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Frugal Find: Staying In Shape

   Posted On: August 30, 2013  |    Posted In: Saving  |     Posted by: Broke Millennial®

In the past 24 years, I’ve been incredibly blessed with good health. No major illness and my trips to the hospital were only for sports-related injuries which healed quickly. Plus, I got the badge of honor of being on crutches, twice. Once for a broken fifth metatarsal (broken foot) and the other from a contusion of the medial meniscus (basically a bruise inside my knee). From the time I could walk until I graduated high school I played sports. Seriously, my parents had me on skis once I could stand on my own and threw me in a pool before I formed my first memory. In college I worked at staying in shape and went to the campus gym, which was free for students. But now that I’m on my own, cooking all my own meals and have to pay for any fitness classes or gym memberships I’ve felt myself start to let my body get out of shape.

I used to be blonde and could actually tan. Oh, sweet glory days when I was 7

Similar to people’s excuses for healthy finances, I can come up with a quick list of reasons why I’m not staying in shape: I’m too tired, don’t have enough time, local fitness classes just aren’t at a good time for me, gym memberships and organic food are just too expensive. I could go on. And yes, I get it. I’m a hypocrite because I roll my eyes at finance whiners! Trust me, I already know the rebuttals for my complaints: “running is free” or “just make it a priority.” But the one that truly resonates with me, “it’s cheaper to spend money on your health now than to get sick in the future and pay for medical bills.”

There are plenty of cost-effective ways of staying in shape, even when you’re traveling. No need to attend nightly SoulCycle (uhhh, cult…) classes or buy all organic produce (sorry guys, just can’t get on-board with that one). Running is free, which sure make me enjoy every stride. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the “love for running” gene. My Dad has been in 15 marathons and my younger sister already ran her first. So for those who dislike running, check out trial periods at gyms in your area, see what local fitness studios offer donation-only classes, stream fitness videos via YouTube or Hulu, perhaps even try springing for a workout video. Take time to bulk cook on the weekends so when you come home from work exhausted you don’t throw chicken nuggets in the oven or call up your favorite pizza joint.

End of the day, staying in shape is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money. A little bit of money invested in your health now will likely produce great dividends in your future.

What are your favorite cost-effective ways to stay in shape?

Curious what my voice sounds like? Well, here is your chance to find out! This week I went on Chelsea Krost’s radio show and talked about why I think engagement rings are a gigantic waste of money (and other finance related topics).



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20 responses to “Frugal Find: Staying In Shape

  1. Those are all great tips. My current free workouts include running, yoga podcasts from and the Jillian Micheal’s 30 day shred. All can be done with minimal equipment, at any time, and at any intensity I feel like.

    Another great tip for eating healthier is to just stop buying unhealthy food. It only works if you have enough will power to not order delivery though.

    1. I’m checking out! That sounds awesome!

      I’m great about having no junk in my house, but the office is a tough place for me to avoid all the sweet treats.

  2. I know that the upfront costs are high, but we bought our own home gym. We saved a TON of money by shopping sales, using coupons, and talking stores into giving us deals.

    1. An office or apartment complex gym would be awesome. I strike out on both counts. I just need to start running…

  3. I love these tips. I’ve gotta admit, I don’t work out enough! My apartment comes with a gym and, it’s great. They’ve got all kinds of equipment…now, I’ve just got to motivate myself enough to use it! Thanks for the great read!

  4. Thanks for the mention Erin. I hate running too. Usually I get my exercise by riding a bike. A bike is a pretty low initial investment and you can ride it as much as you want from there. It works out to being one of the lowest cost work outs around.

    1. I want to live in an area where I feel safe riding my bike more often. NYC just seems like a high-risk and low-reward situation for bikers.

  5. I run on the beach (and I was someone who swore up and down I’d never be a runner either), play beach volleyball (and do some training/drills w/ friends, hike a sand dune nearby, and I do a bunch of free app workouts like Gain Fitness and Nike Training Club). BTW I totally agree on the engagement rings! Thanks for the link love as well!

    1. I’ll have to look into those workout apps. Running on the beach is such a good workout! Sand can be a killer.

  6. Great tips! I go in spurts — last year, I tried desperately to cultivate the running gene and I still dream about liking it, but that’s the extent of my exercise in that area. The one thing I do consistently is yoga, and I don’t eat out much and try to make healthy choices. I also did my first 5K this year but it was a mud run complete with obstacle courses – waaaay more interesting than running!

  7. I think the biggest thing that makes me do it is making it part of my routine. Without fail, my alarm will go off before 6 every morning (and at 6 again) so I always try to do something. I like to lay out my gear the night prior too so that I have even less excuses… My 6 a.m. brain is very persuasive at telling me to go back to bed!

    I don’t know that it saves me money though. Between internet and my fitness friends, I’m always very easily convinced to stuff another race into the season. And the constant washing of clothes probably isn’t cheap. I’m still far more frugal than most people though…

  8. Excellent tips. I run sporadically at best the the other times am either too tired or don’t have the time to (excuses probably). I love yoga though!! Lets me stay in shape without seeming to work so hard at it 🙂 Plus, it leaves me mentally relaxed and productive.

  9. I have a cheap gym membership and try to go at least 3 times a week. Sometimes life gets too busy and that’s my excuse for not working out, but for the most part I do try to stay healthy and in shape. I’ve had a lot of medical issues out of my control (asthma, allergy, sinuses) throughout my entire life so when I can do something pro-active for my health, I do it!

  10. This was a great post! I have a low-paying gym membership but don’t go often enough. I would suggest the home workouts and going to thrift and buying ridiculous work-out DVDs where you can see ladies in spandax! 🙂 Great post Erin! I have to get back the motivation. Now if there was only a motivational post.

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