Health and Fitness Alternatives

  • Running

A healthy lifestyle can save you time, money, and your GPA.  Here's how to do that on a budget:

Key Points

  • Get health insurance that fits your budget and meets your needs.
  • For exercise, you can find inexpensive gym programs or exercise with your own DIY equipment at home.
  • Make sure your food budget doesn't go to junk.  Plan ahead to eat healthily.

A Budget-friendly, Healthy Lifestyle

When you think about the combined costs of health insurance, using proper exercise equipment, and eating healthily, a healthy lifestyle can seem quite expensive.  However, there are many ways to stay healthy on a small student budget.  

Understanding Health Insurance

Health insurance is one of the most important things to take care of to ensure your health.  It's very difficult now to get healthcare without insurance.  Please visit our Health Insurance article to learn what you need to know.

Gym Membership

Many people prefer to use a gym instead of working out at home or outside.  Going to the gym can provide benefits you might not find anywhere else: trainers, convenience, classes, great exercise equipment, shelter from weather, and a chance to meet people.  However, many college students find that a normal gym membership is just out of their price range.  If you're looking for a great gym but don't want to pay the membership fees, then as a full-time BYU student you can use the RB facilities for free or join their low-cost wristband program for unlimited access to their many exercise classes.  If you'd rather join an affordable off-campus gym, visit this article by financial expert Clark Howard for excellent ideas to help you shop for your gym membership.

Exercise without Equipment

If you've decided that a gym membership isn't for you, there are still many things you can do at home or outside to maintain an active lifestyle: 

  • Do exercises that don't require equipment.  These exercises are pretty common: push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, jogging, running up and down stairs, lunges, crunches, sit-ups, dancing, etc.  The list goes on and on.  The important thing is to get up and move, jump, run, and do what you can to raise your heart rate for some time.  
  • Watch tutorials or exercise videos.  Some exercise DVDs or at-home programs are rather expensive, but there are many great tutorials and exercise routines that you can find for free on an internet search or by browsing YouTube.
  • Use household items as exercise equipment.  There are many things you can find at home to challenge you further and improve your exercise routine without having to purchase expensive equipment.  Some of these items include gallon jugs full of water, chairs, a couch, a kitchen table, a broom, cans of food, a stepping stool, etc.  The possibilities are endless; get creative!  You can also find many ideas for these exercises through an internet search.
  • Play sports and do outdoor activities with your friends.  This is a great way to get in your exercise for the day and interact with others while you're at it.  These sports and activities can include standard sports like basketball, soccer, and tennis, ultimate frisbee, hiking, taking a walk, cycling, relay races, swimming, "bubble soccer," training for and joining a 5k or other race, rock climbing, capture the flag, etc.  Once again, get creative and have fun!

Living a healthy life doesn't have to be expensive!  In fact, it can save you a lot of trouble and money in the long run.  So start now, without breaking the bank!

Eat Healthily on a Budget

Many students feel that eating healthily is far too expensive; however, that couldn't be further from the truth.  Click here for some great ideas to help you plan your meals well and eat well on a small student budget.

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