After the global health crisis in 2020, it has never been more important to look after your health and well-being. It’s not new information that exercise helps you maintain a strong immune system while building longevity. What is groundbreaking is that it can be done without breaking the bank, helping you (and your wallet) feel lighter and stronger. Because when times get tough, you shouldn’t have to compromise your health.

The leading misconception about fitness is that it is costly. During the pandemic, fitness professionals have been getting creative with how they hold and teach classes. As a result, prices have fallen, as overhead costs for studio space have been significantly reduced, if not eliminated altogether.

For me, fitness is my personal endorphin shot and provides balance during such a scary time. I’m going to take you through some of my current favorite regimens for staying healthy and fit on a budget. I’ll stick with the four areas I enjoy the most: barre fitness, cardio/yoga fusion, rollerblading, and simple sprint variations in nature. If your goal is to stick to a fitness regimen long-term, it’s important to choose exercises that you enjoy!

Staying Fit at Home with Online Fitness Classes

For years, I practiced barre at a studio in Los Angeles, and when the pandemic hit, I knew I was too addicted to these workouts to let them go. A friend of mine, Kimberly Green, formerly with the studio, decided to launch her own business called Barre Fit, which has been absolutely incredible. Barre Fit is a one-hour online class that you can take anywhere you have enough space to lift your legs, pulse, and dance it out! All you need is a chair or counter for your barre, a yoga mat, free weights if you like, and a towel, making it an easy way to exercise and stay fit on a budget. The best part is that the pricing is incredibly fair: Kim offers $12 single classes and more cost-efficient packages. Alternatively, you can choose “On Demand” sessions for $5 a class (something I have done many times). You just download the class and do them at your leisure within 24 hours of purchase, which is a sweet deal. The best part is that, with everything going on, it gets you out of your head for a solid hour and allows you to return with the strength needed to take on the day, whatever that may bring. Staying fit both physically and mentally helps uplift your day, too.

Choosing a One-Time Purchase for Long-Term Fitness Benefits

Back in the day, you could find me at the roller rink almost every Saturday. I was the queen (or so I thought) of speed skating, cruising, and even the backward skate. Years passed, and the skates accumulated dust. When the pandemic hit, I decided to resume one of my favorite pastimes and picked up skating again. I found blades on Amazon for a reasonable $40 and within a week was cruising on the pavement. The burn is fantastic! Staying fit in your neighborhood is easy with skates, as you can torch up to 1,000 calories within one hour of skating, keeping the fat where you want it: in your wallet. It’s a one-time purchase that you can use over and over again. I also find that skating doesn’t feel like exercise, as it’s fun when you’re with the right person, have the right scene, and the right jams going.

Keeping Your Mind and Body (and Your Wallet) Happy

Another activity that’s allowed me to maintain my fitness during this pandemic is cardio yoga. Initially, I met with my neighbor, safely and socially distanced, on the rooftop of my building. We would do a one-hour session with CorePower Yoga. CorePower actually offers a seven-day trial to see if you jibe well with the classes, followed by an affordable $15-a-month subscription for unlimited online classes. Honestly, you cannot find a better deal than that. I love it because the yoga sculpts and targets different areas of your body while infusing a meditative yoga practice throughout, and all you need is your mat and mother nature (if not your own living room). During colder months, I moved my practice into my kitchen, where I also do barre, and I love that I can start my day straight out of bed knocking this out. This has eliminated what can sometimes be a stressful drive to and from a studio (thanks, LA traffic) and has also enabled me to stop spending excessive amounts on individual yoga classes. All in all, this way of staying fit at home has been an easy way to exercise my body and keep my mind focused.

Sticking to 100% Free and Easy Exercise: Walking or Running

The last thing, and one that I think we overlook in the health and fitness world, is good old-fashioned sprints. When we were in full lockdown, I got into the practice of going on walk-sprints by the beach, as the sunlight and view were uplifting and the exercise itself didn’t cost me a dime. I am not a runner; I enjoy the walk-sprint combination! I would choose a specific mile marker to ensure my sprints were within the golden number of six minutes and have the other increments of time for recovery. You can do these workouts without being an avid runner, and still get the benefits of cardio. Bonus points if you decide to do them on an incline or stairs, with up and down sprints. 

Both your derriere and your credit score will rise as you spend more time on staying fit on a budget and spend less money on staying “healthy.” Move your body! It’s a means of investing back into your health — physically, mentally, and financially.

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