How To Workout On A Budget

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By Joel Cortez

BikingYou don’t have to spend a lot of money to get in shape. Here are some tips to help you get fit without dishing out the dough.

1. Look for alternatives. It’s important to recognize that there are plenty of exercises you can do that don’t cost a dime. Running, hiking, and walking are free – once you’ve bought a good pair of shoes. And if you can’t afford the expensive monthly gym membership, purchase a couple of good workout videos and some dumbbells. P90X, or any of the workouts will give you good results without the cost of a gym. They aren’t cheap, but if you stick with the programs, you’ll see a change in your body and your fitness levels in a matter of weeks.

2. Use free apps to track your calories, water intake, and exercise. Here are a few free (or very inexpensive) apps to consider. Each of these is easy to find via a search in iTunes.

– Lose It! By FitNow
– FitDay Mobile
– Nike Training Club
– iTreadmill Pedometer Ultra with PocketStep
– C25K
– Runkeeper
– Strava

3. Get social. Use your favorite social media tools as free support groups. Post your workouts or weight loss success on facebook and twitter – or do a google search for a weight loss forum where you can meet people with similar goals.

4. Find free workouts online. Yoga Today offers a new free yoga workout each week. And iTrain has a 6 Week Slimdown for Women program available via iTunes.

5. Use Pinterest to find the very latest tips, deals, and ideas on health, fitness, and weight loss. Pinterest is rather addicting, and you can find lots of inspiring advice, as well as coupons and deals on fitness equipment, diet programs, and healthy recipes.

6. Shop smart. Know when it’s worth it to fork out the extra money for organic foods, for example. Doing so is easy if you follow these two rules of thumb: Buy organic if the food is near the top of the food chain,high proteins are a good example(in other words, buy organic dairy, eggs, and meat.)For Peanut Butter & Whole Wheat Crackers-the multi-grain wheat crackers and whole wheat are fiber-rich and unrefined, and with your dab of peanut butter, you have a tasty and wholesome snack with adequate protein, which will keep you full for longer. Who says a weight loss diet is at the expense of taste?

As for fruits and vegetables, buy the following items in their organic form: apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, pears, potatoes, raspberries, spinach, and strawberries. This list is often referred to as the “dirty dozen” because researchers say you can slash your exposure to pesticides by as much as 90 percent by always buying these foods in their organic form.

7. Proteins for body building. Creatine is a nutrient that is obtained naturally in foods including meats and other proteins. Everyone has creatine in their muscle cells as it is the nutrient which enables us to use our muscles for heavy tasks. Taking creatine as a body building supplement means that your muscles can take on a greater workload so to speak. It enables you to work harder and lift heavier weights, meaning that as your muscles are worked harder, and therefore will grow faster.

Protein shakes and protein bars are another essential body building supplement. Protein is the nutrient which helps us to grow, so is obviously essential for muscle growth. Protein shakes and protein bars provide an extra boost of protein which not only helps with muscle building but also helps weight management, a good immune system, and bone support.

Purchasing protein in bulk from using a coupon will also save you money as you try to achieve your weight loss/fitness goal.

How College Students Can Stay Healthy On A Budget

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By Diane Pierre-Louis

universityThe college years can be busy and stressful and it can often feel like an uphill battle to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a limited budget. You know the scenario: you stay out a little too late at a party and leave hungry, so you pick up a burger or order a pizza. Or perhaps you have to cram for a term paper, so you consume countless cups of coffee or cans of soda to stay alert.

Either way, you’re not doing your body – or mind – much good. And your budget is probably taking a hit as well as you skip from one unplanned fast-food meal to another.

In order to be successful in school, you need to be at the top of your game physically, mentally and emotionally. Sure, the temptations of college life can be hard to resist, but if you follow these tips for staying healthy on a limited budget, you should start to see positive changes in little to no time.

Cook Meals and Bring Snacks
It might seem as if it’s easy to live off convenience foods, prepackaged meals and caffeinated drinks. However, this habit is expensive and bad for your body. Instead, teach yourself how to plan and cook simple, healthy meals several times a week. A great rule of thumb is to stay as close to a food’s original form as possible; the longer the ingredient list, the worse the dish may be for you. Consider teaming up with friends for themed potlucks and cooking parties. Also, skip the vending machine candy bar or cup of coffee between classes; it’s cheaper and just as easy to stash your own energizing snacks (bananas, granola bars, trail mix, etc.) and fill a thermos of coffee to get you through a busy day.

Shop Smart and Use Coupons
Coupons are often overlooked as a great way to save money. Check the local newspaper on Sunday for coupons that can help bring your grocery costs down, particularly when buying nonperishable and household items. Be careful, though, of falling into the trap of using coupons for items you don’t actually need. And also be sure that the discounted price of the item is still lower than the store’s generic brand.

joggersGet Some Exercise
We’ve all heard how working out benefits mind and body. The good news: college campuses are teeming with exercise options that are easy to incorporate into a busy schedule. Walk or ride your bike to class, find a running buddy in your dorm or join an intramural volleyball or flag football team. Having someone to work out with is a great motivator; if nothing else, it should make the prospect of a predawn gym session easier to handle.

With student discounts available, there should be little to no cost involved in getting enough exercise and the payoff can be huge.

Leave it Parked
If you have a car, leave it in the parking lot. Walk as much as possible and only use your car when it’s absolutely necessary – as a result, you’ll boost your health and your budget. If you’re the only one in your group with wheels, it’s time to practice saying “No,” unless you plan to collect gas money every time a friend needs a ride.

If you start by adopting this handful of healthy and budget-friendly habits, it won’t be long before you’re coming up with your own creative ways to save money and take care of yourself.

– This guest post was provided by Diane Pierre-Louis. Diane writes for U.S. News University Directory and covers topics related to Masters in Reading and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction programs.