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Get In Shape On A Tight Budget And Save Money

If you think the benefits of healthy living relate to your body and mind only, you’re missing out. It can boost your budget, too! Recent studies show that government figures put the estimated annual public cost of obesity at $9 billion dollars by the end of 2021.

What comes to mind when we think of getting in shape usually entails pricey gym memberships, costly fitness gear, and expensive organic food. The truth is, though, healthy habits are typically more affordable than medical bills associated with health issues. With a little creativity, it is possible to save money and get in shape at the same time.

Redefining What it Means to Get In Shape

Before we get into all the ways you can save money by living a healthy, affordable lifestyle, there is something really important to keep in mind. What it means to “get in shape” will look completely different for everyone. That’s because our “shape” is entirely unique to our individual body. Our genetic makeup, lifestyle, even our bank account balances all influence our physiques. Setting unrealistic goals can result in jumping off the treadmill before we even break a sweat.

It’s important not to get too hung up on the ideal body size. Getting in shape is about feeling better, not just looking better. And we shouldn’t do it alone. Get an exercise buddy to join you on your health journey. And always make sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new health or fitness regime.

How to Save Money While Eating Healthy

Experts’ number one tip for getting in shape is reevaluating your eating habits. Making major changes can be costly and ineffective, so consider these options for more gradual changes.

Portion Control
Eating healthy does not have to have an all-or-nothing approach as that approach often fails. Instead, try slowly incorporating healthier foods that you actually like into your meals. Portioning food items can go a long way in seeing real weight loss results and a change in your bank account. Planning your own meals will allow you to see how much you are eating and help with portion control. Cook at home and stick to your grocery list to avoid any temptation.

Choose a Meal Delivery Plan
On average, we spend $214 per person on our grocery bill every month, yet we waste most of it. An alternative is to try a meal planning service like Hello Fresh. This might help avoid any food waste or unhealthy options. 

Buy Smart
Smart shopping can help the pounds melt away. Buy produce based on what’s in season or purchase bulk frozen fruits and veggies. Only buy veggies you have plans for to avoid any waste. Even with the best of intentions, they may remain unused and go bad.  You can also focus on items that let you control the quantity you buy, like mushrooms or apples, so none go to waste. Last, look to low-sodium or no-added-sugar canned items for a longer shelf life.

How to Save Money While Staying Active

It doesn’t cost a thing to leave the couch potato life behind and get moving and staying active. There are a ton of free online, indoor, and outdoor possibilities. Joining a gym can also be a good option for the right price. Try to find a new membership discount when you sign up and actively use it so it doesn’t become a wasted cost.

No-Cost Activities

Free, No-Equipment Workouts
While digital workouts have long been a thing, when the pandemic hit, the need for free, online workout videos with no equipment became a necessity for many stuck at home. Which means even more ways to save money!

Fitness Blender: With hundreds of videos to choose from that can be searched by difficulty, length, type of training, and more, you’ll be able to grow with this popular YouTube channel for the duration of your fitness journey.

Do Yoga With Me: From breathing exercises to Pilates to yoga for kids, this channel features tons of videos for any and every skill level. While a mat is recommended, it is definitely not needed to get started. You can also use common, at-home items like chairs for balance and pillows for support.

Free Rentals from the Library
Did you know you can rent DVDs from the library? And that those DVDs include dozens of workouts? You can save money with studio-style classes, dance routines, and high-intensity workouts, to name a few. While you may have to do some searching to ensure you don’t need a bunch of equipment, renting is completely free. Just head to your local library and sign up for access.

Free Rec Leagues and Community Meet Ups
Whether your work has a recreational baseball league, or your friend needs a last-minute fill-in for a kickball or soccer game, rec leagues are often free to join and don’t require purchasing gear to get started. If those options aren’t open to you, consider finding your province on Meet Up, a site that lets you search for in-person events like nature or urban hiking, running, or even just city strolls. You’ll meet new like-minded people and grow your community, which is just as heart healthy as exercise.

Free Parks and Paths
Someone, somewhere, has called Canada the largest park in the world. Right? Well, we are! You can’t beat the Canadian landscape, from the British Columbia coast to quaint Newfoundland. But if the wild outdoors isn’t your thing, search this list of Canada’s best urban parks for one near you, grab your walking shoes, and check out the cityscapes while getting in shape.

Low-cost Activities

Find used equipment on Craigslist or Kijiji
Any time of year, you can find a load of used workout equipment for sale on sites like Kijiji. From resistance bands to free weights, there are plenty of items to choose from. Before you go buying, save money and a headache by checking out the free options listed above to see what kind of activities you enjoy the most, then stock up on the items that will help you take it to the next level.

Barter or Trade for Equipment
Do you have a fish tank that has not been filled in years? Or an older gaming station? Maybe you have a bicycle you bought that will never see you sit on it again. If you have something of value in your home, you can save money by trading for equipment instead of buying it. You never know what people may find valuable, so don’t hesitate to start the conversation with the seller.

Use Employer Discounts
Did you know that if an employee uses a gym or recreational facility, an employer can get a tax benefit if they pay, reimburse, or subsidize the cost of that membership? Because of that, employers will sometimes offer to fully or partially cover the cost of member dues. Make sure to ask your employer if such an offer is available to you.

All-Around Wellness

Your physical wellness has a big impact on your quality of life - but it doesn’t have to suffer because you are short on cash. Need money to tide you over so you can start improving your health and well-being today? 310-LOAN can help you get the cash you need within 30 minutes. Convenient payday loan options are available online with a hassle-free and easy application process. Get started on your fitness journey today!

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