Most people I’ve met assume that in order to live a healthy lifestyle, you must spend more to get there. They envision fees mounting up for everything from the gym to their weekly food shop. However, I know it can cost nothing to adopt a healthy lifestyle and it’s entirely possible to get healthy for free.
I actually spend less now that I used to when I was unhealthy because when you practice self-care you begin to look after yourself in various ways including spending less and getting healthy combined. But it’s still hard to persuade friends to take the first step as they have a fear they will be spending beyond their means and would rather stick with their food and routine they know and love.
I’d like to show you that you don’t need to spend anything in order to lose weight and you can definitely get healthy for free.
How to Get Healthy for Free
I want to start with food as there a quite a few myths to dispel as it’s not true that you need lot’s of money to eat well. Yes, doughnuts are 5 for a £1, however there are also savings to be made on meat, vegetables, soups and salads. I cringe when people think that you have to spend more to eat well.
I love fresh food but I rarely keep it in the house as they expire within a few days and I would end up throwing out which costs me money and causes unnecessary waste. Buy as much as you can frozen – as the trade off is that it might not be as fresh but it will save you money, never go off and you’ll always have something ready when you come home.
Specialist shops such as Whole Foods will cost you more money however I do our healthy weekly shops at Sainsbury’s or Tesco and I don’t pay anymore than I did before. In fact, we pay less as we plan our dishes, meal prep and budget.
All you have to do is start reading the labels and cooking food that’s under your calorie budget. This should cost you the same as before as you’ll simultaneously be leaving out all those high calorie foods.
I can whole heartedly recommend the MyFitnessPal app for all your tracking needs. The free version is incredible and everything that a beginner could possibly need. Track all your food by searching for the item on their extensive database or scanning the barcode. You’ll then be able to see how many calories you have left on any given day and make sure you always stay in your limit.
As for smart watches or sports bands, the truth is that you don’t need one however if you really want one, you can pick up second hand bands for super cheap these days and for a beginner, all you need is £30 or less to get something that will count calories burned for you.
Workout Clothing and Trainers
I’m very confident that every person reading this will have a baggy old top and a pair of leggings that will be perfect for your new workout gear. If you want to buy some then it’s important to know that no beginner needs to spent a lot on clothing – especially if you’re planning to be a size smaller in a few months.
Primark is a great place to start to get basic workout gear to begin with as an outfit can be picked up for less than £20 including trainers. In time – and only if you feel you need to – you can progress to specialist workout gear from brands, however I still recommend you visit an outlet or a discount store in order to not waste money.
You don’t need to pay to go to the gym as there are plenty alternate ways to workout for free. You could go for a run, watch and follow Youtube workout videos, find a local outdoor gym, attend free classes at the local park and get weights or equipment from a family member or friend who no longer uses them.
To summarise, the most I can see anyone paying is for the initial clothing if they don’t have anything. After that, you can spend as much or as little as you want to get in shape. I hope this article has shown you that you don’t need to spend a lot to reach your health goals.