Moving to the Charleston area a few years ago was eye opening. The area is beautiful, the weather is fantastic, and there are sidewalks pretty much everywhere! I, a certified bookworm, have never really been physically fit. I’ve tried the gym, the trainer, the food prep. Honestly, I am done with spending so much money to see so little results. Truth be told, any weight gain or subsequent loss in my life was probably due to a very unhealthy relationship with food. But, I knew that this was the place where I could put the past behind me and start fresh.
The only problem…I HATE spending money!
So, what to do?? I wanted to get fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle on a “very” strict budget, basically zero. So I decided the first thing to buy would be a pair of shoes. Half-off from the clearance rack, and I started running. Finishing about 1/4 of a mile away from my house and I started to cry, realizing that this was going to be harder than I thought. That day I downloaded the Couch to 5k app to my phone and life looked a little sweeter. The Couch to 5K app, like many other running apps, costs a dollar or two, but the investment paid off right away. Within six weeks I was running three miles per workout. Eventually, running by myself got boring, but I was so very proud of my progress.
Getting fit…on a budget
A friend asked me I wanted to join FiA (Females in Action), a peer lead, free workout group. Free, you say? Now that’s an investment I can get behind. So I started going to FiA a few days every week and every week I grow and get stronger. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. These ladies that sweat with me at 4:30 or 5 in the morning are freaking AMAZING!
Soon I decided to take on a new challenge and signed up for a marathon. This was a bit more of an investment at $41. But I felt that it was worth it to have a really big goal at the end of this year. With that came new shoes and a trip to one of my favorite stores, Fleet Feet of Summerville. Lolli fitted me for great running shoes and inserts. Yes, it was a bit pricier than I would usually want to spend, but it was a Christmas gift…so I splurged. Sarah, busy mom (they have five kiddos in their brood) and avid athlete (She ran a 50 miler last year!) helped me to see that there is so much more than just one race at the end of the year. She helped me develop a running plan and introduced me to the MyFitnessPal App. She shared with me that Fleet Feet has Monday Runday, a free run for all levels, as well as a Pub Run once a month or so (also free). With tons of challenges and great games, I realized that I had been missing out on all of the awesomeness that comes with having a community of runners around me.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Amber, I have young kids and I don’t want to leave the house at 5am to workout, what should I do? Well, you are in luck. Did you know that you can purchase really awesome workout videos on demand? Things like Beachbody on Demand, or The Daily Burn can help you burn calories while the little ones are taking naps.
If a lower impact type of exercise is more your goal, yoga is where it’s at. I tried a yoga session with Teresa (Yoga with Teresa) and she wore me out. She makes everyone comfortable and just when you think you can’t stay in the “twisted pretzel pineapple upside down cake” stance any longer, she says things like “Now let your heart shine”…and it does, it really really does.
One thing I haven’t spoken about is nutrition. Programs like Plated and Hello Fresh are great at getting you fresh and healthy foods right to your door. However, the pricing can change. We have used emeals.com for years and here’s why. One annual cost of $60 and they can help you plan, purchase, and cook great healthy meals with seasonal fresh foods that you can purchase from your own grocery store. I also love that these types of programs seem to save me so much money because I have a plan and I’m not going to the grocery store dazed and confused. We eat the food I buy, and there’s none to throw away at the end of the week.