Nearly everyone has thought about getting healthy every once in a while. To exercise more is the number one New Year’s resolution for 2022 in the United States, followed by eating healthier and losing weight.
However, not everyone sticks to the habit for several reasons. You may have trouble letting go of some familiar habits or not having the time or budget to stick to a routine.
But believe it or not, staying fit and healthy doesn’t have to be as expensive as some fitness influencers might lead you to think. We’ve compiled our best tips for helping you start your fitness journey without breaking the bank.
1. Set Your Goals
Before doing anything else, you need to be clear about your goals. Do you want to build muscle? Lose fat? Or are you aiming to join a 5K run in the next month?
The key to this step is making your goals substantial yet realistic. If you haven’t run in a while, expect the first week or so to be quite challenging.
Instead of forcing yourself to run for an hour straight on your first day, try aiming for a 20-minute run, and then work your way until you reach your target.
2. Try to Cut Down on Unhealthy Habits
A good exercise routine may help you get healthier, but holding on to any unhealthy habits or substances could derail your progress.
Quitting substances like excessive sugar, nicotine, or alcohol could be challenging, especially if you have developed a dependence. You could look into quitting cold turkey or finding alternatives to ease you off certain substances slowly.
For example, if you’re a cigarette smoker, you could try out the nicotine-free, tobacco-free cigarettes from Oklahoma Smokes, which will aid in the quitting process.
3. Spend Time Outdoors
The pandemic has pushed us indoors for the past two years, and most of us have gotten used to it. Going out isn’t something we do every day anymore, and if we do, it’s usually only when necessary.
But as public parks and spaces open up, it’s good to take the opportunity to experience the outdoors. It gets you on your feet and is an excellent way to get some free exercise and fresh air. Taking walks around a few blocks gets you moving and counts as exercise.
If you live near a park or hiking trail, that’s even better. Aside from getting physical exercise, spending time in nature also benefits your mental health, reducing stress and promoting mental healing.
4. Work Out at Home
If you’re not comfortable going out to exercise, you could also opt to stay at home. Getting a complete workout at home is entirely possible, even with household objects.
For example, you could use stools and chairs for tricep dips, water bottles as weights, or a beach towel as an exercise mat. You could also piece together a modest home gym for personal use if you have some extra cash.
5. Maximize Free Resources
With all the world’s information at our fingertips, you don’t need to pay for a gym membership or a personal trainer to start working out.
Websites like YouTube have a wealth of free workout videos for people of all skill and fitness levels. You could find free fitness programs, dance classes, and tons of other tutorials and guides to help you out.
You could also browse your phone’s app store for fitness apps and guides to help you through the day. There are apps for workout guides and videos, tracking your miles, meal planning, calorie counting, etc.
6. Do Meal Prep
Alongside regular exercise, staying healthy also involves eating healthy. You don’t have to go all-out immediately with the protein shakes and chia bowls (unless you want to), but do make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition from your food.
One way to consistently eat healthily is through meal prepping. You could plan your meals for a week or a month and then shop accordingly. Buying in bulk is also an excellent way to save money on groceries.
7. Stick With What Works
Lastly, remember that staying fit is a lifestyle. Throughout your journey, stick with the practices that produce results and work with your way of life.
The “perfect routine” tends to vary from person to person, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things, as long as you don’t give up on taking care of yourself.