Amid all the financial advice out there, cutting costs is one top nugget of wisdom. To succeed in this, find ways to save money on habitual goods and services that can otherwise sabotage your efforts.
One of the best expenditures to target is your fitness regimen. Whether you're a hobbyist or a champion weightlifter (or most likely, somewhere in between), there's room to save cash. Here are 8 unexpected ways to cut costs while keeping fit.
- Trade the gym membership for an at-home program. A yearlong contract will usually run you a cumulative $400-$500, but many at-home workout programs can be found for free, especially if you're scouring the online classifieds. Better yet, check out the treasure trove of free online instructional videos.
- Use your library or community center. Often groups assemble free-of-charge to walk, jog, dance, or bike together. Many times, the origin of these groups is the library. If you don't see one there, start one yourself.
- Drop in on classes. Almost every fitness class lets guests visit one or two times to determine whether they're a good fit. Test them out -- all of them -- and by the time you've made the rounds, you'll know exactly which one, if any, is best for you. As a courtesy, phone ahead and be sure there's room for a spontaneous drop-in. Squeezing these provisional classes into your regular routine has a host of benefits: your muscles will be surprised at the unfamiliar movements, you'll meet new friends and best of all, you won't spend a dime.
- Check your corporate perks. Many companies offer a gym membership reimbursement option as a job benefit, so phone your human resources department to see if your company does something similar. If not, take a few days to build a case, complete with a petition, to present to the company's directors. It's always worth asking for good health.
- Use your own body weight. So many muscles can be targeted with just a few changes to classic exercises. Take for example, the iconic push-up. Researchers at Eastern Illinois University have found that when subjects made small variations in hand and feet placement, "...significant differences existed in force variables and muscular activity." In other words, you can get a great workout by creating an endless list of exercise variations at home.
- Make your steps count. Find ways to add extra steps into your daily routine. Instead of the first parking spot, park a few back and get those extra steps. Instead of taking the elevator to the second floor, take the stairs.
- Jog your dog. Instead of letting Fido do his or her thing in the yard, connect with your dog each morning by taking a jog. Each time you come to stop lights, do a series of lunges until you're clear to cross. Not only will your dog love his or her new routine, and your wallet will, too.
- Use online coupons and promotions. A quick internet search turns up a number of gym membership options to save you cash - from BOGO passes to sign-on discounts and even freebies like personal training sessions.
Staying physically healthy effects every area of your life, so it's important to keep up the good work. However, there are so many ways to save money at the same time. Use these ideas to crunch, lunge and jog your way to wellness without spending a fortune.
Image Source: Flickr