As the new year continues rolling on, we must always keep in managing our budgets. Being fit does not always mean having an expensive gym membership, pricey exercise equipment and costly groceries from the natural-foods section of the store! In honor of the 2015 Financial Wellness Conference, I’m sharing three tips to help you reach your fitness goals, without putting a huge dent in your budget.
Fitness Budget Tip No. 1: The Best Things in Life Are Free
There are lots of great exercises that don’t cost a single penny. Walking and jogging are completely free, and competitive sports like basketball and soccer require only a place to play (usually public parks) and a single ball (which can usually be bought used at a discounted price). GUWellness sponsors free drop in yoga classes every Friday at Yates for Georgetown employees, and there are tons of other free classes around the city. All it takes is a little investigation to find some in your area.
Even playing on a golf course, which can get pricey, doesn’t have to break the bank. Many courses offer Frisbee golf, and beyond the cost of the Frisbee, it can be a really fun, thrifty way to burn some calories. And if you’re lucky enough to live near an ocean or a lake, you can swim as long as you want without paying any of those hefty membership fees.
Fitness Budget Tip No. 2: Leave the Car at Home
If you want to save some serious money, and get the blood pumping at the same time, one way is to look for alternative forms of transportation when getting around. The bus or subway is often cheaper than driving your car and you’ll get some exercise out of it—you do have to walk to the bus stop or subway station, after all. Best of all, if you live close enough to commute to work on your bicycle, not only will you save money on gas costs, but you’ll get in great shape in no time.
If you have to drive: Instead of fighting for a close parking space, take a space off the beaten path and add a few extra steps to your routine. Your body will thank you for it.
Fitness Budget Tip No. 3: Eat Healthy, Save Money
Fitness isn’t just about exercise—your diet is a crucial part of being healthy too. But there continues to be a perception that healthy eating has to be expensive. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The produce section of the grocery store is where you should be spending most of your shopping time. Most other parts of the grocery store not only contain expensive items but they tend to hold most of the artificial food that isn’t great for you.
By sticking to the produce section, you can pick up tasty fruits like apples, bananas and pears as cheap snack alternatives. And with items like beans, carrots, broccoli and lettuce often under $1 per pound. You can fill up your pantry without taking out a line of credit at the bank.
Hoyas Being Healthy
I had a chance to talk with a fellow Hoya, Jose Madrid, who has began taking his health more seriously over the last year with blogging as well. I have made and tried many recipes, but one I thoroughly enjoyed is the Warm Vegetable Salad. You can find more of his recipes and many great healthy living tips at http://www.monkeyandfox.com.
Since starting to blog last September, I have been getting amazing responses from the campus community. Many of you have great ideas and would like to know more about getting and staying fit. Let’s keep it going! Hit me up by email and let me know your thoughts or questions! LET’S BE HEALTHY HOYAS!!
Venus Davis is a fitness fiend and Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Research at Georgetown. She’ll be sharing her tips for a healthy lifestyle here on the blog, and invites you to join her for a run in the real world.