These are the cheapest ways to lose weight and save money on your workouts – because making money, saving more money, losing weight, and keeping the weight off are some of my favorite topics!
Achieving goals isn’t about being rich and skinny (but wouldn’t that be sweet) — it’s about being financially comfortable and physically healthy.
And that’s what this article is all about: saving money while losing weight.
Before the tips, a quip:
“If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies.” ~ Elmer Rice.
Striving to be skinny won’t give you a beautiful body, and it won’t make you happy. Instead, strive to be physically fit and strong. My favorite way to burn calories and stay slim is the 10 Minute Solutions DVDs — you can work out for as long or as short as you’d like. I particularly like Kickbox Bootcamp because it combines strength training, cardio, kick boxing, and “burpees.” I love it! And the best part is that they don’t cost much. Same with these tips — they cost almost nothing. If you’re serious about saving money on your workouts, here are seven cheap ways to lose weight…
7 Cheap Ways to Lose Weight and Save Money on Your Workouts
1. Swap your exercise equipment and workout DVDs with a friend. This is one of my favorite weight loss tips: dig out your old exercise ball or old Wii Fit games, and trade them for your friend’s yoga mat or Pilates DVDs. You’ll save money, try new fitness activities, and be more accountable for working out more regularly (especially if you and the person you swap exercise equipment with vow to keep each other disciplined!).
2. Stop buying new workout clothes! A friend of mine starts a new exercise regime every few months, and shops for brand new exercise clothes every time! Lululemon, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Nike — she buys all the brand names. And, she spends a ton of money on clothes that she plans to sweat buckets in. To save money on your workouts, exercise in preloved clothes. I buy all my workout gear at a local thrift store, and I don’t care if they get sweaty or dirty.
3. Practice NEAT exercise. “Naturally thin people never stop moving,” says personal trainer and Pilates instructor Fawn Gill. “Even in their seats, they shift and fidget. This is known as non-exercise activity time, or NEAT.” She says constant movement burns calories and raises the metabolism. Thin people are often fidgety, never staying still, always moving…and that’s a great way to lose weight without spending money! To learn more from Gill, read Fat Loss Tips From a Personal Fitness Trainer (by the way, she taught the first Pilates class I ever took, which gave me a solid foundation for working out with the 10 Minute Solutions Pilates DVDs).
4. Quit the health club or gym — especially in the summer. Many gyms, health clubs, or fitness centers cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Plus, many people stop going a few weeks after spending money on their gym memberships. “Gyms count on the likelihood that most members stop going, at least regularly, after a few weeks or months but are still stuck paying monthly dues until the contract runs out,” write the authors of The Smart Cookies’ Guide to Making More Dough and Getting Out of Debt. A cheap way to lose weight is to use municipal or community facilities or recreation centers.
5. Exercise outdoors — even in the winter. A 45 minute run or walk in the fresh air — even through the snow — instead of a stuffy gym can burn more fat, improve blood flow, and keep your brain alert. Plus, sunshine increases serotonin and vitamin D levels, which help keep your weight stable. And turning off the treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationary bicycles can reduce national energy consumption levels. This isn’t just a great way to save money on your workouts, it’s also eco-friendly!
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6. Make your meals and snacks from scratch. One of the cheapest weight loss tips is to cook all your meals at home. It’s the only way to know exactly what’s in your food, why it’s there, and what you can reduce or eliminate without sacrificing taste. Muffins from coffee shops and Caesar salads in restaurants are perfect examples of high-fat foods that can be made at home – they’ll contain half the calories and cost a fraction of the store-bought price.
And, remember that losing weight is about what you eat more than how much you exercise. Read What is More Important When You Want to Lose Weight – Exercise or Diet?
7. Join a hiking, biking, or triking group — or start one. “Before you join a gym, consider organizing a group of friends for daily or weekly walks, runs, hikes, or bike rides instead,” write the money experts in The Smart Cookies’ Guide to Making More Dough. “This way you can be social and be fit — and working out with friends will give you added incentive to stick to your exercise regime.”
For more weight loss tips, read How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight – One Bite at a Time.
If you have any thoughts on these tips for losing weight and saving money on your workouts, please comment below…