Getting Fit on a Shoestring Budget
Is it, that you do not have the cash to spend on a fitness regime?
Or do you think that spending time and money on fitness is a waste?
Firstly, if you are in category two, I would say time and money, is easier spent on prevention rather than a cure. Also, you will lead a more energetic and productive life if you are healthy.
But, if you are, say a student and just do not have the dough, not to worry, read on further to see how you can start a fitness program on a shoe-string budget:
Let us break it down into two sections:
1) Mobile –
For starters, almost all mobile phones, nowadays are smartphones. So, this is a great place to start. There is a multitude of mobile apps available in the Google play store or Itunes store that can help you in getting fit.
Let’s see what apps are worth having:
My Fitness pal –
A Free app that will record the number of calories you are expending daily. This even synchronises with certain fitness trackers. You can also log in what you are consuming. And as this app has a large database of food items, it is relatively easy to use.
Spotify Running –
It detects your running speed and plays music with the same tempo.
Activity Tracker –
Native to Apple. This app can track your steps, calories, distance travelled, etc.
Weight watchers –
The official app that helps you track your weight loss journey and even share it with friends. It is points based. The app is even compatible with the apple watch.
There are numerous other apps that might be worth checking out. let me know if you are using any, that you find awesome. You can leave some comments to that effect.
2) A home gym –
You really do not need too much equipment when you are working out from home. You might find it surprising, but you can get a great workout just by using your own body weight.
You might want to invest a bit of cash for a few pieces of equipment. However, you do not need to buy too much.
- Workout Mat,
- Dumbbells – she uses a 3kg
- Skipping rope
- iPhone or iPad
However, this equipment could vary with your fitness goals.
Alternatively, you could:
3) Join a gym without the frills –
There are quite a few, no frills gyms around, which are basic without the air conditioning, open air, or in some college premises. These gyms tend to be cheaper than the gyms offering you everything and anything under the sun.
A word of caution, though, check if the equipment and locality are safe before you commit.
4) Using Nature to assist you –
You can also just find an open ground or park, which is not restricted to do a few basic exercises.
Nicola uses an activity monitor called Misfit Shine, to track her daily steps walked. She says that we should aim to walk 10,000 steps daily. And do not worry, these steps add up quickly.
I have personally used a gadget called Fitbit.
It is a device you wear on your wrist like a wrist watch, and it monitors your daily activity. It can be synched with your laptop or mobile phone to give you data on your daily activity.
However charging the device gave me a problem and then I just lost interest in using it.
5) Add in extra activity throughout your day –
Now, these ideas also work for people who are fighting for time in their daily lives.
Firstly analyse your day and see how you can add in a few extra physical activities.
This might mean taking the stairs at home or work, instead of the elevator. I for one, always take the stairs, unless I am really tired. This has been one of the reasons I have maintained my weight for the past 20 odd years. I have been in the ideal zone of 75 kgs all these years. 🙂
If you take the bus, you can also try getting off one or two stops prior to your destination and walking the rest of the way.
Another Idea would be to take a bicycle instead of the car for short distance, or just walk all the way.
The ultimate goal is to increase your physical activity.
You might even want to try swimming, which is a great way to get fit.
6) Eating local produce –
The media is full of exotic stuff filled with various health claims. Some have their value and others are full of hype. Now to cut to the chase you can always find local fruits and vegetables giving you similar benefits and because they can get to your table (after being produced) faster than the exotic variety, they usually are more nutritious.
These items will be cheaper too as they have to travel less and you will not be paying for their transport.
How do you know which local produce to choose? The answer is simple, just see which fruits and vegetable resemble the exotic variety in colour and appearance. They should have similar properties. You can even do a bit of research into this area.
You might like to read an article that I had written for the American Fitness Professionals and Associates, titled “Facts about the colours of fruits and vegetables that you should know”.
7) Protein Powder substitutes –
No money for Protein powder. No problem…eat the real stuff
For example, eat eggs close to a workout. Eggs not only are dirt cheap compared to protein powders but also have other nutrients which can do you good. Only limit the egg yolks, to prevent high cholesterol. I ideally eat only one egg yolk per day, no matter how many eggs I consume.
Good old Chicken is the next best thing. Just stay away from the deep-fried and fast food kind.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, there are various plant based proteins which are relatively cheap. However, you would have to get a variety of these elements to get a complete protein profile.
Further reading – 3 Steps to getting enough Protein, for maintaining your health.
You might be wondering, what about slow acting and fast acting protein. This debate about the varied kinds of proteins can go on. But these ideas can be your best option, on a low budget.
Hope this article was of some help. Fell free to tell me your experiences with getting fit on a budget. You can comment with your views.