Healthy Living: Get Fit for Less
By: Christian Gordun
It finally feels like spring has sprung, which means the time has come to shed those heavy layers and throw on something a little lighter (and shorter). But if you’re not feeling totally psyched about showing some skin or you can’t stand the thought of trying on a bikini, we’ve got several quick fix ideas to help you get in shape without putting a dent in your wallet.
Ditch the Gym
Whether you don’t want to (or can’t) pay expensive monthly gym fees, you’d rather not wait 30 minutes to use the treadmill or you just need to breathe some new life into your exercise routine, expand the way your workout with these ideas from FitSugar. We love the notion of taking a hike or bike ride with a friend, participating in a free yoga class (offered by programs like Yoga Across America and the sportswear company Lululemon) or trying one of FitSugar’s own web workouts hosted by celebrity trainers.
Maximize Incidental Exercise
We get it. Sometimes you just can't be motivated or you’re too busy to get in an entire workout. But there are a lot of other ways to burn calories. Americans love their cars, but instead of driving to the store, try walking or biking. If you do need to drive because of distance, park in a spot farther away from your destination so you are forced to walk more steps. Another easy way to get your heart rate up is to choose the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
Eat Healthy on a Budget
We all know that eating healthy is a tried and true way to stay slim, but it can be harder on your wallet. The USDA website has helpful tips to smart snacking on a budget; they suggest creating a weekly meal plan before you shop, making meals like soups, salads and stews to “stretch” expensive items into more portions, and shopping when you’re not hungry or rushed, as this will help you avoid impulse buying and easy to eat junk food.
If you’re looking for specific ingredients to incorporate into your diet that won’t break the bank, check out Real Simple’s slideshow of healthy foods that cost less than $1 per serving. Hearty staples like lentils and brown rice will last in your pantry and can be bought in bulk, while navel oranges and baby carrots are packed with vitamins and minerals and make nutritious alternatives to unhealthy snacks.