The new year is when many people think about getting fit. For the rest of the year, there are other occasions where weight loss is important as in just before summer, in preparation for a wedding, or to take a cruise. Getting fit can cost you a whole lot of money, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to get fit without going broke.
1. Join a gym. Joining a gym makes sense for most people as the equipment they need is already there and the impetus to go usually comes from one or more friends. If you aren’t sure about a particular gym, ask management for a trial visit. Typically, this means allowing you to use the facilities for upwards of a week and at no cost to you. If you like the gym, then register. If not, continue to shop around.
2. Consider your discounts. Does your employer encourage employees to work out? If so, you may find that you’re eligible for a sizable gym discount, merely by flashing your employee card. Contact your Human Resources department to find out if a discount plan is in the offing and at which gyms, advises Fitness 19.
3. Do without a personal trainer. Serious exercise mavens insist on using a personal trainer to help them achieve their goals. Costing a small mint each time you use one, having a personal trainer may no longer be necessary if you have already reached your goals. Sure, parting can be bittersweet, but if your budget cannot accommodate a trainer, than go with the savings and bid him or her adieu.
4. Ride your bicycle. Investing in a bicycle will set you back by about $300 plus $50 or more for a helmut. Ride your bicycle to work, take it to the store, or use it simply for exercising. It is one of the more cost effective ways to exercise and one that builds cardiovascular strength too.
5. Fundraise for your health. Another way to enjoy a fun workout is to participate in a race, a triathlon or other event with the goal to assist a nonprofit organization. You’ll pay a fee for registering, but that cost is often partially offset by the funds you raise. Ask your friends to support your efforts, by contributing funds to fight cancer, feed the hungry, help poor children, provide storm relief, and so forth. Tie these events in with your exercise regimen and you’ll enjoy the benefits of both.
6. Shop for clothes. You’ll need the right foot wear, shirts, pants, socks, bands, gloves and other gear when working out. Chances are you have at least some apparel useful for working out, so start there. Then, when you need to add or expand your collection, be prepared to shop hard for the bargains. Start with stores such as Target, WalMart, and Kohls, to find deals. Merchants such as Old Navy, Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx shouldn’t be overlooked. Shop the sporting goods stores when they’re running specials and always check Amazon to find the latest deals.
7. Visit consignment shops. Some people simply cannot bear to consider consignment shops, purveyors of (mostly) gently used clothes. No worries — the clothing accepted at the better shops are in excellent condition, clean, and fashionable. It is a hit or miss proposition at such stores and that means frequent trips may be necessary to find exactly what you want. The better items are about half the cost of what they were when new. But if want to save more, then a visit to Goodwill or to the Salvation Army is in order.
Of course, the best way to save money is to not spend any. That’s not an option for most people, but frugality can help you carefully pick what works best for you.