Nutrition & Fitness
How to Create a Monthly Budget for Your Sports Expenses
Physical fitness is a quality people like yourself value. Staying in shape has benefits, such as a boost to mental health and a reduced risk of diseases. It can be a financial struggle for some people, though. Getting the exercise you desire can be done inexpensively. Here are nine ways to build a sports budget that won’t break the bank.
1. Utilize Free Resources Outdoors
One of the best ways to exercise and stay within your budget is to take advantage of free things. Because you’re not paying anything, you don’t necessarily need to budget for it. Simply going outdoors for a walk or a jog outside is free.
You can run around your neighborhood or do laps up and down the street. If there’s a park or trail nearby, these options are great, too. This activity depends on weather conditions, so you may need to prepare for the climate in your area with proper clothing.
2. Utilize Free Resources Indoors
For decades, the internet has been a convenient place for building communities. For fitness, you can find countless websites dedicated to health and exercise. These sites provide free-to-access blogs and videos that show you how to do workouts properly and get your body moving. The people running these blogs and videos are typically gym owners and personal trainers wanting to see you succeed in your fitness goals.
A great place to find free workout videos is YouTube. Search for your desired exercise type, whether it’s cardio, resistance training, yoga, or any other regiment. You’ll likely find hundreds or thousands of free workout videos you can start doing today. If you would rather work out without a video, there are free guides on the internet that will introduce you to exercises you can do at home.
3. Find Equipment in Community Classifieds
If you want to exercise at home and feel like you’re at the gym, then getting at-home equipment may be right for you. Getting an exercise machine like an elliptical or a treadmill can be pricey, though. The price tag can easily exceed $1,000 at your local sporting goods store. That’s where the community of the internet comes in handy again.
If you have a Facebook account, check the marketplace for people selling exercise machines. If you’re not on Facebook, check out Craigslist, Poshmark, or eBay. You’ll likely find users who are selling equipment with minimal wear and offering a lower price than the original sale.
4. Take Advantage of Free Trials
If you want to join a gym, look for ones offering free trials. Some fitness centers require you to sign a contract for multiple months or even a year. A free trial will help you shop around the gyms in your area to see which one is right for you before committing.
If you wish to stay at home and work out, you can take advantage of free trials, too. Because of the pandemic, at-home exercise services have become popular. These programs offer free trials and discounts for new subscribers. Whether you want to work out at home or outside, be on the lookout for these special offers.
5. Review Your Health Insurance Plan
Your health insurance plan likely does more than cover your medical expenses. Did you know it can also give you discounts on fitness products? Your health insurance company’s incentives can give you great ideas on how to manage your sports expenses.
For example, your provider may give you a discounted monthly rate at select gyms. It may give you special offers at certain retailers like Nike or Reebok to purchase their equipment at a lower price. Take advantage of these deals to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth for your health insurance and saving money on your fitness plans.
6. Ride a Bike to Work
An excellent way to implement exercise into your routine without spending too much money is to ride a bike to work. This exercise mode will depend on how far you live from work, the roads between your home and the workplace, and the weather conditions. But if you live in a city, for example, a bike could be just what you need.
You’ll get exercise from the bike ride, save money by leaving your car at home, and use less gas. You’ll also do the environment a favor by lowering your carbon footprint. Those are three wins stemming from riding a bicycle to work. Like the exercise equipment, check online classifieds for lightly used bikes.
7. Find a Workout Partner and Share Subscriptions
When working toward your fitness goals, you may find it easier when you have a partner alongside you. This person can be your friend, significant other, sibling, parent, co-worker, or a stranger you met at the gym. They can be the extra motivation you need to develop and stick to a fitness routine.
If you and your workout buddy subscribe to the same online service, ask about splitting the subscription cost. Set up a shared account to access the online workouts, whether you’re exercising together or separately on a particular day. Compare it to a shared Netflix account with multiple profiles or an Amazon Prime account.
8. Ask Your Work About Wellness Programs
In the 21st century, wellness programs are becoming more common. Companies are starting to include them in benefits packages to entice prospective employees to work for them. Use these programs to benefit you because you can find great discounts for your fitness budget.
Your employer may offer special discounts for particular gyms in the area. Your company may have a gym onsite. Some businesses do a company-wide weight loss competition. Wellness programs can also offer advice on diet, so ask your employer about what your company provides or suggest starting one for your team.
9. Search for Community Events
Whether you live in a large city or a small town, you’ll likely find events happening in your area. It could be a 5k or some sort of fun run. The summertime, especially, is a great time to search around for group fitness activities.
An excellent resource for community events is your local parks and recreation department. These activities are likely free since the local government is the host. You’ll get to engage with the community around you while getting free or low-cost exercise. Check Facebook or your local parks and recreation department’s website for more information.
Building an Inexpensive Fitness Plan
You’re already paying monthly bills and other financial obligations, so finding room in the budget for your sports expenses can be tricky. In the digital age, finding solid workout plans has become as easy as going to YouTube to find exercise videos. Or, you could lace up your shoes and walk around the neighborhood.
Take advantage of things you already have access to, such as your health insurance plan or your company’s wellness program. Collaborate with friends and family to see what they do, because working out in the 21st century has become about more than just the gyms.
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