Since entering the health/fitness world & starting to blog — I have seen so many incredible people out there kicking butt every day. But, as a relatively new college graduate, saving to go back, working two jobs & saving for a wedding all while trying to make ends meet — it’s not all very practical. But, I say to heck with all that! There are plenty of awesome & easy ways to stay both healthy, active, & fit on the CHEAP! Not all of us can afford a several hundred dollar treadmill for the spare office, or a $40 monthly gym membership that you don’t even use enough to justify the cost….. Or buy fancy brand named organic products at Whole foods. Think it isn’t possible to stay healthy with out these expensive things? WRONG.
- Sing in the shower. Studies have linked singing in the shower to lowering heart rate, decrease blood pressure, & aiding in relieving stress… Plus it’s totally fun! (except maybe when your fiance is still trying to sleep & you’re bellowing away… Who, Me? Never ;P )
- Make friends with Greek yogurt. Yogurt has all kinds of good for you bacteria that helps build your immune system & aid in recovery from intense workouts!
- Eat breakfast every day. Don’t ask questions, just get into it. It jump starts your body & mind, assuming you eat a healthy breakfast. No, 2 cream filled donuts do not count.
- Make time for yoga. Not only does yoga stretch you out & make you more limber… It’s been proven time & time again to help relive stress, clear your mind, & aid with sleep!
- Slllllllllowwwwwwww down when you’re eating. It is not a race to see who can eat the fastest. If you eat at a slower pace, I promise your body will let you know when it’s had enough!
- Carry a water bottle with you. Hydration is key & you’ll be surprised how water will maintain a ‘full’ feeling
- Frozen and/or Canned Fruits & Veggies. Not as good as the fresh stuff, but when you’re living dime to dime, it’s the next best thing! Drain the syrup & lightly rinse canned fruit for the healthiest eating
- Work near by? Live on or near campus? WALK to work. Going to the grocery store? Hop on the bike or park at the very back & walk the extra steps to the entrance. I don’t think I need to explain the benefits of this!
- Find healthy friends. It’s incredible just how easily & quickly someone who doesn’t care about their health can make you start caving. They want fast-food, you’re together so to make things easier you both stop at the same place. Healthy like-minded people will not only avoid this, but will also motivate you to stay on top of your game. Not to mention how awesome it is to have a workout buddy!
- Add fruits & veggies to EVERY meal
- Hummus. Hummus. Hummus. This super food is not only cheap, but it’s a HEALTHY replacement for mayo, miracle whip and many other condiments that add fat and calorie too quickly! The Chick Peas are high in Vitamin C and Iron. Add it with some whole grains and it’s considered a whole protein! It’s also insanely delicious & in my opion ADDICTIVE! My favorite brand is Sabra. They have tons of flavors on the CHEAP. As low as $2.00!
- Buy ‘plain’ foods. You can do literally anything with some lean chicken or tofu.
- If your cereal changes your milk from white to pink or brown, don’t eat it. Not only are you spending a ton of money, on NOTHING – you’re also literally putting empty calories into your body.
- Use savings cards. The difference is huge! A lot of places even offer sweet benefits for using their savings cards! Like if you spend a certain amount you’ll get something free, or my personal favorite GAS DISCOUNTS!
- Buy Seasonal! Produce is cheaper when it’s in season (no brainer, you’d think!) Not to mention the produce is about a zillion times more fresh.
- Invest in a Resistence band – I don’t know how many of you are like me, but I’m working two jobs just to barely make ends meet and I don’t have the money for a fancy treadmill in my office, or to have a super-de-duper membership to a fancypants gym. My gym is great, but it’s by no means the top of the line & I’ve even been considering dropping the expense all together. So, I invested a whooping $20 on a resistence band so I can do my workouts in the comfort of my own home, for $0 a month! There are a trillion exercises you can do with the bad boys!\
- Antipasto ramen salad: With ramen, pepperoni, black olives, onion, & Italian dressing, you’ll find yourself with a great ramen salad.
- Free Workout videos – SparkPeople, Youtube, Netflix (although yes, you have to pay for netflix, hwoever if you already have it…. Bodda bing, bodda boom! Etc etc. There are GREAT free resources out there. We are lucky to live in a society where people want to share their wealth of information & knowledge. Also, The Library has a variety of fitness and health DVDS/videos on hand at any given time!
- Jump Rope – $5 max. Or you can make your own. It’s nuts how good for you jumping rope can be (10 year old me is really upset about this, because I used to do it for the sake of jumping rope & being awesome)
- The Great Outdoors. The world is our biggest resource. TAKE ADVANTAGE! It’s what it’s there for. Go for a walk, either by yourself, with friends or a loved one, or your dog! Or if you feel up to the challenge go for a jog or run! Even on days that my runs stink, (which are more often than I like to admit) I have never regretted getting out there! I’ve only regretted staying indoors.
- Generic Brands can be just as good for you as the brand name! GASP! What??? You mean I can buy the cheap version of the exact same thing? 9 times out of 10… YES. Read the ingredients, of course… but most of the time you are simply buying the name.
- Need some inspiration on cheap healthy eats? Check out Super College Chef – It’s a little piece of awesomesauce!
Of course, these are only SOME of the trillions of ways you can stay fit & healthy on a dime! There are a million more ways & you can always come up with your own!
What are YOUR suggestions for staying healthy on a tight budget?