As I’m getting more and more busy with medical school this year, I’ve been cutting back on exercise. And unfortunately I’ve started to notice my jeans feeling a little tighter. So I’m adding exercise to my already long list of priorities, including (a) sticking to our strict budget (last month we spent $1200 less than our monthly average in 2013!!), (b) trying out some DIY home decor projects, and (c) actually studying once in awhile.
So, what are some ways to keep fit while living a frugal lifestyle?
1. Become a runner
I started running about four years ago during my Master’s degree and absolutely love it! I enjoy being outside and having some time to myself, away from the stressful and busy hospital. Check out this beautiful photo I took yesterday while enjoying a nice run – what’s not to love? And I’ve lost about 30 pounds once I took up running regularly. But I’ve gained back 5 lbs in the last few months, since I’ve decreased running 6 times per week to 2 or 3 (in a good week). If you are new to running, start with a small and realistic goal, like completing your first 5k. That’s how I started, and it took me a whole summer to be able to run that long straight. After that, if you catch the running bug, you can shoot for longer runs like a 10k or half marathon.
Total cost? $100 for new shoes every 400-500 miles, which for me is about every 4 or 5 months. And for newbies, you really don’t need to pay for a clinic as there are tons of free training programs online. As some examples, I personally like Hal Higdon and I know a lot of people like to start with Couch to 5k.
2. Do yoga at home
Yoga is great for your mind and body, and a great balance for runners like me. But yoga studio prices are outlandish!! You don’t need a fancy studio to embrace your inner yogi. Just grab a mat, and tune into a free yoga class online. My favorite site for this is www.doyogawithme.com, but there are also lots of videos available on youtube.
Total cost? Yoga mat – I actually received mine as a Christmas gift last year, so free! But you can find basic ones at Walmart or Target for $20 or so. You don’t need lululemon!
3. Grab some weights
Lifting weights at home is a great way to fit in 20 minutes of exercise if you’re as busy as I am. Mr. DG and I have built up a set of 5, 8, 10, 20 and 25 lb dumbbells at garage sales and Craigslist…they aren’t really a “set” because none of the weights match, but hey, they do the trick! And if you don’t have weights at home, that’s not an excuse! You can still do push ups and sit ups without any equipment.
Total cost? We’ve probably spent close to $50 on all the various weights, but still much less than an annual gym membership! And both of us can workout at home together, which can be fun 🙂
I hope this post gives you some ideas on how to work up a sweat without busting your budget! Now, time for me to get back at it!