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Life hacks for getting fit on a budget

Many people have told me that they would exercise if it wasn’t so expensive. They can’t afford a gym membership, a treadmill or fancy workout gear, so they skip it all together. However, there are many inexpensive solutions to get fit with a minimal investment.

  1. Run

hokaRunning is one of the few sports in which you can participate without spending a lot of money (although my husband would disagree). Let me rephrase that….you can spend as much or as little as you want to participate in the sport of running. If you buy high-end shoes (like Hokas), run travel destination races (like runDisney events) or purchase the latest fitness gear (like the Apple Watch or Garmin), you certainly can spend a lot of money. However, with a good pair of running shoes and the road in front of you, you can run with little investment. You can also participate in runDisney events by raising money for charity and you can feel good about where you race money is going and raise money for a good cause at the same time. Groups such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are all charity groups that allow you to raise money for their charity while running at runDisney event. My Moms Panel friend, Ashley, wrote about running in a sold out Disney race on her blog Fiddle Dee Me.

Or you can do what my buddies and I did for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and bunk together in a room and save money on the trip! We made the runDisney event into a girls weekend.

  1. Furniture Gliders to strengthen your core

GlidersChances are, many of you have furniture movers laying around the house that you’ve used for moving your couch without scraping up your floors. These babies make an excellent fitness tool that will work your core. I took a fitness class that used these gliding discs for lunges, planks and squats and they were fun and effective. I immediately logged on to Amazon at home to buy them and found that they were $33.75 a pair! I wasn’t about to pay that much and I used my furniture gliders instead. They worked just as well, if not better, and I already had them lying around the house. If you don’t have any, you can buy them for only $7.62 for a set of four on Amazon. As a bonus you can move your couch (which is also a great exercise I may add). I created a great workout plan you can do with gliders for a full body workout that will build your core. Check it out.

  1. Tennis Ball to work out muscle knots

tennisA tennis ball is an inexpensive self-massage tool that you can bring with you anywhere.

Sure, you can buy the Pro-Tec Athletics Orb Massage Ball for $20+ on Trigger point massage ballAmazon, or you can use a tennis ball that you have lying around the house that will probably offer you the same results. Foam rolling is all the rage, and I definitely use a foam roller as well, but a tennis ball will offer targeted massage relief to specific areas needing attention. I have a lot of pain in my right priformus muscle and a tennis ball offers relief by applying just enough pressure. To use the tennis ball, set it in the area in which you are experiencing pain and apply the proper amount of pressure so you feel pressure or “good pain”, but not so much that you are wincing. Then allow yourself to relax, and wait for the pain to fade. This releases the pain and works out the knot. Tennis balls are great for working out knots in your back and neck as well. Check out my post on foam rolling for more foam rolling tips.

  1. Soup cans for weights

soupI know this is an oldie, but it’s a goodie. Weights can be expensive, however, you can simply use soup cans for light hand weights. I use light weights to work my shoulders and small muscles, and soup cans are the perfect weight to work out those areas. You can also use a gallon of water for heavier weight. Try carrying a gallon in each hand to do farmer walks. Another one of my favorite exercises that I like to sneak in during the day is to carry heavy objects upstairs. If I have to go upstairs, I’ll grab weights or a laundry basket filled with clothes to add extra weight to the walk. Try carrying the laundry overhead or do lunges on the steps as you walk up.

  1. $1 ball

ballWe did this great move in Pilates class that involved a small playground-like ball. There are many variations of exercises you can do with the ball, including V-ups, holding the ball between your thighs while doing bridges and placing the ball behind the small of your back for sit-ups. A “wellness ball” is $10 a to $35 in stores, but you can go to Dollar Tree and buy a kids playground ball for a buck and it works the same.

Do you have any cost-effective workout tools? I’d love to hear from you!

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