Living these days is not cheap. City folks have to deal with expensive housing while those living in rural communities have to pay extra to get specialty items. Along with the many expenses we have in life, there is a misconception that being active is costly. Sure, the cost can add up if you buy top-notch equipment, use boutique fitness facilities, and wear designer workout clothing. However, my goal is that by the end of this article you’ll see how being active can actually save you money. Here a few examples to start off.
Instead of paying for a service, do functional activities yourself:
- Yard work and gardening: digging, raking, mowing the lawn, hauling and pruning are all activities that raise your heart-rate, keep you moving, and strengthen muscles. Plus, at the end of a day working in the yard, you’ll get a feeling of accomplishment seeing the fruits of your labour. I spent my fair share of time doing yard work as a child (parents, this is not considered slavery) and can now cut a nice lawn or shovel a snowy driveway.
- Cleaning: vacuum the carpet, wash the walls, and scrub the tub to work up a sweat. You won’t have to hire someone to do it, you won’t complain the house is dirty, and you’ll get a workout.
Instead of driving, try active transportation:
- Health benefits: Using your two feet and heartbeat for transportation is a no brainer. Aerobic exercise like bike commuting or brisk walking are great for heart health and help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Money Saving benefits: You’ll save on gas, parking, car insurance and maintenance, and you save time (wasted sitting) as your active commute will also be your workout.
How Physical Activity Saves Money in the Long-term
- Chronic disease: It is a well-known fact that regular physical activity can prevent and manage chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and osteoporosis. In the big picture this saves money for the health care system as well as individual costs like medications.
- Better performance: Employees who are active tend to take less sick days, and students who get sufficient physical activity get better grades.
- Psychological health: Regular exercise also contributes to making you feel good. And let’s not forget it has an important role in managing mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. If you’re psychologically healthy you’re less likely to feel sick and, better able to perform. Like chronic conditions, there’ll be fewer costs associated with medications and counselling.
Tips to Save Money on Fitness
- Avoid the latest fad: Ask for last year’s model which is often cheaper than the latest. Some gear can be bought used too, but things like running shoes should be new as the foam deteriorates with usage.
- Be prepared: Whatever your activity, bring your own water and snack. The smoothie bar at the gym, for example, is a money grabber. Why pay eight-10 dollars for a recovery shake? Similarly if there is a towel service you can always pack your own. Dollars do add up.
- Be early: Like to do running events, obstacle races or bike events? Usually there is an early bird price for those who sign up ahead of time. Don’t want to commit? Check the events policy, but often you can transfer your registration to a friend or have it rolled over to the following year.
There are a million ways being active can help you save your hard earned dollars. Do you do any of the things I’ve talked about or do you have your own money saving tricks? Share in the comments below!
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