Let’s admit it. Sometimes we have those days in the month when our wallets are simply not co-operating and if you are employed, you are literally counting down the days to pay day. The worst part is that sometimes, your gym membership will run out during this period and it becomes an excuse to not making time for your workouts. Worry not, in this week’s wellness buzz, I will share with you a few tips I have picked up over the years to mitigate this struggle and keep away the unwanted weight.
1. Try to have a positive attitude
We all know that perspective is everything and in most cases, it dictates our decisions. If you tell yourself that I am not going to work out because I am low on cash, trust me, every day you miss out on your routine will be detrimental to your fitness journey. If you can’t afford to pay for the gym, try do a run at least 3 times a week for about 30mins. All you need is your earphones, a good playlist and fun active wear. Don't go for a run in those free safaricom or blueband teeshirts. When some money comes through, try to invest in fun stylish items because when you look good, you feel good working out and I guarantee you will enjoy it more! For more details on this, have a look at my article on the '9 gym must haves'.
2. Pay/ Renew your gym membership on pay day
If you have some cash you can set aside for gym membership, try to always renew it on your pay day. There is something fulfilling about spending that first 4000Kshs on your membership because by doing this, you are investing in yourself. I have found that if I delay to renew my membership, it will expire at a very odd time during the month when I am low on cash and eventually set me back. And once you have paid for it, you will put in that work at the gym.
3. Avoid take out and cook at home
Buying groceries from the local market is cheaper than ordering take out. By cooking at home, you are sharpening your kitchen skills and watching how much oil you cook your food with. Always use olive or coconut oil. So save your money, go do some shopping and keep the extra calories off ;). This is both for men and women, in this day and age, everybody needs to be kitchen savvy.
4. Reduce your carbohydrates intake and eat more vegetables & fruits
If you are absolutely low on cash for membership, and perhaps too busy to put in a morning or evening jog, then try and reduce your carbohydrates intake and eat more vegetables. Although I always advocate for being active, sometimes I know life can take a toll. So eat more vegetables and fruits, and drink a lot of water. By doing this, you are boosting your metabolism and your body is not storing the extra carbs as fat. Since you are not active, you don’t need the excess starch because your body is not using it as a source of energy to workout. Remember to always go for the complex carbohydrates; for more details on this, have a look at my article called 'Carbs Carbs Carbs'.
5. Reduce the late night partying
Let's face it. We are millenials and we like to have a good time. But going out is so expensive in Nairobi; especially if you like the high-end clubbing scenes. In my article on cocktails that are low in calories, I gave some options that are friendly to your waistline. If you reduce the partying and find an activity for the weekend that will make you spend less, then by all means do it. Right now I am more into game nights with friends and the simple ‘wine catch up sessions’ at my sister’s place. Of course you will bump into me at Buddha, Brew Bistro or Mercury, but I try to do it with moderation; as Oscar Wilde put it, “Everything in moderation, including moderation”. Major Key Alert.
6. Get active with Bootcamps!
Though they are not very common in Nairobi, I am happy to see different trainers organising these outdoor group classes at very fair prices! Strength Kenya, a fitness community based in Nairobi organise boot camps every Saturday at the arboretum, and they only charge you 50/=. You literally have no excuse not to try it out. This kind of thing would keep me indoors on Friday night because you don’t want to be in a group class with a hungover and feel like everyone is judging you. I might check it out this coming Saturday! Come along with me and check out more of their work on their instagram page here.
7. Home workouts
A girl can dream!
Though I am such a gym bunny, working out at home is also as effective. You can opt to download the Insanity workout, T25, or simply go on youtube and type down ‘home workouts’. There are so many videos online that can help you with this option. All you need is a gym mat, a kettle bell or dumb bells, a gym ball, and a skipping rope. (Nairobi Sports House have a sale!) Indulge in these toys and save yourself the cost of gym membership. You can also download applications like Runtastic, Nike+ Training Club, Livestrong, Fitstar which have over 100 workout videos. Click here to see a 32 mins home workout by Fitness Blender! There is also no shame in buying second hand gym equipment. I have a contact; feel free to pop me an email :)
8. Take time to find an affordable gym close to your office or home
I don’t like going to a gym and being told that the monthly membership is 12,000Kshs. I strongly believe that empowering others to reach their fitness goals starts with offering accessible workout options. I am happy to see gyms like Smart Gyms giving us really affordable rates at 3000kshs for monthly membership! Finally. So look around for gyms that are friendly to your wallet because they do exist and soon, I’ll put up an article on affordable gyms in Nairobi. Access to a good gym should not be a luxury, it’s a crucial investment.
9. Portion Control
I am not crazy about counting calories, but if I am not staying active for whatever reason, I always make sure that I maximise on the salads. Having salads for dinner keeps your metabolism high, your tummy tight and your skin glowing. If you really dislike salads, try and replace your meat for vegetable proteins like beans and lentils. These are much cheaper than buying chicken breast or salmon. For more details on portion control, sneak into my article called 'The Eat-Well Plate'.
10. Ditch the sugar based cereals and opt for Weetabix and Oats
Avoid the sweet cereals and opt for weetabix and oats. Weetabix currently have a value pack which costs under 300Kshs and they are so rich in fibre. They are perfect to have before a morning workout or even to give you that morning boost to start your day. Oats are also healthy because they increase your metabolism and aid in digestion; did I mention how delicious a bowl is? Slurp! There are so many variations of oats in the shops that will cater to different wallets. I also love oats because you can use them to bake healthy cookies and granola bars. Have you seen the granola bars prepared by Healthy Kajuju and Nuts about Nutrition? Definitely a must try. Check out my article called 'Power Breakfast' to see how you can mix up weetabix and oats for breakfast :)
With these ten tips, I hope you will feel encouraged to continue your fitness journey despite the financial hurdles we often face. Keep your head up, stay active and I wish you a productive start to this month of October, 2017.
“Ability is a poor man’s wealth”- John Wooden
Yours in Wellness,