As a city gal and the trainer for our very own Recessionista-in-Chief, Jessi Kneeland knows a thing or two about living the “fit” life on a budget. After all, when it comes to your fitness, you should be counting reps, not dollars…
1. Ask a trainer. If you have a commercial gym membership, then chances are you’ve seen a bored-looking guy or girl in a “trainer” shirt standing around waiting for a new client. These people can be valuable resources for you, and they’re usually happy to answer any questions you have or show you how to use a piece of equipment. Feeling bold? Ask straight out if you could get a free personal training session! They’ll probably try to sell you a training package, but you can pick up a lot of tricks in a single 30-60 minute session!
2. Do your homework. Search sites like Groupon.com, LifeBooker.com, and Bloomspot.com for fitness deals! A lot of times they have steep discounts on boot camps, cool fitness classes, supplements, and cleanses. Shake it up with a new activity (indoor surfboarding anyone??) or find a super cheap “trial” gym membership!
3. Get outdoors. There are lots of free and cheap ways to get fit outside. Run, hike, walk your dog (or your neighbor’s dog!), or find some hills to do hill sprints. Invest in a bike or some roller blades, and make just getting from place to place cheaper, greener, and fitter.
4. Ditch the gym membership. Spend the $30-70 that your gym was charging you per month on a mini-gym you can keep and use at home. An exercise ball, a couple pairs of dumbbells, a yoga mat, and a set of resistance bands may be all you need, and it’s an investment that keeps giving. Be creative: Does your boyfriend own a Wii? Does your building have stairs you can run?
5. Get cooking. It may seem obvious, but when you prepare and cook your own meals you’re getting way less calories, at a way lower cost. Picking up “prepared foods” or eating out often means food that’s been cooked in butter or vegetable oil, lots of extra sodium, and an unnecessarily inflated price tag. Get in the habit of planning your week’s meals on a Saturday or Sunday, and grocery shop accordingly. You’ll have cheap, healthy options already in your fridge, and you won’t have to stress about what to have for a healthy dinner on the fly. Bonus: Pack your lunch with last night’s leftovers for extra healthy savings!
6. Drink water. Spending money on booze, juice, or soda (even if it’s diet!) is going to set back both your financial and body goals. Invest in an eco-friendly reusable water bottle, and fill it up with tap water throughout the day. Keep a few tea bags in your purse for a little caffeine boost on the go! Limit your alcohol intake. You’ll save yourself a lot of sugar and chemicals, as well as a good amount of money over the long term. Talk about a liquid asset!
Jessi Kneeland is an NYC-based personal trainer, who does most of her training out of Peak Performance in Chelsea. She believes that fitness can show people what they’re made of, including our own Recessionista-in-chief, who’s bum Jessi kicks daily. Check out her blog at http://jessikneeland.wordpr