Physical and financial health don’t have to be mutually exclusive

Exercise can change a lot of things in your life; the way you feel, the way you look, even the numbers of zeroes in your bank account…or lack thereof. Just about everyone wants to be happy and healthy. But if you don’t make smart decisions, your financial health could actually suffer.

Close up of a person's feet while running

Skip the trendy gym membership
You can get in equally good shape at the gym that costs $30 a month and the celebrity gym that costs $300 a month. Don't get sucked in by the hardwood floors in the yoga studio and the granite countertops in the bathrooms-a treadmill is still a treadmill no matter how expensive the membership.

Skip the gym altogether
If you're the type of person who just loves the feeling of being at the gym, go for it. However, you should consider cutting the extra costs and exercising outside or in your home. If you typically run on the treadmill, try running outside. According to some research, it can burn up to 5 percent more calories. Once it starts getting cold, you can work out in your own house. There are endless exercise tutorials on YouTube.

You don't need designer workout clothes
Jumping jacks burn just as many calories in a t-shirt and shorts as it does in $100 leggings. Brand name is not synonymous with good shape. It's tempting to splurge on workout clothing, but be careful: a full outfit can do serious damage to your wallet. Just like everything, it's okay to treat yourself every once in a while-just don't make it a habit.

Be creative
Want to do weight training but don't want to purchase weights? No problem. Fill some milk cartons with water and do some squats. Don't have a stair stepper? Run up the stairs in your house, apartment complex, or office. There are plenty of exercises that require only your body weight like pushups and burpees. You can find an alternative to just about every exercise expenditure in the book. You just have to be open to them!

Good physical and financial health are two very important aspects of life. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. With a little adjusting and creativity, you can easily do both. So…why aren't you doing crunches yet?

[1] Do I Burn More Calories Running Outside or on a Treadmill, Verywell

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