I don’t know about you, but I find that when I’m undisciplined about one thing (finances) I’m often undisciplined about other things (housekeeping, my health, etc.). In your personal finance journey, have you noticed that you’ve started to look like you’ve been hiding in the “fitness protection program?” I sure did!
Like our excuses about budgeting, there’s all kinds of excuses about health. I don’t have time. I should be spending my energy on getting out of debt. I don’t have the money. Fitness is expensive.
Never fear. Fitness doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few resources to start getting your health back.
Your Health Insurance
If you have private, employer-sponsored health insurance—give them a call. They may cover fitness programs, or provide cash incentives for obtaining a healthy weight. My insurance company sends Amazon.com gift cards for continued participation in weight-management programs, regular checkups and reduction of BMI.
Check with the city or county where you live. I live in a metro area, and called the city for free and low-cost fitness programs. They directed me to a walking club, a running club, a winter-season indoor walking program, and the city gym, which charges just $1 per visit to come in and use the fitness courts and weight equipment.
YMCA and Other Community Fitness Programs
My family has belonged to the Y for two years now—the whole family uses the exercise classes, gym, and exercise equipment. If you’re low-income, they also offer a sliding scale and financial assistance.
Online tools like Sparkpeople.com, RunKeeper, and My Fitness Pal all offer low-cost exercise programs, and diet management. SparkPeople.com also has local community fitness meetups and excellent calorie calculating programs in addition to free workout videos, exercise plans, and diet plans.
If you’re a student, you may have free or reduced-cost use of the school’s exercise facilities—many people don’t even know their colleges have gyms, but most do. Call the athletics department to find out—even community and technical colleges have them. This also usually applies if you’re enrolled for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) for professional licenses, it’s part of your facility fees.
Did you know that Netflix has workout videos? Combine that with fitness equipment from Goodwill or Freecycle, and you’re set. From Tai Chi and Pilates to burlesque dance workouts—they’ve got it all!
Take a Hike
When in doubt, take a walk. Ride a bike, or just go play outside. A pickup soccer game at the local park burns calories, builds relationships and costs nothing! Consider a fitness-oriented “date night” rather than dinner and a movie.