I admit that when I think about getting into shape, losing weight and staying fit, my mind immediately pictures me swimming in a big olympic-sized pool, using fancy gym equipment with a personal trainer and running on an indoor track. At this point in my life and debt repayment process, this vision can’t come to fruition though. I can’t spend money on a fancy rec center membership, so I need to get back into shape without these resources. Though it may be slightly more difficult, depending on who you ask, it’s not impossible to get into shape with very little resources.
Via Flickr – cumi&ciki
- Run/Walk/Hike. This is my exercise of choice. Along with my sister-in-law, I am training for a 5k run right now. Walking is a part of my life everyday so I’m opting to take it up a notch and start running (more like jogging). For more calorie burning, I often opt to wear my little one in a carrier (while walking or hiking).
- Bike. I see my husband and I getting bikes when the little one is old enough to use one herself. We’re pretty into camping during the summer so having bikes would be a great way to travel through the campgrounds too.
- Play with kids/get outside. Don’t underestimate how many calories you burn running around with kids, playing at the playground, sports, or even raking huge piles of leaves to jump in! Gardening and home maintenance also count as exercise, as does walking the dog!
- Buy inexpensive home equipment. Now that I consider myself pretty committed to my walking and jogging routine, in the next few weeks I plan on looking at both the local thrift shops and big box stores for some cheap gym equipment such as a yoga ball and free weights to add to the mix.
- Search online classifieds. Searching your online classifieds can be a great resource for many things. You may be able to find a great piece of equipment you can buy used, some videos or even a ‘club’ or class to join. Our local running club advertises online as does a mommy walking club. Never hurts to check!
- YouTube/library DVD’s. YouTube as well as videos you can rent or download are great ways to get in shape. It has been recommended I try Jillian Michaels’ videos so I plan on going to the library (by walking there!) and borrowing a few.
- Free outdoor gym. I realize this depends on where you live, but in our city there are a few outdoor gyms. They are usually within parks and contain a few pieces of equipment that you can use to get fit (and are weather resistant). The local park here has about five pieces of equipment that are mostly for strength training but there is one cardio machine.
- Use your smartphone. I know you’re probably thinking this is the last thing an active person should be doing, but there are numerous apps that can help you stay in shape. Downloading a food app will help you count calories and also give you a feeling of progress for eating healthy. There are also a plethora of workout apps that can effectively suggest goals that fit your current state of health and schedule. If anything, having these apps will help remind you that you’re making an effort to stay in shape each time you check your smartphone.
Being active is so important for everyone. If you’re working towards a financial goal then it’s even more important that you get creative with how you stay active. While I like the idea of belonging to a rec center, I’m also working towards becoming a ”runner” so I have something wherever I go. As long as I have my shoes I should be good to go wherever I may be in the world. Investing a little time and money in your fitness can pay off in the long-run with better overall health, less medical conditions to worry about and overall better well-being.
How do you stay active and what does it cost you?