When we think of "getting fit" it can seem overwhelming. Does that mean all our food needs to be organic and fresh? I need to workout everyday for an hour with a personal trainer? I'll need a gym membership too if I'm going to do that. WOAH. If those are some of your thoughts I can see why that's overwhelming and intimidating.
What's the root of those thoughts though? A lot of it stems from us thinking that fitness is complicated and that we need to do everything at once. Am I right? That's a lot of times that keeps us from making progress or starting at all. All our ducks need to be in a row and it needs to be hard.
I'm here to tell you that's not true. I can see why you would think that because I used to think that too. I had to do all the things and do it perfectly. And it definitely had to be hard. Fasted cardio everyday when I craved sleep. Early morning workouts when my body was so sore. The apple cider vinegar and definitely needed to deny pizza. How depressing!! I live in New York. You cannot not have pizza.
SO I wanted to address that first. You don't have to address everything right now. There are four key things to your fitness. You can read about them here. Address those first, stay consistent. Then consider the rest but disregard the nonsense like no carbs after 8pm. What on earth.
And fitness definitely does not need to be miserable. It's meant to enhance your life. TO make it better, not worse.
SO how can we up level our fitness on a budget? I'm going to address this in two ways. First, will be fitness for free and how we can do that. Then we will do fitness on a budget. SO ways you can get more fit but not break the bank. But something to also give thought too is fitness and health is an investment. If you take care of yourself, your everyday life now and later will be better. Your job will be better because you will feel better and gain some confidence to go for that promotion. Your relationships will be better because you will have more energy. You will have confidence to show up in ways you may not have before. If you're a parent. You will be able to have energy for your kids. You'll be able to run with them on the playground rather than sit on the bench and watch. Everyday life will. be. better. If you take care of yourself.
SO, how can we start to make progress in our health and fitness for no cost at all
WATERRRR. WATERRRR. WATERRRRR. Have I made myself clear that? lol Water has so many significant importances. Water boots energy. It delivers important nutrients to all our cells. Especially muscle cells, postponing muscle fatigue. Water helps weight loss and aids in digestion. It also detoxifies and hydrates our skin. Water is also very free. So please if nothing else please drink some water. It's so underrated. And so important. 100oz a day is a great goal. IF you're far from that, no worries (for now). But start to incorporate more, your body will thank you.
Walk or run! Now, I am no runner but I do love to walk. I also would consider running if I didn't have access to weights or a gym membership. It's a great way to get you outside in fresh air. It's a great way to benefit your mental health. You can download running programs online or follow someone on Instagram who is a runner. Look to see if there's someone who lives near you that likes to walk or run and you can do it together.
Which brings me to getting a buddy you can exercise or move with. That could be going for walks with your spouse at night instead of two Netflix shows. That could be playing tennis with a friend who has an extra racket. Or going for a bike ride with your kids. It doesn't always have to be heavy in the gym. But this is something that can get you moving and you can also build relationships while doing it.
Take advantage of youtube and Instagram content. There is so much on social media these days. Find someone on youtube or Instagram that has body weight workouts. You also can start to incorporate yoga which doesn't need equipment either. I used to do some yoga and i would do it on a blanket in my living room. So follow someone on either platform that you like and stick to them. Do their workouts and create a routine that way. You don't need weight to get strong.
Pay attention to what you're eating. I'm not saying you need to buy all new food. But if more than 50% of what you're eating is processed food. It's not making you feel good. Maybe it's time to reconsider some of your food choices. Do you need all those cookies and bags or Doritos? We could swap for some carrot sticks and hummus? Or even pretzels and hummus. But fueling ourselves well is a huge component in us feeling better.
Along with this if you're interested in tracking macros. If you're not sure what that is you can check this out. And if you have interest in that you can download a free app like Myfitnesspal to track your macros.
Now let's say you have some wiggle room. If you have some money to invest and you're not sure where to start. Well, first consider what your goals are and what you'd like to focus on. You could start with exercise or nutrition or both.
Hire a coach through the first phorm app. This is a 12.99 a month investment and you get nutritional coaching/ guidance and access to gym or home workouts. You get accountability also. Speaking of this app. There is a challenge that started yesterday that you can still hop in on. Its an 8 week challenge that addresses all areas of importance. you can check out my free Facebook group for details.
If you want to add strength training. Get some weights! Start with a lower set and in a few weeks or months get a heavier set. You can get these or Facebook marketplace or somewhere like target or dicks.
With that in mind you can then start to follow a workout program. You can find a free one online or download an app like the MIFIT app. Plug into a strength training workout based on your exercise level and where you're working out. (at home or the gym). This is a great way to know if you're putting your effort in the right place and you'll know exactly what to do.
If you want to start going to the gym, planet fitness is a great option. There aren't classes but its $10 a month with flexibility to pause it at any time. I have been going there for a few years now and love it. You also could join a gym that's a little more expensive and have group exercise classes. This could be great if you need the extra motivation or don't know how to put together a workout on your own.
Give attention to the food going in your body. A step further than what I addressed above would be adding in more fruits and veggies and some lean meats like chicken and turkey. WHY are these things right off the bat? Because nine times out of ten people don't have enough of it and it's a great place to start.
I hope these ideas helped you expand your understanding of what fitness can look like. And how you can make it work for you with the budget that you have.