Physical and Mental Health Resolutions on a Budget

January 10, 2019

With 2019 officially underway, Colorado millennials and Gen Z-ers are resolving to be a little bit better in the new year: Remember to call Mom, be more thankful, and just start dressing like a professional, already. But the most common New Year’s resolution of all? Get fit.

Prioritizing your physical and mental wellbeing is an admirable and important goal. But we’ve got one warning: The $4.2 trillion global health and wellness industry (according to the Global Wellness Institute) is ready to capitalize on your good intentions with every fitness app, miracle workout, and personalized service under the sun. So—as long as you’re not in need of professional help to get back on track—we’ve got some tips to help you reach your fitness goals without breaking your budget.

Tip 1: Skip the Gym Membership, Personal Trainer, and Fitness App Subscription (Although, if you’re looking for some low-cost brick-and-mortar options in Denver, we recently covered these great options.)

Calisthenics

Maybe this term reminds you of old-timey mustachioed gents in immodest leotards, but the reason calisthenics have been around for eons is that they work. You don’t need fancy equipment to build muscle. Calisthenics have you use your own body weight to build strength or bulk up (think push-ups, dips, and crunches). Make the best use of reputable online sources for inspiration and information about appropriate form (YouTube is an excellent source for visual learners, and Bar Brothers Groningen for Calisthenics Workout sells services but also offers a paywall-free wealth of resources for beginners.)

Cardio

You don’t need a treadmill or fancy app to get a great cardio workout or keep track of your performance. If you prefer to get your heart pumping by running en plein air, make a mental note of your neighborhood route as you go. When you’re done, use onthegomap.com to mark the ground you covered on their digital map, and the website calculates your mileage for you.

For those who prefer to sprint or track mileage as they work out, free tracks abound. Public schools typically allow access to their outdoor facilities (outside of school hours and sports practices). Check your school district’s website for further information. If you can’t find what you need online, just call and ask. Use your watch or phone to check your time as you go.

Tip 2: Mind and Body Self-Care

You don’t need to join a yoga studio or pay for an app to get expert guidance in meditation and self-care practices. Use your podcasts app to search for free guided practices. Meditation Station, Daily Meditation Podcast, and Elsie’s Yoga Class are a few places to start. UCLA Health offers free guided meditations online and UC San Diego also offers free, streamable guided yoga and mindfulness practices.

Tip 3: Building a Community Doesn’t Cost a Dime

One of the greatest benefits of workout programs, mindfulness classes, or specialty diets isn’t the information you get from them, it’s the community you build with the people who have the same goals as you do. Gathering a supportive group of individuals who share your objectives can be critical to achieving them. If you have friends and family members with the same resolutions, check in with each other once a week to talk about your mutual experience and motivate one another. Don’t know anyone who shares your goals? That’s OK! Use an online resource like Meetup to build a group of like-minded resolution-ers to swap stories and cheer each other on.