Maybe it’s being locked inside during the coronavirus pandemic making us go stir crazy and eager to move our bodies. Or, maybe it’s the memory of hanging by the pool with friends and the warm weather around the corner that has us motivated to get bikini-body ready by the time life goes back to normal.
Whatever the reason may be, people across the country are feeling the itch to workout. The only problem? Most gyms and fitness studios are closed for the foreseeable future and building an at-home gym is neither cheap nor practical.
I’m always conscious of spending, but now, tightening up the finances and staying within budget is even more important in this current state of economy. So how does a girl become fit while being frugal? By adding these budget-friendly items to your workout routine!
1. Exercise Resistant Bands
Hands down, the best way to create a home gym—without the hassle, heavy lifting, and most importantly, the price tag—is to pick up a set of exercise resistance bands. For just about $30, you open the door to a world of workout possibilities. I love variety, so the fact that you can use resistance bands to isolate specific muscle groups, strengthen your core, and perform total body workouts is a major plus. You’ll never get bored, because every workout feels new!
You can tailor your workout routine to your fitness level, so resistance bands are perfect for beginner, intermediate, and advanced pros. Recovering from injury? No problem. Use them for low-impact exercises while you’re in rehab and you’ll be back to full-strength in no time. The added bonus? You can use these light, transportable bands anytime, anywhere (even in front of the TV!).
2. High-Quality Running Shoes
You know me: if there’s a cheaper option, I’m (almost) always all for it. But there are a few big-ticket purchases that are worth the expense—and the best running shoes for women are a prime example.
Why? For starters, working out is much easier when you feel less miserable. Also, if you’re committed to fitness for the long haul, you should invest in quality products that can go the extra mile before falling apart. And there’s no other workout gear that you’ll use more often, or that has a greater impact on your comfort level, than your running shoes. Invest in a good pair up front to avoid spending more money and racking up more pain down the road.
Although many states have asked their residents to stay inside during the pandemic unless they’re performing essential duties, such as going to the store or pharmacy, exercise is an exception to the rule. Outdoor activities are a fun way to stay in shape, so lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement to get your heart rate going while soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
3. Essential Workout Apps
Incorporating exercise into your daily life can be really tough, especially for those of us who have fallen off the workout wagon. To keep your motivation strong, download workout apps that can double as a pocket-sized personal trainer!
There are all sorts of apps you can choose from, most of which are entirely free or cost only a few dollars a month. You can track your runs to see your distance, speed, and peak heart rate. You can download an interval timer and use it to prompt your next set with the bands. Some apps can even act like total wellness solutions by helping you monitor your sleep, water consumption, food intake, calories burned, and so forth.
4. Foam Roller
Once you start dusting off those muscles and putting them to use, you’ll inevitably feel a few aches and pains. Make your life so much better (and recovery time so much faster!) by picking up a foam roller. For less than $20, you can massage deep into the muscle tissue, reaching the fascia at the root of your soreness.
For the ultimate frugal hack, save yourself money by using a tennis ball as a foam roller instead! Simply lay on your side and place the ball beneath your hip at the point of the IT band insertion; after laying on it for a few moments, you’ll feel the tension melt away!
How are you staying fit at home? Give us your best workout tips in the comments below!