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8 Ways to Get Fit on a Budget ...

There are so many ways to get fit on a budget, I can’t believe people actually spend thousands to get fit. I just don’t get it! If you’re embarking on a new fitness campaign, keep reading before you spend another cent. Here are 7 ways to get fit on a budget… let’s see how much you can save!

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1. Invest in Gear Where It Counts

You’d be surprised how much of your fitness budget can be blown on things that really don’t matter. You don’t need to invest in a running bra in every color of the rainbow, with shorts to match, and then $150 running shoes on top of that. One of the best ways to get fit on a budget starts before you even do your first jumping jack — it starts in your dresser, where you carefully scrutinize what you need. Three tops and three pairs of shorts are all you’ll need, so you’re not constantly doing laundry. And you can find a great pair of trainers for less than $100, especially if you wait for a sale or a coupon.

2. Know the Dirty Dozen

Fitness is more than exercise — it’s diet, too, and any diet focused on fitness ought to include fresh organic produce. But organic food can be expensive, so it’s important to know which foods you need to buy organic, and which (usually the ones we peel before we eat) you can buy non-organic. The fruits and veggies you need to buy organic are called the Dirty Dozen, and they include apples, berries, leafy greens, peaches, and grapes, to name a few.

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3. Run… Jog… Walk

Chances are, all the gear you use at the pricey gym can be used perfectly well to run, or jog, or walk, all of which are free. Shoes, top, shorts? You’re good to go. Running is excellent cardio and weight-bearing exercise, so you can probably cancel the gym membership and put those fees toward something else…

4. Use the Library

Your local library is a wealth of free diet and fitness books and videos. If you’re trying to get fit without spending a small fortune, browse the selection of yoga DVDs and low-cal cookbooks at the library, and buy only the ones you know you love, and will actually use.

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5. Know the Basics

Before starting any new fitness venture, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on which basics you’ll need. For fitness, you’ll need good shoes and comfortable clothes. For a healthy diet, you’ll need access to the right ingredients and even cookware so you can prepare healthy meals at home. Budget ahead of time for these things, making sacrifices where you have to — would you rather lose the muffin top, or buy that new pair of riding boots?

6. Look for Deals

It seems like new coupons and sales flyers arrive at my mailbox and in my email every day! I can’t even tell you how much money I’ve saved just by looking for deals here. For instance, I saved $20 on my new Brooks running shoes just by using coupons I found in the sporting goods store’s mailer! Sweet deal!

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7. Don’t Fall for Fads

How much do you think Tae Bo videos cost these days? Now that the fad is over, they’re dirt-cheap. The same can be said of most fitness fads, from diet cookbooks to workout DVDs. Most are still incredibly effective, but simply fell by the way-side when something new and trendy came along and became more popular. Be wary of fads, then, for two reasons. One, they’re often as pricey as they are trendy. Two, some diet and fitness products have been shown, after some months, to be unsafe.

8. Go Local

Like almost anything else, your local shops and businesses will be able to offer goods and services for fitness than national chains can’t touch. The fruit stand will have fresher fruit at lower prices than the chain grocery, and the small locally-owned gym will offer better membership prices than a big chain. Plus, every dollar you spend helps strengthen your local economy while you strengthen your mind and body. It’s a win-win all around!

Who knew it could be so easy to get fit without breaking the bank? I’m notoriously frugal, so I use these tips all the time. I especially love checking out new cookbooks and fitness DVDs at my library before I buy them — but which of these tips do you think you’ll use? Or do you have any other ideas to share?

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