Staying active doesn’t have to be expensive! There are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping without spending much money. Check out these tips on how to lead an active lifestyle on a budget.
Hit the Gym for Cheap—or for Free!
Gym memberships can be pricey, but there are plenty of ways to get your sweat on without breaking the bank. Many gyms offer discounts for students, seniors, or military personnel. You can also try negotiating your monthly rate—it never hurts to ask! Additionally, many YMCAs and community centers offer low-cost or even free memberships.
If your campus or university offers a gym, take advantage of it! Most students can access their school’s fitness center for free. And if you live near a public park, take advantage of free outdoor workout equipment or run or walk on scenic trails—they’re also great for getting fresh air and vitamin D!
Swimming is another great way to get active, and it’s a low-impact activity that is easy on the joints. You can often find public pools for reasonable rates where you can swim laps or take a water aerobics class. If you are near an ocean or lake, you can also go for a swim there—be sure to take precautions and swim with a buddy if you are not a strong swimmer.
Get Moving at Home
If you can’t find a free or discounted gym membership, the good news because you can turn your living room into a makeshift gym! There are tons of great workout videos available online, ranging from yoga and Pilates to HIIT and cardio. And the best part is, they’re all free! There are endless possibilities for at-home workouts if you have some basic equipment like dumbbells or resistance bands.
If you don’t have any equipment, try making DIY dumbbells by filling two water bottles or milk jugs with sand, rocks, or rice, and get lifting! If you’re not into lifting, bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, and sit-ups are excellent (and free!) ways to get active. Doing household chores is also a great way to sneak in some extra activity. Taking a brisk walk, walking the dog, or vacuuming your living room are simple ways to get your heart rate up and burn extra calories.
This is also a great way to influence everyone in the household. You can also make it fun by challenging your roommates or family members to see who can do the most squats while doing dishes or hold a plank the longest while the laundry runs.
Take Advantage of The Free or Reduced-Cost Dental Care
Free dental care is available from many sources, including private practices, state and local health departments, dental schools, nonprofit organizations, and community health centers. You can also find low-cost dental plans that offer significant savings on most dental procedures.
Many dental schools give their students low-cost or free dental procedures, so they can gain experience working on real patients’ mouths. Almost all states have one or more dental school that provides treatments like dental implants.
If you’re looking for affordable dental care, consider visiting a public dental clinic. These are funded by taxpayers and run by either local or state health departments or community health centers. Most clinics offer low, fixed prices or sliding fees based on your income level. They provide services such as root canals, exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings, crowns, and surgical tooth extractions. Some clinics even have emergency dentists on call in case of urgent needs.
Having your dental health checked at a young age is crucial to avoid dental complications like gum disease, tooth decay, and other infections.
Join an Intramural Sports Team
Intramural sports are a great way to get active and meet new people. Most colleges and many high schools offer organized sports leagues that anyone can join. Intramurals are beneficial for students as they allow them to interact with other students and create a sense of community. This leads to positive mental health and increased engagement in academic and non-academic activities.
Aside from getting active, joining a sports team is also a great opportunity to socialize and make new friends. Being part of a team can also help you stay accountable for working out and staying in shape.
If you’re not in school anymore, don’t worry—there are also plenty of adult leagues. You can find everything from softball and basketball to kickball and ultimate Frisbee. And the best part is intramural sports are usually very affordable (if not outright free!).
You don’t need much money to lead an active lifestyle; you need creativity! You can stay fit without spending a fortune by utilizing gyms and community centers, working at home, and joining intramural sports teams. So get out there and start moving! Your body (and your wallet) will thank you later.