almost negligible when compared to the cost of a car.
Want to Lift Weights? Start With Bodyweight Exercises
Many times, people start with bodyweight exercises for resistance training before lifting weights.
Do you want to know the best part about bodyweight exercises? You don’t need access to a gym!
These exercises can give noticeable strength improvements but don’t require any expensive equipment.
If you’re looking to start getting in shape but don’t want to take the leap into a gym, this could be for you.
Examples of common bodyweight exercises include:
Personally, I love bodyweight exercises, and don’t have a gym membership anymore. Over time, I’ve been able to work up to 50 push-ups and squats in a row!
Make The Most of Your Gym Membership
You can do a few things to get your money’s worth out of a gym membership if you already have one.
Getting the most out of your gym membership is all about getting the maximum value out of it.
Going to the gym more will not only help get you in shape, it’ll also help maximize the value of your money!
Quite simply, the cost per use decreases the more you go to the gym.
Say you and your friend both sign up at a gym that costs $40 per month.
If your friend goes once a week, they’re paying $10 per use, which sounds pretty wasteful. However, if they go three times a week, you’re paying $3.33 per use; a much more reasonable figure!
Going to a gym sometimes will be the best way for you to get in shape. Just make sure you are using your gym pass and going enough to make it worth it!
Also, it is possible that you could negotiate your monthly rate if you aren’t signed in to a contract. Or, at the very least, you can get a free add-on thrown in like towel service.
A good business recognizes this small loss is worth it for them to retain you as a client (and recurring revenue). Use that to your advantage by taking on a little negotiation!
Sometimes as well, depending on your health insurance, you can get membership reimbursements if you go to the gym enough – a great money saver!
Beware of Emptying Your Wallet on Supplements
It’s no secret; supplements cost a heck of a lot of money! It certainly can be overwhelming seeing all the different products out there with all these recommendations from the “pros”.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret though: there is no supplement that will make up for poor nutrition and/or a lack of exercise.
It’s in the name… they’re called supplements, not replacements!
If you’re looking for change, both you and your wallet will be better off focusing on exercise and nutrition first.
Note that there is one prominent exception (in my non-professional opinion): protein powder is arguably one of the most cost-effective and efficient sources of protein out there! I’ve also had success with creatine, but this supplement isn’t for everyone.
This being said, all of these ingredients and nutrients you can easily get from chicken, steak, nuts, fish, and other high quality foods.
Check the Internet Before Dropping Money on A Fitness Program
There is SO much FREE information out there on the internet.
Doing some searching on Google or YouTube, you can find a plan and fitness program which aligns with your goals.
This advice can probably be applied to just about any niche, including personal finance.
Even for a beginner, there are an abundance of quality workout programs available online for free.
One program I loved doing was a 21 day bodyweight circuit from Paleohacks.
There is an abundance of paid resources online in the fitness world: virtual coaching, online courses, webinars, and all other forms of content that people sell online.
Before you even consider dropping money on them, I highly recommend you look online for FREE resources which will likely bring you just as much value.
Looking for a Side Hustle? Pick One That Has You On Your Feet
Most of this article has focused on how to save money while exercising.
With this tip, you can take it to the next level by finding a way to make money while getting in shape.
The U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise. You can easily do that while getting paid for it at the same time!
There are many side-hustles which aren’t sedentary in nature. A few examples include:
- Bicycle delivery (i.e. Uber Eats)
- Sports referee for local recreational leagues
- Small handy-work gigs (i.e. TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, or even Craigslist)
- Dog walking
- Helping people move out of their house or apartment
There are so many opportunities out there to make more money. Being resourceful and creative will help you make more money, which will in turn improve your financial situation.
Save Money by Exercising!
The act of exercising can and will save you money over time.
You will indirectly save money on healthcare over your lifetime as a result of being in better overall health. This is a concept that has been studied by economists and health care professionals on a higher level, with governments trying to find a way to promote healthy lifestyles that in return reduce healthcare costs.
Take a look at this press release from the Ministry of Health in British Columbia, Canada, which is just one such example of the above.
The above argument is also a key argument for the promoting of active transportation by local governments; this can result in funding for infrastructure that makes it easier to walk or bike to your destination.
With less costs over time spent on your healthcare, you’ll be able to save more money.
Get in Shape on a Budget with these Money Saving Tips!
With these ideas in hand, you can tackle the task of getting exercise without having to break the bank. Getting in shape on a budget is possible, and you now have the strategy and knowledge to do so.
Getting exercise can even go as far as having a net benefit on your wallet, as mentioned above! While none of these ideas will produce overnight results, by applying some of the tips above, you will see gains.
Fitness and finance are both areas where results can take a long time to come to fruition.
However, with simple daily disciplines, you can achieve any goal you set your mind to. What are you waiting for?
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”
Readers: what are some tips you have for getting in shape on a budget?