There are a lot of excuses when it comes to working out, but money sure shouldn’t be one of them. Do we really want to make our health depend on our monthly income?
Physical activity is not something we buy, it is something we do. Nevertheless, sports nowadays have become a great business (with kind regards to capitalism): gym and sports club membership fees, sports gear and, not to mention, any type of mostly unnecessary fitness gadgets.
I, too, did not have enough money when I was a student to afford a gym membership. And even now that I’m a regular member of a sports club, I still like to do some workouts by myself at home or in the park.
So here are a few Dos and Don’ts for your budget-friendly sports activities:
- First of all, everything you need to practice sports is…yourself!
Stop thinking of anything else as necessary. Sports gear and gadgets? Yes, they can make your fitness life more comfortable, more interesting, maybe also more efficient, and once you have the money, you may buy some of those things. But that doesn’t mean your workout has to depend on them.
- Get to know your environment.
Find out where you can practice some sports and which type of activities you’ll be able to do there. Parks, greens and forests are the obvious choices. There may be also running tracks in your town open to the public. Do you have any waters around? What better free workout could there be, than having a swim in a lake or in the sea? And the beach, too, offers plenty of possibilities to do some sports.
Don’t forget to look out for a bad weather option. If your own apartment is too small, you could go and see if there is any abandoned house or factory. But be careful, be sure it is a safe place. Some parks also have picnic areas with pavilions.
- Be inventive.
There are things in the world of fitness that can be quite useful. However, none of them is essential. For so many workouts, the only thing you need is your own body. Besides that, a lot of everyday items can be transformed in some fitness gadget. If you don’t want to spend money on a yoga mat, use an old towel. Sure, it’s not the same, but it will do. Water bottles are excellent weights. Use tape, cord or rubber bands to have a better grip on them. You can even attach them to an old broom stick and you’ll have a barbell. A piece of clothesline may be used as a jump rope.
There are without doubt many more options. It’s up to you to be a little creative.
- Look out for fellow fitness fans.
One of the positive things about going to the gym is the opportunity to socialise. If you exercise alone, it is easy to lose motivation. Therefore, try to find somebody to share the fun with. Maybe there is a local runners or fitness group. Or you could start one by yourself. Also, use social media. And, of course, be open minded. If you see people playing volleyball, frisbee or football in the park, ask if you might join them.
- Invest in what you really need.
If you want to spend money on something, then truly think about what you need. Let’s say your hobby is cycling. Sure, you’ll need a bike and – safety first – a helmet. But that’s it. Everything else can be added with time. Shoes are another item that often requests quite a bit of money. Yet, for a simple home-based workout or a little football in the park, you won’t need the best and most expensive footwear. A simple pair of sneakers will do. You may also try to do some exercises barefoot. This way the muscles in your feet and ankles will gain in strength.
- Look out for offers and second hand.
You need a new pair of shoes? Go to the local store, try them on, don’t buy them. Once you’ve figured out which is the right product for you, look for the best offers online. Buy gadgets second hand. And, last but not least, choose your items according to your level. Often, the more cheaper version will by far meet the needs.