I’ve met a lot of wonderful ladies through DanceFIT and 6FIT. Among them, my 6FIT teammate Allison. When I go to Zumba, if Allison isn’t there in the front row, something just doesn’t feel quite right. She’s a DanceFIT regular, 6FIT veteran, and generally positive and healthy woman. I was thrilled when she agreed to do a guest blog post. She has some great tips for staying fit on a budget. Enjoy! ~Danielle
Hi all! My name is Allison and I am a 26-year-old graduate student at Boston University. I am currently working on my Ph.D. in biology and hope to graduate in the next year or so. I was raised in Hanover, MA (about 20 miles south on Boston) and enjoyed tap dance and figure skating to stay active when I was young.
I started working out at DanceFit (consistently) about a year ago, and I have never looked back. DanceFit is the first fitness program I have ever stuck to. I was a member at a gym about 500 ft. from my apartment, and even though I was paying >$60 per month, I never went! The classes at DanceFit are so fun and engaging and the staff is approachable, knowledgeable, and super nice. I have never been more pleased with a fitness program, and the best part is that my mind and body feel amazing.
Staying Fit on a Budget
As a graduate student in the expensive city of Boston, one can imagine that my wallet is very thin. Between expensive gyms and the fact that fresh food is pricey, a healthy lifestyle can be expensive! Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce the cost of staying fit and healthy.
1. NEVER go to the grocery store hungry and always bring a list. Whenever I go to the grocery store hungry, I end up throwing random impulse items into my cart and they add up quickly. Having a list of items to purchase also prevents me from buying things that I don’t need. I like to go onto Pinterest before I go to the grocery store, and pick out a few recipes for the week.
2. Don’t waste food. This may sound like obvious advice, but I am astonished by how much food gets thrown out (by others, and sometimes by myself!). Eat leftovers. Utilize the freezer. Be creative, and use leftovers to make a brand new dish.
3. Cook with cheap foods.
- Beans are packed with protein and fiber, they are extremely versatile in recipes, and inexpensive.
- Eggs are one of the best sources of protein and are delicious any time of day (not just breakfast). A dozen eggs costs less than $2
- Tuna usually costs close to $1 per can, and is an excellent source of protein to throw on top of a salad, or eat as a sandwich with whole wheat bread.
- Quinoa is a whole grain full of protein that takes on whatever flavor you want. Similar to rice, it can be used as a filler (for example with ground turkey and tomatoes to make stuffed peppers), as a side, in a salad, etc. etc. A little quinoa can go a long way.
- Frozen veggies are super cheap and will never go bad.
4. Go for a run or workout at home…these won’t cost you a dime! There is also plenty of exercise that can be done around the house: vacuuming, doing laundry, shoveling, etc. etc. Always a win-win situation.
5. Look for deals. Websites such as Groupon often offer deals for fitness classes. This gives you the opportunity to work out for a reduced price and try something new. If you are a student, always ask about a student discount. DanceFit offers 10% off for students.
6. Don’t forget to have fun! I won’t lie…as a young woman in the city, I enjoy going out with friends and enjoying a few drinks. When possible, host friends at your place, or visit friends instead of going to bars. Bring a bottle of wine and a healthy snack. Resist late night munchies by always having a snack, such as a banana in your purse. When at a bar, order something that won’t ruin all of your hard work. Have either a glass of wine (good for you in moderation!), or a vodka soda. Don’t forget to get your exercise in, and DANCE!
Always remember that by staying fit and healthy, you are making an investment in yourself. Don’t feel guilty about money that you spend on health and fitness, as it will pay off now and in your future!