We’re all feeling the crunch- taxes are higher, petrol is more expensive, and the cost of living just seems to be escalating. But does that mean that your health and fitness should suffer? NO! There are so many ways that you can stay fit and healthy while spending the minimum amount of money. Here are some tips:
Staying fit with no equipment/gym membership
It can be demotivating when you try to start an exercise programme, but all of the exercises call for equipment that you don’t have. While investing in a few key pieces (a mat, kettlebell, resistance band, etc.) can be great, it IS possible to do a workout at home, with no equipment. To ensure you have an effective workout, follow these tips:
- Set out a designated workout area. This should be free of distractions, and spacious enough not to impede your workout. Having a set area to work out in will help with your focus and discipline.
- Make use of body weight exercises. As a personal trainer, I have always been of the belief that functional, bodyweight exercise is the best. Functional exercise refers to any exercise that mimics movements that you would need to perform in your everyday life: for example, squats mimic the action of lifting something, or even of standing up off of your chair. Body weight exercises are exactly that: exercises using only your body weight. My favourite exercises include squats, push ups, lunges, burpees, plank and wall sits.
- Find a home-friendly workout program. Many personal trainers offer the service of designing exercise programmes specifically for you, using the resources that you have. This will help to keep you disciplined and provide structure to your workout, which will keep you seeing results!
- Look into group fitness classes. Generally, trainers will offer discount rates for large groups working out together. This means that for a fraction of the price, you can have a trainer come to your home and give you a quality workout.
*(For more information on home training programmes as well as group fitness training, have a look at our website)
- Get out. A great activity that involves no money or equipment is running. Or grab your friends and go for a hike. The fresh air will do you good, and it won’t break the bank.
Eating healthfully without blowing your budget
Many people are under the impression that eating properly is expensive. This simply isn’t true. With enough planning and knowledge, you can live a healthy lifestyle for a minimal amount of money.
- Buy fresh produce. A general rule that I give my clients is to stick to the outer perimeter of supermarkets. This is where most of the whole, unprocessed food is kept (which is often a lot cheaper than the processed alternative).
- Make your own meals. Any pre-made, packaged food is going to come with a steeper price. Rather than buying ready-made meals, try to do all of your cooking yourself.
- Buy bulk. If you can, buy bulk in things such as veggies and meat, which is often cheaper. If, like me, you live alone, don’t worry. Set aside a day for cooking, and meal prep. Cook enough for the week and simply freeze it. This will prevent wastage of food- and money!
- Choose pocket friendly options. I’ve found that some healthy foods are simply not worth the money- for example, asparagus and salmon. While very nutritious, these foods can be replaced by cheaper options. Often, “trendy” healthy food can be very expensive. Rather stick to the basics!
While it may require a bit more effort and planning, it is absolutely possible to stick to a healthy lifestyle when times are tough. Good luck!
by Chanel Serfontein