Health & Wealth

How to Work Out on a Budget

Of all the justifications for skipping a workout, would you believe the most common is cost? You may think getting a good workout requires spending money on a gym membership, but there are alternatives. No, we’re not talking about blowing your budget in four payments of $24.99 on that new whatchamacallit you saw on late-night TV. Here are some to tips to meet both health and financial goals:

  • Do the heavy lifting with your budget first. Whatever your goals, check your overall finances to see what bad health behaviors might be costing you now in terms of immediate everyday costs or long-term impact on medical bills, like eating fast food for lunch most days a week.
  • Pick a workout you like. If you loved swimming or jogging as a kid, such sports might be a good place to restart your fitness regimen. If they require a facility, test it out for a few days to comparison-shop. If they’re offering specials, read the fine print carefully and try to stay away from long-term membership commitments if you can.
  • Explore the community. Community centers are great resources for inexpensive or free classes, and you might be surprised how many free public tennis courts, swimming facilities and other recreational spaces are available in your city or town, as well as regional, state or national parks.
  • Find buddies. Joining a fitness group doesn’t have to cost any money at all; you might make new friends and you’ll hopefully challenge and keep each other motivated.
  • Prepare your own meals. “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Working out is important to getting healthy, but eating properly can help you achieve results faster. One of the most effective ways to improve a diet, while saving money, is by preparing more meals at home.