I know some of you guys think that I, along with heaps of other people, spend a lot to get the clothes, the workouts and the life that I have - or more accurately, the portion of my life that you get to see. But honestly, I'm making the best out of my dollar and since this is one of the top questions I get, I'm happy to help out and share what I've learned to do.
You don't need to be rich or to be willing to spend a lot if you want you want to live healthier and get fitter.
Work Out At Home
When I started working out and learning yoga, I did it all at home. It's free (unless you're buying apps or programmes to follow), there is no travel time and you can feel completely comfortable.
Go for a run, do a HIIT workout or bodyweight exercises, use youtube for help, all this requires $0 out of your pocket and you can still get fit. Of course there are downsides to this, but when you're on a budget this really is the best option!
There are countless fitness programme e-books (these cost some money) , fitness apps (these tend to cost less than e-book or are free!) and youtube videos (which are always free!) which will work for home use and I definitely suggest using one of these at least to help you workout from home.
My Current Favourites:
E-book: Amanda Bisk's "Fresh Body Fit Mind" - 12 week training programme
App: "Train with Tanya" - individual HIIT workouts + training programme available
Youtube Channels: BeFit- individual workouts
If You Want Classes/A Gym, Do Your Research!
Even though I have a budget, I go for yoga classes on the weekends. Why? Because having help is ALWAYS better than doing this on your own.
Deciding on this was one of those "pick your battles" kind of moments. It's not free, but in the long run, as long as you can afford to go for classes or sign up for a gym, do it. Just make sure you get your money's worth.
This is why you need to do your research. Every gym and every class offers something different. From teaching methods to actual teachers/trainers, equipment and facilities, distance, price, packages etc you need to look at all of it before making a commitment.
Don't just sign up for a class because it's popular or a gym because it's near your home. Know what you want, find a few different places and compare what they can offer you. No use paying for a gym membership if all you want to do is run on a treadmill. Similarly, don't sign up for a 30 class package at a busy studio without testing out at least a couple of classes and making sure this is what you really want to spend your money on.
Something Worth Trying:
There are heaps of apps that offer classes or gym access at a discounted rate if you have a membership and there are even places that let you try it for free.
My current favourite is KFit (It works in Asia and Australia). You get one free class a month, then you can choose to sign up for a monthly membership (rates depend on your country) and get unlimited access to any amount of classes/gyms.
This is great if you want to try heaps of different fitness activities and go to gym without spending tons of money!
Shop Cheap or Second Hand !
I'll admit buying a new pair of tights or a crop when they first get released can be tempting, but if you can't afford to spend like $80-$120 on one piece, the answer is simple - DON'T BUY IT.
Whether you get it today or months from now when it's on sale, it wouldn't make a difference. You can work out without that new (expensive) activewear. Buying sale or secondhand items just means you get some amazing activewear and you save some money!
Even if you can't afford the sale prices of some big name brands, that's okay! Shopping with cheaper brands is not a bad thing and it will help especially when you might be in desperate need to replace your worn out items. $20 sports crops look much better for your wallet than a $50 one does.
What I prefer to do instead of buying a whole bunch of cheaper activewear is to put money away and shop during end of season or year end sales. Having 3-4 high quality and supportive sports crop is a better use of your money than having 10 cheaper, less supportive ones. (Victoria's Secrets Crops can go for as low as US$19.99 during their year end sales!)
If you are interested in second hand activewear, you can shop mine at @AlyR.Fit_Shop on Instagram.
Consider Buying Equipment
This doesn't mean buying an entire gym but if you can afford to, it would be worth it to invest in a pair of dumbbells, some ankle weight, some resistance bands etc. They last forever and you'll be able to add to your home workout especially when you can't go to the gym or are looking for something new to try.
It can seem like they're expensive but you can get a light set of dumbbells, ankle weights or resistance bands for less than $50 each. And like I mentioned earlier, shop cheap, second hand, or buy them during sales!
For those of you in Singapore: I buy my equipment from Lazada when they have sales or Carosell (app) to get them secondhand.
You DO NOT Need "Fit Foods"
Everyone loves showing off their acai bowls, chia seed puddings, superfood blends and whatever else comes up as being the next big crave in fitness food. Eating these foods are enjoyable, but they come at a price.
The truth is, despite what some people say, you DO NOT need to eat chia seeds or acai bowls, you will not suffer if you don't buy superfood blends or swap your rice to quinoa. These are all yummy and definitely nutritious but if you cannot afford to buy it, don't.
What you really need is to make sure you are eating healthy food. There is no need to get fancy with every meal and the basics that we actually do need are not that expensive at all.
(And there are many yummy healthy dessert you can make with simple, affordable ingredients too!)
One Thing You Should Start Doing
Put away $1 for every workout you do (or what works for your budget) and on 1st January, take all that money and buy yourself a treat for all the hard work you did!
I learned this from @FitWithGeorgie at that start of this year and I fell in love with the idea. It works so well especially when you are someone who responds better to getting rewarded.
Take it out at the end of the month to pay for part of your gym membership or just wait till 1st January and get yourself a bigger treat!
Just remember that being fit isn't about how fancy your activewear is or what new kind of superfood you can try. Just workout, eat well, wear what you have and focus more on your health instead of what you look like to other people.
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