A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions when heading into the beginning of a new year, however, how many of those people actually stick to them? One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to get fit and healthy, but for many people getting fit and healthy and staying fit and healthy are two different things.
Having a fit and healthy body is so important for your health, both physical and mental. In order to get fitter, you need to do two things: eat more healthily, and find a workout/exercise routine that sticks. But this can come at a price. Often, healthier foods can be more expensive, and gym memberships and exercise classes cost money. So how do you get fit, and stick to it, when you’re on a bit of a budget?
We’ve devised a guide below to help you with getting fit and sticking with it whilst keeping your bank account happy!
How to Get Fit on a Budget
Health and fitness on a budget seems like a mind-boggling task but have faith, it is possible! Getting fit on a budget could be something as small as paying for a pay-as-you-go swimming baths; no commitment, no monthly fees and most swimming baths will only charge a couple of quid for use of their pool each time you go. Swimming is a great, all-round exercise for the body. Or, what about cheap keep fit ideas? Many celebrities have come out with their own exercise videos after drastic weight loss – these DVD’s are a great way to start exercising in your own home and will only cost around £10. A lot of people also prefer an exercise buddy to help push them to their goals. If you know someone who is thinking about losing weight this year then why not ask to partner up and support each other? Meeting up and going for a jog around your local town is the ultimate way to exercise on a budget – you may need to buy some decent running shoes to protect your feet and ankles but in the long run, those shoes are going to pay for themselves!
There are also plenty of free (or very cheap) apps that are geared toward helping you exercise more/drink more water/eat more healthily/track your goals. We won’t go into them here (they’d fill a blog post in themselves!) but a bit of research will help you find the best one for you.
We wrote a post on getting fit on a budget this time last year – the advice remains the same, so give it a read!
How Do I Make a Fitness Plan and Stick to It?
A fitness plan is a smart and practical way to ensure you get on the right path when it comes to your workout and eating routines. We know that sticking to a completely different lifestyle comes with its trials and tribulations but the ultimate buzz will be the day someone says: “You look great!”, and you feel great, and you’ll then realise that it was all worth it. To get you on your fitness journey we’ve come up with some tips to help you stick to your workout routine.
Try something new – maybe what you’re currently doing just isn’t for you
If you’re always asking yourself, “How do I stay committed to working out?”, perhaps what you’re doing is not the best routine for you. Take the time to think about what works best for you in terms of activities and meals. Once you’ve established this, create yourself a fitness plan to make sure you stick to it.
Some people love sweating it out on a treadmill or doing weights in their garage, whilst others prefer attending Zumba classes and running in the park, and still others find that swimming or pole dancing or boot camps are what gets them up and active. Remember, what works for others won’t necessarily work for you, so take the time to find the exercises and routines that you really enjoy. Don’t be afraid to give a few different exercises a go until you find the one.
Once you’ve figured out what you enjoy (or at least don’t mind!) doing, start including this in your weekly schedule. This way, it’ll become part of your routine, rather than something tacked onto the top that you really don’t want to do, or struggle to fit in.
But remember, start small. Anything too hard and stressful will make you no longer enjoy it, and you need to ensure that getting fit and staying fit is fun. Sticking to your workout routine shouldn’t be a chore! Which brings us to…
Don’t try too much too soon
Jumping into exercise all guns blazing is not the recipe for long-term success. You need to ease your body into it, especially if you’ve neglected your health for a while! Yes, you’ll feel amazing after an hour in the gym but you can’t do that every night without feeling overworked and exhausted; take your time! HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a great way to shed those pounds but only do this once a week to begin with. By including slow jogs and swimming you’re working the core areas of your body without causing too much strain to your untoned muscles. For the first month, allow at least two or three days rest a week so you don’t burn out and cave to the temptations that you’ve been trying to avoid – those days of rest are the key to sticking to your workout routine.
Set firm and achievable goals, and write them down
Yes, you may want to lose 3 stone in the next year and although this can be achieved by getting fit and sticking with it, you need to narrow it down and create baby steps for yourself. Aiming to lose a couple of pounds a week is such a great, and totally achievable, goal. The best way to keep track of your goals and whether or not you have succeed would be to purchase a diary or calendar. Having your goals visible will make it harder for you to skip that one afternoon running in the park because your fail will be there, written down on paper in black and white.
Keep a log/use an app to track
Today, you can find everything with a few taps on your phone. And health and fitness apps are one of them, as we mentioned above.
Fitness apps are brilliant for helping you set targets, watch what you’re eating and whether you’re doing enough to achieve your fitness goals. Today, a lot of apps will tell you how many calories are in the food that you’re eating by simply scanning the barcode on the back of the pack. This is a great way to not only help you stick to keeping fit but to also shock you when you find out how many calories are in that “healthy” salad dressing you’ve been using.
Other apps can count how many steps you’re doing and send you alerts when you need to be doing more. If you have a sit-down desk job then this sort of app works brilliantly as long as you get up and move around when instructed to by the app.
Plan and/or prep your meals
Meal prep is boring process for so many people but others swear by it! We know cooking can be a chore at times and having to think about meals in advance is just so… unadventurous, but creating a meal plan is key to getting fit and staying fit.
Your healthy meals don’t have to be boring and they definitely don’t have to be the same every day, but knowing that what you’re eating is not only good for your body and what your body needs, but has already been pre-planned and prepped will stop the voices inside your head telling you to get that meal deal from your local supermarket because it’s quick and easy (check out the calories in a standard meal deal from a supermarket – if that doesn’t make you want to meal prep then we don’t know what will!).
New Year’s resolutions are often lifestyle changes and unfortunately, they’re the hardest to stick to! Giving up unhealthy foods, stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol (or caffeine) and getting more exercise are never easy things to do, but in order to achieve your goal of a fit and healthy lifestyle these sacrifices have to be made. Getting fit and staying fit doesn’t have to be an expensive or arduous business – if you make it part of your routine and find the exercise that works for you, you’ll find you start to actually enjoy it. And you’ll certainly enjoy how it makes you feel!