With 2017 a little over a week away, the New Year’s resolutions are starting to roll out in full effect. While everyone has their own specific goals relative to their personal lives, the two most common general goals every year are to spend less and exercise more. These are great goals to have, especially after the holidays when we’ve all indulged in one too many sugary treats and spent a little extra on gifts for our loved ones. Unfortunately, these two goals don’t always go hand-in- hand.
When it comes to the physical fitness goal, the first thing that pops into mind is to join a gym. Gyms around the world see massive surges of new memberships every year in January as millions of people embark on the quest for a new, defined body. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going to the gym, but if your second goal for the new year is to budget better, then another $50 per month coming out of your checking account is not the best way to start.
Luckily for you, there are tons of ways to achieve a healthy new body without the added monthly costs. Start by planning your goals, and then use some of the creative ideas below to get the workouts in motion.
Workout at home
If you’ve ever been on YouTube for longer than 15 seconds, you’ve probably scrolled past a workout video of some kind. The internet has made it easier than ever before to learn how to workout – all you have to do is perform a few searches online and you can become a workout pro in no time at all.
If you want to keep costs as low as possible, there are plenty of workout routines and videos that don’t require any equipment and can still get your blood pumping and your body sweating – meaning this option is completely free! However, if you have a little extra budget leftover from the holidays, a few pieces of home workout equipment can be a great investment for the long term.
You can stay simple with a set of dumbbells or resistance bands, or you can even step it up to something more comprehensive like a home gym. A home gym will be slightly more expensive up front, but its long-term value will be far better than any other equipment (and still much cheaper than the ongoing monthly costs of a typical commercial gym membership). If you’re a beginner and want more information, you can see the best home gyms here.
Hit the trails
If the idea of going to the gym sounds nice because it gets you out of the house, why not hit up your local trails for a hike? Hiking, or any general outdoor activities for that matter, can be a great way to improve your physical fitness without the conventional feeling of weightlifting or running on the treadmill. You could even change things up and take your bike to the trails, or just enjoy the scenic walk.
The important part is that you’re out and you’re exercising. And best of all? Heading to your local trails is 100% free, keeping your wallet as slim as your body.
Pick up a sport
Along the same vein as trail running, participating in a sport is another exercise-packed activity that can give you all the same physical benefits of the gym without the added costs. Now, you don’t have to go out and start playing tackle football with a bunch of college athletes, but playing a fun pickup game of soccer or basketball at your local park 3 times a week will have you shedding weight remarkably fast. If you have access to a pool, swimming laps is also a great alternative sport that can lean out your body through its muscular and cardiovascular demands.
The gym is a great place to get in shape, but as you can see, there are plenty of alternative options to get the sweat dripping from your body without shelling out a monthly membership fee. With that said, remember that workouts are just half the battle – you must also eat right in order to create the body you want. To combine with your low-cost workout efforts, check out our recent article on low-cost healthy eating.