Monday, July 6, 2009

Saving Money - Personal Fitness Edition

Welcome back from the long weekend! I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! Even though I took the day off of work (love 4 day weekends even more than 3 day weekends), I'm trying to get back in the swing of things and hit the gym this morning. In honor of trying to stay in shape, I thought I'd offer a few ways I like to sweat it out and save money.

*Stop buying sports drinks. It's super important to keep hydrated while you are working out, but buying bottles of Gatorade or Vitamin Water each time you go to the gym isn't exactly a fiscally sound solution. Just drink water. It's free, it tastes good and it is functional. If you can't give up your sports drink addiction, I recommend getting the individual packets of sports drink mix and doing it yourself. I bought a box on sale AND with a coupon for 89 cents for 10 packets. Instead of spending at least $1 a bottle, I spent 9 cents. Oh, and this is a must. Regardless of what you drink, please put it in a reusable bottle! It's better for your pocketbook and even more importantly, the environment. Personally, I love SIGG water bottles, but you can find reusable water bottles just about anywhere.

*Create a home gym. If you don't have the money for a gym membership, there's a lot you can do for little money down. I'd invest in a set of hand weights ($25 at Target with an instructional DVD), a balance ball ($15 on eBay) , a jump rope ($10 at Target) and a yoga mat ($20 at Target). From these basics, you can do many exercises and the cost is minimal. I find a lot of my home gym equipment on eBay, at Target, or on Craig's List. You could spend the same amount of money on one month's membership for all your home gym equipment! Plus the internet is a great resource to find all sorts of workouts - yoga routines, weight lifting routines, boxing, name it! My favorite at-home strength routine right now is from Self Magazine - it's only 8 minutes! Get it here if you're interested.*Change up your fitness routine. Everyone gets stuck in a rut - some people pay personal trainers lots of money to keep things interesting and engaging for them, but you can do it by taking some time to think. Maybe you exercise on the recumbent bike? Try jumping rope for 20 minutes instead (note - it's super hard to jump rope for 20 minutes). If you belong to a gym, go to an exercise class, like Step Aerobics or Zumba. Find new cardio lessons on your OnDemand cable (if you have digital cable) - there's all kinds of free activities, like bootcamp, salsa dancing,'s great. For days I don't feel like leaving my house, I have a couple of DVDs I got off Amazon for $10 each and free shipping. The point is to not do the same thing all the time - your body gets used to the same thing, making it harder to see results. Plus, you'll lose interest and if you are paying for membership at a gym, that's money down the drain if you're unmotivated to go.

Other tips out there to save money on keeping fit?

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