We all know the importance of your physical health. It’s a vital component to a long and healthy life. But in a multi-billion dollar industry filled with misinformation and manipulation, it can seem like you have no other option than forking out a bunch of cash in hopes of getting fit. If you’ve got the resources to hit up the big gyms and expensive equipment, then go for it! But there are budget fitness options out there if you’re looking to break a sweat without breaking the bank.
Walking is a criminally underrated exercise. It offers many of the same benefits of running, like improved heart health and weight loss, but without the stress to your joints. It is an excellent boon to your mental health too, which can help when you’re stressing about other things. By walking just a little bit each day, you can reduce your stress and release the good stuff like endorphins and serotonin to help improve your mood.
All you need is a route and a pair of shoes, and you’re away laughing! If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated or entertained on your walk, try listening to a pumped up playlist or use an app to gamify your walk. Adding in stairs or an incline can also keep things interesting and increase the health benefits you gain.
Remember to look for other ways to incorporate more walking into your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, get off a couple of stops earlier if you’re catching the bus or park your car further away than you usually do. It all adds up.
And when you’re sick of walking? You can be brave and give running a go.
The internet might be a tough place to be at times, but the amount of information you have access to is super beneficial and empowering when you’re looking to improve your fitness. Whether it’s following along to one of YouTube’s horde of fitness channels, or downloading one of the many free workout apps out there, you should be able to find a form of exercise that works for your preferences and circumstances.
And when you want to go offline? You’ll have a bunch of community resources waiting for you. Remember to check out your local library for their books and other media on exercise. If you’re wanting to get out and about with other people, see what neighborhood exercise groups you could join — there’s always a running or tai chi club that would be happy to have you.
Sometimes it’s nice to have the motivation of being surrounded by others, but not having to interact with them (it’s okay to be antisocial sometimes). If that sounds more your speed, you might like to try something like Parkrun out. Parkrun is a weekly event where you run a designated track and log your time to compare against others all around the globe, and it’s all for free!
A little bit of investment at the beginning of your fitness journey goes a long way, but you can still keep costs down by getting your hands on some cheap exercise equipment for home that you can continue to use as you improve or when you need to spice things up.
Exercise balls are an excellent tool for building core strength and improving your flexibility. Resistance bands might seem low-tech, but a variety of different resistance exercises can be done for many body parts and they can be strapped up anywhere in your house. Dumbbells can be a slight expense right out of the gate, but there’s no limit to the amount of exercises you can do with just a couple different weights.
When all else fails, you’d be surprised how much you can get your muscles pumping just by using household products. You can use cans, books and water bottles in place of dumbbells and a dining chair works pretty well for tricep dips. And by using what you already own, it can be part of a sustainable lifestyle too!
*Remember to do your research before you start a new exercise routine, and consult a medical professional for any serious health concerns.
Chloe is PocketSmith’s Content Marketing Specialist, and she loves that she gets to combine her love of telling stories and technology. In the office, she’s drafting a pun-filled post or debating emojis. Outside of the office, she’s collecting comic books, listening to music and suffering through Bulgarian split squats at the gym.