At the beginning of ever year many people tend to make New Years resolutions. A significant portion of them relate to personal health/fitness and the reality is that many of them will fail.
Almost everyone has an aspect of their health they would like to improve, but I’ve never understood why people wait until the beginning of each year to start making improvements.
Millions of dollars are spent each year on personal fitness equipment like treadmills, elipticals, weight sets and fancy gym memberships.
January is a great month to buy fitness equipment as they tend to be on sale, but there’s no sense in buying expensive equipment (even if it’s on sale) if it won’t be used regularly.
Here are a few ways to improve your fitness without breaking the bank.
Commuting to/from Work
Your commute to/from work is a great opportunity to improve your personal health.
The easiest way to get fit for most people is to incorporate fitness into a commute by either walking, running or biking.
Along with the health benefits of a ‘green’ commute there is also the obvious financial savings. Those who drive to work pay for all the costs associated with a vehicle, whereas those who walk to work can save thousands each year.
Sean Cooper, a financial writer who lives in Ontario, bikes to work and saves thousands every year.
It may not be for everyone but a good balance could be biking to work during the summer months or walking part of the way to/from work.
I am a bit jealous of anyone who is able to walk to work. We live in the suburbs which are too far to walk to work. While I don’t regret the decision, I would love the chance to give up the car and walk to work.
Anyone who has set out to reach a goal they eventually accomplished knows it helps to track the progress of the goal, and a food journal is no different.
A food journal is simply tracking everything you eat during the day with the hopes of eating more healthy foods.
Numerous studies have shown that people who keep track of their meals using a food journal tend to eat healthier than those who don’t track what they eat. Donuts taste good but you’d probably think twice about eating one if you had to write it down in a food journal.
Meal planning can be done on a weekly basis and helps to avoid buying expensive take-out meals people tend to buy when they are hungry (and don’t have a meal already planned out).
Every weekend we sit down for a few minutes and talk about what we want to eat during the week, and then make a grocery list based on the meals that will be made.
A meal plan can be as simple as a list of meals for every day in a week, and studies have shown those who plan out their meals tend to eat healthier than those who don’t plan at all.
Drink Lots of Water
Studies have shown people who drink water before meals tend to consume fewer calories than those who don’t drink any water before their meal and achieve modest weight loss.
Water is an easy way to ‘feel’ full and makes your stomach feel full (when it is actually just processing the water consumed).
Unless you are travelling in a third world country, there’s usually no need to buy expensive bottled water – tap water is fine for most and is free.
Drinking water regularly before meals will keep you healthy, hydrated and will reduce the amount of food you eat (which will lower your food bills).
Conclusion: There are lots of fun and free ways to stay fit. You can lower your expenses by walking to work, avoid expensive take-out meals by planning what you’ll eat for the week and drink water to feel full (and lose weight).
How do you stay fit on a budget?