Do you want to know how to stay healthy on a budget?
Top money-saving advice from the pros.
Question: Do you cringe at the prospect of spending a lot of your hard-earned money on chia seeds, avocados, and protein powders in order to incorporate good habits into your daily routine?
Breaking news: get in shape doesn’t have to be expensive. Contrary to popular belief, staying healthy on a budget is entirely possible and, in fact, rather straightforward once you set your mind to it.
Unfortunately, the most basic techniques to be healthy on a budget are rarely publicised since, well, they aren’t profitable.
You’ll never look back once you’ve figured out the easy daily routines – most of which are free! – that can truly make a difference in your life.
Like? Meditation. Yoga. A morning walk or hike can help you get your daily steps in. Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water per day. We chatted to three PureGym personal trainers — Sally Smith from Telford, Emma Ford from Aylesbury, and James Lee from Finsbury Park – for additional basic and easy-to-implement suggestions on how to keep healthy on a budget. Continue scrolling.
14 great methods for staying healthy on a budget
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare
You’ve heard the expression, “If you don’t prepare, you’ll fail.” When faced with difficult decisions, Smith argues that planning ahead can make all the difference.
She advises, “Plan ahead.” “Things like meal planning make it less likely that you’ll splurge on overpriced sandwiches for lunch, and you’ll also enjoy a healthier option.”
2. Go for a walk
Getting your 10,000 steps a day, whether it’s an early morning walk or a mid-day walk around the block to break up your desk time, is an inexpensive and easy approach to improve your cardiovascular health.
“Keep the cost down while hooking up with pals by suggesting a walk instead of a lunch or a trip to the movies.” That is the case. “You get active as well,” Smith adds.
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking more water is a simple, free, and effective method to improve your health. Getting a reusable water container is one approach to ensure you do this – it will serve as a visual reminder to drink water even if you forget.
“Plus, you’ll avoid paying for bottled drinks that may be expensive or heavy in sugars or additives, stay hydrated, and limit your plastic consumption all at once,” Smith continues.
4. Be on the lookout for deals.
This is a great one. Keep an eye on the discounted area at your local supermarket if you want to start preparing a lot of nutritious meals with a combination of protein, good fats, and carbs but generally find items like chicken, tofu, and fresh veg a little on the dear side, suggests Smith.
“You’ll usually find some amazing prices,” she says, “and if you’re careful of what you can freeze or prepare in bulk, you’ll really save yourself some money and effort.”
5. Put on your shoes.
Sure, you may have gym phobia or believe that a gym is out of your budget range right now, but not all exercise has to be done in one. Far from it — there are a variety of free home workouts available, ranging from high-intensity sessions such as spin and Zumba to low-impact routines such as Pilates and barre.
Running is also a fantastic free way to get in shape. “It’s a terrific place to start because there are so many free applications to get you started and keep you involved as you try to beat your times and more,” Smith explains.
6. Perform a dance
That’s right, you read that correctly. Dancing is one of the PT’s favorite methods to stay in shape, and it’s also completely free.
“All you have to do is put on some dance music – or follow along with one of the countless YouTube tutorials – and you’re good to go,” she says.
7. Experiment with your movements.
Physical activities such as putting groceries away, stepping downstairs to greet the mailman, and folding the laundry can all contribute to your daily movement.
Trying to be more active in your day-to-day activities will only increase how much you’re doing for less money, according to Smith.
“Things like making extra trips during chores or hanging the laundry up to dry all count,” she says. “You’re putting in more effort for less pay.”
8. Take a look at YouTube
Have you enjoyed the dancing lesson above? We feel the same way. YouTube is a terrific place to look for low-cost exercise choices because it’s full with free yoga classes, HIIT workouts (we enjoy Joe Wicks’ YouTube workouts), weight-lifting sessions, and more.
“Working out from home becomes less intimidating because you have a competent professional guiding you through a free pre-recorded fitness class,” she explains.
9. Select your supermarket with caution.
Sure, eating healthy might add up, but so can purchasing less nutrient-dense foods. It all depends on where you purchase, according to Ford, who recommends experimenting with cheaper grocery selections.
“I prefer to shop at Lidl and Aldi for my groceries because they are more affordable.” “I save a lot of money and am always looking for good deals,” she says.
10. Purchase in bulk
And while we’re on the subject, buying larger packs of products like meats and vegetables is a sure-fire way to save money.
“The bigger the bag, the more money you save over time,” Ford explains. Just make sure you finish the food and store it properly before it spoils — for example, by batch cooking or freezing it.
11. Meal preparation
There’s a reason why health gurus like Joe Wicks, Kayla Itsines, and Jillian Michaels preach about how batch cooking can be a fantastic, economical way to eat well.
Batch cooking nutritious meals not only saves time, but it also decreases the risk of cooking choice fatigue. Consider this: when you open the fridge after a long day, you have the option of making a healthy, nutritious meal (which will take twice as long) or… fish and chips. Anyone may be persuaded to do so. Prepare meals ahead of time, and the difficult decisions will be made for you.
“You can always freeze the meals and reheat them when you’re ready to dine,” Ford suggests.
12. Don’t make it too difficult for yourself.
This is a crucial one. Keep meals simple by including a supply of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a few servings of fruit or vegetables at each meal.
“If you want to stick to a budget, you don’t need to go out and buy flashy things,” Ford says. “Start with whole foods and mix and match the elements for a variety of meals.”
13. Improve your sleeping habits
Getting enough sleep is one of the easiest – and cheapest – ways to improve your general health, with research suggesting that it improves recovery, lowers your risk of heart disease, and lowers blood pressure.
“Wherever possible, focus on obtaining enough high quality sleep,” Lee says. “It can have a significant impact on almost every element of your health.”
Are you having trouble sleeping? Our expert advice on how to fall asleep and insomnia treatment can be useful.
14. Swap kits
Workout equipment is one of the most significant barriers – and costs – to getting in shape.
But keep in mind that you don’t require the most up-to-date footwear or equipment. Many charity shops and secondhand retailers, such as Depop, sell workout gear; alternatively, ask an athletic friend if they have any old gear they’d be willing to send your way. You’ll almost certainly be moved by their kindness.
How do you stay healthy on a shoestring budget? Sorted.
Why is health and fitness considered to be costly in general?
Because many of us are starting a new pastime or way of life from scratch, as Smith notes, it can appear costly.
“Many people put other expenses ahead of their health and fitness, and as a result, they regard a gym membership as a major investment,” Smith says.
Ford goes on to say that being healthy may be as costly or as inexpensive as you want to make it. “In actuality, all you need is a comfortable wardrobe, a sprinkle of workout motivation, and a whole-food diet,” she explains.
Finally, Lee agrees, adding that utilizing only your own weight, you may grow fitter, stronger, and build muscle. He emphasizes, “This means without needing to invest a penny.” “Without breaking the bank, anyone can improve and maintain their health and fitness.”
You’ll never again have to Google “how to stay healthy on a budget.”