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AFFORDABLE WAYS TO STAY FIT


If your notion of health and fitness involves Lululemon tights and a Peloton, it's time to let go of those impractical pricy standards. Bulky equipment and gym memberships can cost you a pretty penny. Some shell out the cash in the hopes that the initial sacrifice compels them to actually do it. Unfortunately, money can't buy you motivation. The drive to succeed in anything comes from within.

YOUR BODY IS ALL THE EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED

Dumbbells and Bowflex machines take up space and collect dust. Don't get duped by infomercials into placing an order. There are plenty of options that utilize your body as the main instrument for working out. Self.com published a list demonstrating 53 exercises that focus on a variety of muscle groups. All you need is a floor. Some may prefer using a mat for stability or sneakers for added support. Make sure you're dressed to move comfortably as well. Since this is an at-home routine, no need for fancy designer gear. Pick and choose specific movements that cater to your individual goals. If you're looking to sculpt your buttocks, focus on doing more squats and lunges. 10-15 minutes a day, 2-3 times a week is a great starting point. If you're looking to tackle big goals like losing a considerable amount of weight, gradually increase the time you spend working out. Everyone is different. Adjust your training based on what you feel works best for your own needs.


Another great workout alternative is yoga which is an extremely cost-efficient form of exercise that suits a wide range of body types and lifestyles. The Youtube channel, Yoga with Adriene, caters to pretty much everyone. Adriene's videos feature movements and stretches that focus on a myriad of concerns. Some Yoga positions target the neck and shoulders, others focus on relieving anxiety and PMS. Adriene's quirky and welcoming demeanor draws yogis of all backgrounds. Even those with ailments and disabilities are encouraged to join in. Her channel also features yoga routines that cater to various age groups, like Yoga for Seniors and Yoga for Kids. The popular channel stays up-to-date by tackling emerging conditions like "text neck," which results from improper posture while texting. This fitness resource enables you to customize a workout that suits your physical needs, as well as emotional disposition. Slow breathing techniques, gradual body movements and calming positions aid in reducing mental clutter and emotional distress. Yoga's holistic approach to fitness has the ability to heal, strengthen and empower like no other method.


HEALTHIER FOODS COST LESS

Fruits and vegetables cost less than meats and processed goods. It takes more effort to cook and serve fruits and vegetables but the benefits outweigh the initial effort. Compile a collection of recipes that highlight the scrumptious flavors that fruits and veggies have to offer. Cut back on meat-centric dishes by introducing one vegetarian meal a week. The more you become acclimated to healthier and less processed meals, the easier it will be to adapt to a more nutritious and cost-efficient diet. Swap sodas for fruit juice and water. Switching from whole milk to almond milk can significantly reduce your fat and calorie intake. It can also alleviate stomach discomfort from lactose intolerance. Put together small packets filled with fruits or nuts. When junk food cravings hit, reach for a bag of mixed berries or cashews. Slight adjustments in consumption can make a big difference in your long term health.

SELF-MOTIVATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Find creative ways to spark the desire to take action. Writing down a to-do list can help give you direction and drive. As you cross each item out, you get a sense of achievement that can further propel you forward. Collecting photos that illustrate your end goal on a vision board  can instill inspiration when you feel discouraged. A reward system can motivate you to reach specific goals along the way. Just make sure that each reward doesn't derail you from achieving success. Treat yourself to a hearty vegetarian lasagna at a restaurant or a cup of low-fat yogurt with fresh berries. Working out with a buddy can help you stay on track while also providing a source of encouragement and support.

All of the tips listed here are meant to help improve your health while also reducing your workout and grocery expenses. All the tools you will ever need is within your grasp. It's just a matter of having the drive and diligence to keep at it. Longevity is the most difficult part of staying fit but the rewards it reaps make it all worth in the end.


Photos by: Kelly Russo & Lum3n

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