8 Tips to Get Fit for Less

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If getting fit tops your New Year's resolutions for 2013, you're not alone.

According to the 2013 Outlook Survey organized by TD Ameritrade, Inc., 42 percent of Americans are making health-related resolutions this year. That's compared to 32 percent opting for financial-oriented goals.

After a gluttonous holiday, the new year always triggers the need to be more active, eat healthier and feel better. But how to get the most from your fitness regime without breaking the bank? Consider these ideas to stay in shape and get fit for less.

1. Take Advantage

Gym rats abhor the beginning of the year when well-intentioned newbies crowd their classes and struggle with the equipment. Despite the initial claustrophobia, however, the gym floor inevitably clears within a couple months as fitness goals wane. As a committed newcomer, you should take advantage of New Year's gym deals, like reduced monthly payments and waived activation fees. Chat with salespeople at several gyms and be sure to ask for a free pass to experience the facility and classes before committing.

2. Stay Home

If dragging yourself to the gym a few times a week is enough to send you into a couch-ridden funk, skip the membership and work out at home. Rotate several DVDs to keep yourself motivated and to avoid muscle complacency. Since workout videos range anywhere from $8 to $30, download the Coupon Sherpa mobile app for in-store savings at Target, Sports Authority and more. Cable users or Netflix subscribers can also stream workout videos as part of their monthly subscription.

3. Go Online

Paying for personal training gets pricey, though good instructors are worth their, um, weight in gold for people with big fitness goals. If you're looking for basic guidance, get it for free from websites like Fitbie or Exercise TV on Hulu, or subscribe to a health magazine. After all, you can't beat $15 a year for weight-loss advice and at-home program recommendations.

4. Make it Public

I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said something about behaving as if everyone is watching. Apply this lesson to your fitness regimen and share your goals via Facebook or Twitter, letting your friends keep track of your status and offer support during the inevitable lulls. Better yet, create a Facebook group of like-minded friends to swap tips, recipes and encouragement.

5. Buddy Up on PT

If reading articles about getting in shape don't do it for you, consider going halfsies on the cost of personal training. According to SmartMoney, the majority of personal trainers offer discounts for group sessions even if they represent a gym that doesn't promote this fact. As with anything, it never hurts to ask and you may be more encouraged to attend sessions with a friend.

6. Daily Deal It

Groupon and other daily-deal sites are good for more than deeply discounted laser treatments. Health clubs compete for new business at the beginning of the year so you should have a plethora of options. Look for daily deals on discount or limited-time memberships, and feel free to play the field of gyms in your area. Doing so may give you free access to consistent workouts for a few months.

7. Buy Used

Fitness equipment can get expensive but it shouldn't be the reason you avoid exercise. Hit up discount retailers for basic fitness accessories like dumbbells, yoga mats and medicine balls for a fraction of fitness-store prices. Thrift stores are another good outlet for discount essentials, and you can always scan Craiglist for bigger equipment. Be sure to research equipment and thoroughly test and inspect used items before purchase.

8. Mobile Motivation

The best motivator for exercise is knowing how many calories you burn while pumping iron, as well as how many you avoid by eating right. Luckily, there's an app (or several) to track your progress on both counts. Consult this list of recommended fitness apps from Huffington Post or find your own fave in the iPhone and Android markets.

 

Kendal Perez is a frugal fashionista and bargain shopper who helps fellow shopaholics find hassle-free ways to save money. As the marketing coordinator for Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, Kendal has the resources to be an extreme couponer but prefers a less complicated approach to staying in-budget. 

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa
Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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4 Responses to 8 Tips to Get Fit for Less

    Tanya Says:

    1

    I tend to get bored with going to the gym every time I want to work out. So I do both. I make sure I go to the gym sense I am paying for it but I also use my on demand on the TV and get free workout videos too. Its a win win for me, and its pretty affordable doing both. I only wish I would have signed up at the gym when they were doing a special because now I am stuck paying full price. I did get a deal for the kids club that my son loves to play at.

      Melissa Says:

      2

      You sound just like me! I get bored doing just one thing and I find that working out at home AND at the gym AND outside sometimes helps to keep things more interesting. The home is great for those super low energy days when you don’t feel like dragging yourself to the gym. Just pop in that disc and the gym comes to you! :-)

    Brenda Says:

    3

    Great tips. I have found that telling the blogosphere has helped me be accountable when it comes to weight loss and fitness.

      Melissa Says:

      4

      Isn’t that the truth? :-) I used to tell friends and family in order to stay accountable, but you can’t go more public than on your own blog…definitely no backing out of it then!

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