Two people running together.

Active Lifestyle on a Budget

Many people want to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle but are too afraid of the costs that come with it. However, eating wholesome food and exercising doesn’t have to be expensive. In this article, we break down ways you can adopt an active lifestyle without breaking the bank.

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

A family cooking a healthy meal together.

An active lifestyle starts with what you put into your body. After all, they say that you need to fuel like a winner to feel like one. But balancing a healthy diet on a tight budget can be challenging. Follow these tips to shop healthy without spending a lot of money.

Make a Shopping List

Before you go grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it. When you have a list, you are not so tempted to buy items that you don’t need and increase your grocery bill.

Don’t Go Grocery Shopping When Hungry

When you go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, you are more tempted to buy items you don’t really need. Eat a meal before you go shopping. If you don’t have time to eat, drink plenty of water to feel satiated. When you are full, you are more likely to stick to your shopping list.

Collect Vouchers and Coupons

Vouchers and coupons are a great way to reduce your grocery shopping bills. There are many ways to collect printable grocery coupons. You can also search the internet and visit websites that offer free vouchers and coupons.

Keep an Eye Out for Bargains

Check your supermarket for unadvertised discounts. Most grocery stores have a section near the meat counter where they put food items almost expired. These can be reduced to upwards of 70% of their regular cost, and they usually taste just as good.

Buy in Bulk

When things are on sale, buy in bulk and store items such as oats, rice, nuts in your pantry and freeze meat, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables to consume later. However, before purchasing in bulk, be certain that you will finish the goods before the expiration date. Otherwise, you will have given up your money for no reason.

Freeze Fruits and Vegetables

If you think that your fruits and vegetables are going bad, freeze them. This will reduce food waste and stretch your grocery budget. Some of the foods won’t taste as good after freezing, but that just means you need to get creative with your recipes.

Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables are relatively less expensive than fresh produce and just as nutritious. Again, you may have to adjust how you serve them. Instead of dropping a few berries in your morning cereal, you could use frozen fruit to make a smoothie and then sprinkle the granola on top of that.

Buy Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

A visual of season produce.

Shop vegetables and fruits that are in season. In-season produce is fresher and gives you nutritional variety, and the abundance of crop cuts down prices and makes it far more affordable. 

Start Meal Planning

When you start meal planning, you know what you need to buy when grocery shopping. You can also pick meals that require the same ingredients. Remember, shopping in bulk and spreading out the items over several meals saves big bucks. You can’t do any of that if you don’t have a plan.

Start Meal Prepping

Hand-in-hand with meal planning is meal prepping. When you buy food in bulk or take advantage of the lower prices on seasonal produce, batch cook meals with those ingredients and freeze them.

Go for Plant-Based Protein Sources

Meat can be expensive. Instead, supplement your protein intake with budget-friendly plant-based protein sources such as legumes, chickpeas, peas, lentils, or beans.

If you are unable to decrease your meat intake, buy the less expensive cut of meat.

Buy Generic Brands

Shelves on eye level carry the most expensive items. So instead, look at the bottom shelves to find generic branded products that are cheaper.

Avoid Trendy Healthy Foods

Skip trendy healthy foods such as quinoa and chia seeds. They are indeed nutritious, but you can still eat healthy without having these expensive modern foods in your diet. Instead, eat healthy foods that are much cheaper such as bananas, apples, onions, carrots, spinach, beans, lentils, oats.

Stay Away from Packaged Healthy Snacks

Avoid buying packaged healthy treats and snacks such as granola bars and protein bars because you can make them easily at a lower cost at home.

Cut Down Unnecessary Expensive Supplements

Unless you need it to survive, cut down on unnecessary expensive supplements such as protein powder because you can get the same amount of protein that you get in one scoop of protein powder from eggs, lentils, beans, and any other protein source.

Measure Your Portions

The chances are that you consume bigger portions than you thought. Measuring your meals will save you money by eating the correct sizes. As an added bonus, this will help you track your calories.

Pack Your Lunch and Coffee

Instead of eating from your workplace cafeteria or spending money on takeout and delivery, bring your healthy lunch with you to work. Also, skip ordering fattening drinks from the coffee shop to save money and avoid unwanted calories.

How to be More Active on a Budget

Close up of a woman walking.

A healthy diet needs to be accompanied by a physically active lifestyle. However, you don’t need to spend money on expensive sports. There are many affordable hobbies that you can adopt.

Below are several ways to maintain an active life without spending money.

Download Free Health and Fitness Applications

Use free health apps on your mobile device to monitor your health and fitness. You can track calories, your steps, other exercise activities, and even your sleep patterns.

