Did you know that 37% of Americans resolved to lose weight, and 32% resolved to stay fit in the New Year? The weight loss industry definitely knows! It ramps up its marketing this time of year – you’ve likely seen offers for discounts at local and national gym chains.
What these advertisements omit is that gym memberships are still expensive, averaging $58 per month. And that’s without counting any miscellaneous upfront charges. If you want to get fit without spending a ton, here are some budget- and body-friendly ideas to help you have a healthier 2018!
It doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you aren’t eating well. You won’t lose weight and you’ll still suffer the effects of a poor diet, like low energy and hypertension.
Nutritionist Shawn Talbott says weight loss is 75% diet and 25% exercise. The biggest factor in losing weight is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), how much energy your body burns each day. For most people, this is approximately 2,000 calories. Running a mile burns 100 calories, or 5% of your BMR. Worse yet, exercise can have a paradoxical effect with a bad diet. After a vigorous workout, you’re more likely to snack, thinking you’ve “earned” a reward after a run.
Use a calorie-tracking app like Myfitnesspal to get a sense of where your calories are going. You can save a lot with some easy cuts!
| Body weight exercise
One major draw of a gym is access to strength-training equipment. It’s true that cardio alone won’t help as much as strength training. It’s not true, though, that you need expensive machines for it!
Three simple exercises can help tone and reshape your body. Planks work your core, arms and shoulders. Squats work your glutes and legs. Toe raises work your calves. You can find tutorials for these and countless variations online. Pick a routine and stick with it!
You can also try yoga. There are tutorials online for strength-building yoga you can do at home at your own pace. Lots of yoga poses work on muscle building and flexibility, toning your body, and ensuring your weight loss focuses on fat, not muscle.
| Make your own groups
Group classes in gyms force accountability and can make the exercise seem less taxing. Get these benefits outside the gym!
If you have friends interested in fitness, start building fitness activities, like bike riding or running, into your regular social time.
If you’re on your own, use sites like Meetup to find exercise groups that work at your skill level. If you’re completely new, now’s a great time, as there will be lots of people also starting a new fitness journey. To take your fitness to the next level, join an advanced group. Get fit and make new friends without spending a penny!
Your Turn: How are you going to meet your fitness goals in 2018? Share your best tips on how to beat the gym and get fit with us in the comments!