Fitness can be seen as a luxury in a country where many people don’t know what their next meal will be. Perhaps this is why, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), almost 40% of South Africans are physically inactive. But fitness is an important part of health, which is why in this blog we give you fitness on a budget. 

Why keep fit? Exercise?

Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. A minimum of 30 minutes daily can allow you to enjoy these benefits.

Exercise improves brain health and learning. It can help people sleep better, lowers your chances of depression and decreases feelings of anxiety. Plus, exercise can give you a real sense of accomplishment when you achieve the fitness goals you may set for yourself. 

Health means different things to different people, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle means developing ways to ensure that you are fit. According to BetterHealth, Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. 

Why are people not staying active? 

Fitness may feel like it’s exclusive because healthy food is expensive. Joining a gym can also be pricey, but there are ways you can find a workaround that fits your lifestyle. 

One of the biggest reasons people drop an exercise program is lack of interest: If what you’re doing isn’t fun, it’s hard to keep it up. Realistically exercise won’t always be fun and it won’t always be affordable, so we have some tips for fitness on a budget.

Dancing: According to an article by EverydayHealth, people who engaged in moderate-intensity dancing (enough to make you out of breath or sweaty) were 46 per cent less likely to develop heart disease or die from it than nondancers over ten years of follow-up. Research by Frontiers in Psychology also found that dance movement therapy (DMT was effective in treating depression. If you cannot afford a dancing class, all you need is your phone and some data as you can find dancing tutorials on YouTube that can help you exercise at home. Search up different types of exercises that you want to try. 

Hiking: Many hike for leisure now. You can choose easy hiking trails that aren’t too strenuous  and increase levels as time passes. You can also form a group to hike for safety reasons; if you are a woman, be cautious of walking alone, and if you are not a professional, don’t take challenging trails alone. Also hiking doesn’t require money, you can take a walk around your neighbourhood for free – look for training groups in the area, they usually offer different times as well. So if you work hectic hours, you can try mornings before work or late afternoons after work. There are also weekend training groups in different townships and suburbs, ask around to see what works best for you. 

Virtual Trainer – There are apps you can download on Playstore, like FitOn. It has all types of exercises and fitness plans. You can schedule times for when it can remind you to start working out and it also shows you your progress. Apps like this are great at holding you accountable when you lose the drive to keep going on your fitness journey.

Healthy food – An important part of staying fit is eating healthy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Street vendors usually have cheaper prices and deals for fruits and vegetables. Also apps like FitOn offers you eating plans for free, you can plan your food schedule without having to pay big money for it. 

Research can be helpful in finding what works best for you. Find out what type of groups are in your area, most times there are different types of groups whether for running, training or hiking. Also google different types of exercises and what they may help you with, are you trying to lose weight? Gain weight? Or just to stay fit? After establishing that you can find different apps that can offer the solutions for the area you want to work on. 

Tell us: How do you stay fit on a budget?