NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Want to get into better shape for the New Year? On a budget?
Follow these tips to get fit on a thin-wallet...
Recycle Your Workout
All of the workout items you need for your fitness campaign can be found at all of the second hand stores in your metropolitan area. Search Goodwills, thrift stores, Salvation Army and charity second-hand stores.
Treadmills, bicycles, stationary bicycles, free weights, weight benches and even boxing and kickboxing equipment can be found at the stores. Pull-up, push-up and sit-up machines can also be found, as jump ropes and other random sports equipment.
Financial Fitness: Most Goodwill stores have special 50% off promotional purchase days, perfect for stockpiling fitness and sports equipment. With a $25 purchase of fitness and sports equipment during this promotion, you could easily be snagging goods with a retail value of over $250.
Drink Up at the Dollar Store
Many protein and vitamins shakes can be found at dollar and discount stores, so never pay full retail prices. If you look in the clearance section of many major grocery stores they will also have these items. Like any product, always check the expiration date.
Financial Fitness: Look for bottles of vitamins at the dollar and discount store as well. Many one dollar bottles of vitamins have an actual retail value of well over five dollars. Especially good for people who take Ginseng or Ginkgo Biloba.
Unless you plan on making a run against Usain Bolt in the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, save the dough and do not buy the $120 pair of shoes. Instead, go to a discount retailer like a Marshalls, Ross or T.J. Maxx and by a perfectly fine running shoe or cross-trainer in the $20-$30 price range. Unless you are the next Bruce Jenner... (Pre--Kardashian Jenner, of course).
Financial Fitness: Dig through your closet and find old running shoes that you have not worn in years. Clean them off, and that's money in the money.
In Your Backyard
No need to waste money on the expensive gym membership. Save the cash and make use of the facilities at your apartment complex and/or local parks. Many public parks are now built with pull up bars, set up benches and tracks or sidewalks for running and walking. In colder climate areas, dress in multiple layers to enjoy the cost-benefit year-round.
Financial Fitness: Search online for the best public parks in your area.
Often, once we graduate from high school or college and had off into the "real world" we forget about what a great resource our schools can be. This is not any different with fitness. Many high school gymnasium's host open basketball gyms during the week, where basketball players from the public can play high schoolers on campus. Now, if an opportunity to run up and down a basketball court with a bunch of energetic teenagers does not make you get into shape, nothing will.
Financial Fitness: Do a good public deed and give any students who need a ride home a quick taxi ride for a couple of dollars. Remember, kids, there is no such thing as a free ride in life.
Save with Smoothies
Everyone loves smoothies. The taste of blended fruit, ice and yogurt is always one of the best nutritional options for fit. Smoothies at national retailers can get very expensive, easily topping five dollars per drink, so make your own at home. Fruit and yogurt from the dollar store allows the drink to be made as cheap as possible.
Financial Fitness: All fruits taste good together when blended in a smoothie, a banana, blueberry, peach blend I made once is still the best I remember, so focus on the most inexpensive fruits, not your favorites.
About the Author:
Rodric J. Hurdle-Bradford, APR is a freelance writer based out of Scottsdale, Ariz. He covers casino gaming, personal finance and real estate topics for several publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.