Do all those holiday desserts and drinks have you thinking about your New Years resolution to get healthy? Whether you’re already planning your gym routine for the New Year or you’re waiting until after the holiday feasts to even consider getting into shape, you’re not alone: about 45 percent of Americans regularly make a New Year’s resolution, and the most popular one is to lose weight.
Once you have committed to shedding those extra pounds, it’s easy to get caught up in buying and spending money to get into shape. A gym memberships, a personal trainer, new workout clothes, a pair of new tennis shoes, a yoga mat, some hand weights, healthy post-workout snacks… the list goes on and on with ways to spend tons og money to reach your fitness goals.
But it actually doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to lose weight in the new year. Here are four simple ways to get into shape, stick to your health resolution, and save your wallet:
- Find an accountability buddy. Finding a friend to with a similar weight loss goal is an effective way to keep on track with your goal – and a whole lot cheaper than hiring a personal trainer. Look for a workout buddy who’s willing to commit to the same exercise and health regimen as you and is willing to hold you accountable. Just be sure the other person will commit to a regular routine with you and, if necessary, would be willing to kick your butt into gear if you start slacking.
- Get motivated by signing up for a fitness event or race. Another easy way to stay motivated without the cost of a personal trainer is to sign up for a race. Sign up for an event like a 5K run, half marathon, bike ride or anything else that gives you a clear deadline and goal to work toward.
- Skip the gym membership and invest in home equipment. Some people need a class at the gym or other folks exercising around them to feel motivated and to keep sweating. But if you’re not a fan of the weight room atmosphere and you find yourself continuously making excuses about why you don’t have time to drive or walk to the gym, consider investing in some home gym equipment instead. You can purchase a few DVDs, a step aerobics bench and some free weights for the cost of a few months at the gym – and you’ll never have an excuse to not workout if your equipment is sitting there next to your couch!
- Only buy exercise accessories when you need them. It’s tempting to think that buying the right fitness stuff will automatically help you reach your health goal. “Oh, I just need the right running shoes first, and then I’ll start jogging regularly!” or “I don’t have any yoga clothes, so I better buy some before I start heading to classes.” Yup, I’ve been there. The need to buy something before you start exercising is just one more excuse to help you procrastinate. You don’t need any fancy equipment or the perfect pair of shoes to start getting results. And if you’ll be losing weight anyways, why not wait to reward yourself with the fancy new exercise clothes after a month of hard work?