Health is always on top of our list of financial priorities, but I do agree joining gyms, following diets, eating “organic” are all quite heavy on the pocket. It is expensive to get healthy, but let this not be a reason to demotivate you and de-rail you from a “get fit” plan. What about cost effective fitness? Why not try to use the resources around you to stay fit and healthy without feeling totally ripped off! I am quite a strong believer in this one. I hesitate to invest in gear or pay up for a class unless I am a 100% sure I am going to use it. I also first do a check with all my existing resources, second hand options and do a trial class before paying up for anything new. Here are 6 cost effective ways to stay fit, get healthy and stay motivated. Doing your chores every day: this is how generations before us have maintained their health. Clean your own house/car, wash your dishes, mop the floor, take out the garbage, gardening and walk your dog. Be active in your work and living space. If you have a desk job then take the stairs as much as you can, walk to the printer, and get your own tea/coffee/water. Walk as much as you can. Walk to do all your out of home chores, walk to the grocery store, to the launder mat, the cafe and everywhere else. This is a major way people stay fit world over. What is also great is that not only will you burn calories you will also reduce the pollution and traffic on Indian roads. Running: the main investment are the shoes. Spend on a decent pair of sneakers. You don’t have to join any group or gym to run or walk. You can do it in your building compound, on the road and in the park. Home workouts: In this day of the internet there are superb exercise videos available on the net for free or for a small fee. Download any of these for a high intensity, heavy-duty work out e.g. Insanity, T5 and click here for some more I caution that with homework outs you need to be very careful with your form. If you are a first timer I recommend doing a month at a fitness center to ensure you know your movements, otherwise you are at risk with an injury. Equipment: if you need to invest in new fitness equipment first try the second hand route. Check OLX.com, Quikr, eBay and pick up your equipment from here. Make sure you check it well so the gear is in good working condition. You can make alternatives if you are just starting out, e.g. two liter water cans instead of dumbbells, skipping rope for cardio, yoga mat which doubles up into a exercise mat. Diets: dieting is a lot more expensive than many of us realize. Long-term habits are more sustainable and affordable than a short-term crash diets. Switching to organic food can burn a hole into your pocket instead you could go the freshness route. Buy groceries as often as possible, eat fresh food rather than the processed kinds (stuff in tins, cans, packets, ready to eat). Avoiding sugary and tea time snacks will save you some funds which can be re-invested into nuts and fruit as healthier snack options. Try oats as a grain adoption and drop rice and flour. Mix more veggies and fruits into your diet and buy fruits in season to make sure it is not heavily priced. Shop smart and I am sure you will end up saving more. If you have a problem with budgeting, don’t use that as a reason to stop you from starting your switch to a healthy, fit lifestyle. Follow these simple tips to kick start the plan right away.