Fitness For the Frugal Gal

frugal fitness

Torch calories, slim down and improve your overall wellness — without breaking the bank — by running. And best of all: no gym membership is required! All you have to do is simply step outside and start running. It's that easy, and it costs next to nothing! With a good pair of running shoes and a couple free mobile phone apps, you can hit the pavement and work up a sweat while sticking to your tight budget. Unlike jumping on the gym elliptical or stationary bike for 30 minutes, running and logging those miles can be physically strenuous and mentally challenging. If you're a running newbie, starting with a training program and setting goals can help you achieve the well-deserved title of being a runner. Then after investing in gear upfront, you can economically boost your health and melt body fat by running mile after mile.

Half Marathon Training

Rather than haphazardly tell yourself that you'll run for about 25 minutes a few times a week, establish a solid goal. Then precisely set and follow smaller goals that will help you achieve your ultimate goal. Be ambitious with your running regimen and sign up for a half marathon. Visit to find a half marathon race that you can sign up for in your local community. After you've made the commitment, follow's half marathon training for beginners. Four times a week you'll schedule a run into your day and rest the remaining three. Writing down the time and day of scheduled runs into your day planner or scheduling runs into your phone's calendar helps confirm your weekly goals.

Running Shoes

Prior to your training, you will need to open your wallet for a high-quality pair of running shoes. Shop online for brand name clearances, sales and shoes at wholesale or warehouse prices. You can find great deals on sites such as, and You may also find shoes that fit within your budget at an outlet shopping mall with stores, such as Nike, Asics, Reebok, and Adidas. As far as apparel is concerned, just put on something comfortable that you can run in. There's no need to dress fancy and waste money.

Running Apps

You don't need a fancy, expensive GPS watch to track your mileage, distance or calories burned. Download the following two free apps onto your smartphone to take your training to the next level.

  • MapMyRun: Save on gas by starting your run as soon as you step foot outside your door. With MapMyRun, you can map custom routes, see mapped routes in Google Earth and view elevation profiles. You can also rely on the app's real-time GPS tracking for distance, time, pace and speed.
  • runtastic: Dubbed as “your personal sports and fitness application,” this running assistant can help motivate you for each run. See how many calories you burned, use graphs to analyze your performance, monitor your heart rate, and share your activities with friends and family on social media sites.

You also can't forget to create a running playlist on your smartphone to keep you energized. Now tie your shoelaces, grab your phone and step outside to take on those miles without draining your financial resources.

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