Fitness and eating healthy can seem like such lofty goals.  This is especially true when you are just barely making enough and living paycheck to paycheck. 

Gyms, personal trainers, and home equipment all cost money, and when finances are tight, it can be hard to find the funds to make your health a priority.  The good news is that there are ways you can work around the money part, as long as you’re willing to put the time and effort into it!

Get in the Groove

Making the decisions that are going to work for you and your wallet can sometimes seem hard or nearly impossible.  To start with, finding somewhere you can work out for very cheap or even free is one of the best decisions you can make for your health.  Places like the YMCA offer cheap group classes, and even some community colleges open their gym doors for the communities they serve for free.  Besides trying to find free community activities for your health, you can also check out Groupon or other coupon sites.  There are usually tons of offerings for deeply discounted gym memberships, trial periods, and other great coupons on these sites.  The deals do tend to go quickly, though, so make sure you’re ready to buy when you check them out!

Finding the time to workout is especially important if you are in addiction recovery.  Studies have consistently shown that exercise is one of the best ways to keep you off the path of addiction.  Yoga, swimming, and even mediation have been found to be some of the best activities.  This is because they allow you to focus your mind and can relieve stress and anxiety, both of which are triggers for relapse in many individuals who are in recovery. 

If you can’t find a gym or other facility that works for you, then there are always local parks that you could hike in, or you could even just walk a few laps in your neighborhood.  You can even find some ways to fit little bursts of exercise into your normal routine.  There’s no need to follow the latest expensive exercise trend.

Fix Your Food

Finding ways to eat healthier isn’t always easy, either.  Making sure that you keep an eye on calories as a whole is a good way to start, and there are plenty of free applications out there that will even give you reminders.  Making simple swaps to your meals will help—like opting for honey mustard or even a vinaigrette instead of mayo on sandwiches, or taking half a bun off your hamburger—and they don’t cost any extra money.  

Department stores like Walmart or Costco usually offer rotisserie chickens at a good price, and pairing those with some frozen vegetables is a quick, easy way to eat healthier, while also being frugal.  You can also help ramp up your metabolism by breaking your three large meals into five smaller meals a day.  Planning and being creative are the best ways to keep your costs down.  

It can seem impossible to be like those instagram stars who post videos of their hour-long workouts, fancy protein smoothies, and impossibly priced meal plans.  With a little time, practice, and effort, you will be able to put them to shame and still keep your day job!

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