Go for Walks

Walking has so many benefits to your body. People who walk at least 10,000 steps per day not only manage their weight but also reduce their risk of a heart attack. Regular rocks can lower blood pressure, builds stronger bones and muscles, and helps you clear your mind. Walking also helps you save money on gas.

Start Cycling

If you have a bicycle at home that you have forgotten about, now is the right time to bring it out from the basement or the attic. Instead of taking your car for transportation, start cycling. Cycling helps the planet by reducing carbon emissions. It enables you to improve joint mobility, posture, and coordination, and it decreases body fat. Cycling is also a great way to relieve stress.

Ditch the Elevator

When entering your building or workplace, ditch the elevator and take the stairs to keep your body moving. You may need to ask your building manager for a key first to avoid getting locked in the stairwell.

Watch Free Home Workout Videos on YouTube

There are many online content creators on YouTube that upload free workout videos on their channels. So instead of paying a gym membership fee, you can watch free workout YouTube videos and exercise at home.

Use Your Home Equipment or No Equipment at All

Get creative and use stuff around your home to work out with. You can also work out with no equipment. Some exercises that don’t require any equipment and you can easily do them at home are pushups, jumping jacks, squats, situps, crunches, lunges, and more. These exercises will hit your upper body, lower body, and cardiovascular endurance.

Try Acro Yoga

A woman practicing yoga.

Speaking of working out without using equipment, you can try acro yoga, a mix of traditional yoga and acrobatics. So if you want to try a new thing, grab yourself a partner and flip each other around for a fun and exciting new workout.

Start Dancing

Whether you are in the kitchen, living room, or the shower, blast out your favorite songs and get your body moving. Not only is dancing a great way to exercise, but it is also a great source of stress relief.

Climbing

Rock climbing is a great way to improve your flexibility and strengthen your muscles. You can do this activity indoors and outdoors. While using an indoor rock wall will likely cost you money, there are climbing opportunities outside and not as dangerous as you might be imagining. For example, head to your neighborhood park and check out the child play structures. Many of these can be used by adults and offer a great workout.

Go for a Hike

Hiking has so many benefits. It can lower body fat, improve bone density, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce high blood pressure.

Jump Rope Workout

Skipping is a great way to decrease belly fat and increase body flexibility. Moreover, 10 minutes of rope skipping burns around 125 calories. Just be careful with your knees. If your doctor has told you to avoid jumping, then this is one of the healthy lifestyle activities that are not for you.

Play Video Games on Your Wii Fit

Wii Fit offers many exercising games such as aerobics and yoga. So if you have a Wii Fit at home, use it to start getting in shape. If not, you can likely find a used version for a price that won’t break the bank.

How to Stick to Your Healthy Lifestyle?

A woman eating a healthy snack.

Most people struggle to stick to a new lifestyle. But to get optimal results, you need to keep up to your healthy lifestyle activities. To do so:

  • Ask yourself why do you want to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle to find your motivation
  • Develop a habit with consistent training
  • Choose an exercise that you enjoy
  • Make it fun
  • Find yourself a partner to exercise with and keep each other accountable when you don’t feel like working out.
  • Get involved in a group or organization that shares the same active lifestyle
  • Go easy on yourself; meaningful change takes time

How to Maintain an Active (and Affordable) Lifestyle When Traveling?

A woman hiking up a mountain.

It may be challenging to stay healthy and active when you travel on a low budget because your routine and schedule are different, and you don’t always have control over your eating options. However, there are many things you can do to stay healthy while sparing your wallet.

Make Sure You Stay Hydrated

Try your best to drink at least 2L of water every day. Bringing a reusable water bottle with you on your trip can help you avoid buying bottled water. You can also get your daily water intake from juicy fruits and vegetables.

Get Consistent Sleep

Sleep is cheap. Do your best to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night when you are traveling. Sleep keeps you healthier, and it will also mean spending less time.

Eat in Moderation

It is okay to try new food when traveling. It is part of the experience. If you are eager to try unique sweets, pastry, and street food, do so but in moderation. And follow our tips on how to save on food above.

Stay Active

Continue exercising even if your routine is different. For example, go for a morning jog or use the hotel gym. Depending on where you are traveling to, you can replace your walks with hikes or swimming at the beach. Of course, you can always continue skipping rope, training online, and doing jumping jacks, among other exercises, in your hotel room. None of these activities should add to your trip’s budget.

Conclusion

There are many ways to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle on a budget if you think outside of the box. The importance is to stick to it and be consistent to see a difference and be the best version of yourself.

About Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown
Daniel Brown is an experienced and knowledgeable financial advisor at spoolah.com. He has been in this industry since 2008 and has a strong understanding of economic trends, all types of financial planning, ways of creating plans for meeting short-term and long-term financial goals, etc.

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