When you’ve made the decision to turn your life around from being a couch potato, watching tv, or a Netflix movie, while keeping a tray of salty snacks and soda nearby to one that pays attention to what they are now eating and looking to exercise more.

But you’ve made a few calls to the local gyms, and know that they have a lot to offer, including a good size membership fee. It seems that everything is increasing in costs, except maybe your paycheck. After all, with all your monthly expenses, between rent or a mortgage payment, costs to maintain that home, your car, not to mention your car payment. It leaves only a small part of your paycheck left to handle any unexpected expenses that may crop up. So with that scenario how are you expected to pay for that gym membership?

Well, knowing that the internet is your friend, we have found a few ways to stay active without breaking the bank. Here are a few suggestions still get in shape without spending the bulk of your hard-earned cash.

I just mentioned the internet before, so why would we not do a search for some web-based exercise courses. After all most of us, today have a smartphone so we can stream content anytime, anywhere! The great news is that there are lots of free workouts, tips, and advice from a whole range of health and fitness experts online. In fact, there is so much out there that it can be a little overwhelming. Having to find the right workout and trainer/instructor can be a little daunting, but don’t let that stop you, do your due diligence and you can find one that suits your physical makeup and goals of what you're trying to achieve.

Walking and Hiking
Another great way to stay fit is simply by walking, and you won’t get an argument from your doctor or physical therapist. They all agree that walking is a great way to get your cardiovascular system revved up, especially if the farthest you’ve walked before is going from the couch to the fridge and back again! Though you might not think so, going on a long hike can be just as effective at burning calories as a short burst of high-intensity training. You could walk around your local area and explore the best trails, or if you really want to get the heart racing, hill-walking is a great alternative to squats at the gym. And the best part? You get an amazing view from the top. Hiking from the house won’t cost you anything and traveling further afield needn’t cost you more than the price of your petrol.

Eat Healthy, Save Money
Fitness isn't just about exercise—your diet is a crucial part of being healthy too. But there continues to be a perception that healthy eating has to be expensive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The produce section of the grocery store is where you should be spending most of your shopping time. Most other parts of the grocery store not only contain expensive items, but they tend to hold most of the artificial food that isn't great for you. Did someone say sugar??

By sticking to the produce section, you can pick up tasty fruits like apples, bananas, and pears as cheap snack alternatives. And with items like beans, carrots, broccoli, and lettuce often under $1 per pound. You can fill up your pantry without taking out a line of credit at the bank.

Buy Equipment Second-Hand
Know somebody with an old treadmill sitting in their living room taking up space? Yeah, thought so. When you want to start engaging in sports and physical activities that require more complicated equipment, you can often get great deals purchasing exercise machines second-hand. Browse garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores for that previously-owned rowing machine or elliptical system. Check out the classified section of the paper, too, or check in with local gyms that may have used equipment for sale at a good price. If you've got the muscle and vehicle to move this equipment, you might even get it for free.

Don't Pay Full-Price for a Gym Membership
But if your a person, who likes to be around others while working out. You can still look at gym options, especially at the beginning of the year!

Most gyms are trying to entice a person to join their gyms right at the beginning of the year in order to show a promising bottom line to their creditors in order to purchase more equipment, for renovations, or for expanding their presence. So most offer a reduced sign-on membership plan for brand new members. But you have to read the fine print!

There's no reason to pay full price for a gym membership. Period. Many gyms offer year-long promotions or perks such as one month free, reduced monthly price, or deals for employees that are a part of a group corporate membership. Also, for those who don't need the gym seven days a week, certain gyms offer a discount if you only come in at certain times of day. (Not during peak periods such as 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

Another option is to recruit one or more of your friends to join so you can all get a discount. Just like a used car, prices in gyms are always negotiable. Bringing a friend in is great, because it saves you money, and you get the added bonus of motivating each other to work out. Because, no matter how much money you spend, or don't spend in this case, it's up to you to take action to reach your fitness goals.

Now, one thing that is highly recommended to make a part of your fitness program, is tracking your progress! Now we are all in about saving money, every way you can, but the bottom line is you get out of a program what you put into it, and if your not tracking your progress and the expenditure of exertion in order to achieve the goals your setting for yourself, your only doing a disservice to yourself. What I’m talking about is getting a good accurate activity monitor. Now you don’t need one with all the bells and whistles that could drive the price of the device up, but one that will track your activities, even while sleeping and also give you a pretty accurate measurement of your heart rate, both while your really into your fitness regimen and also while your at rest. One such monitor that fits this bill is the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Activity Tracker HR . This all day, activity monitor from Fitbit has an automatic heart rate tracking feature with “Pure-Pulse”, it tracks your resting heart rate and simplified heart rate zones to gauge your cardiovascular health and exercise intensity
And as an accurate activity tracker it monitors steps, the distance your walking or running, and the calories you've burned, the floors you've climbed and the minutes you've been spending being active. And it comes at a reduced price that won’t break your bank account.

So, what are you waiting for? With the money you're going to be saving in following a few of the above recommendations, there is NO-Reason to put off putting your body through the paces and work your way to being as fit as you can be, while still being able to buy that protein shake if you so desire.

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