Akanksha Banerjee elaborates upon her budget friendly route to fitness, and advises you on how to devise your own inexpensive plan. 

Rather than a privilege, it should be a pleasure to be fit. Getting into the best shape of your life and constantly “upping” your game, is the best thing you can do for yourself. So stop taking it easy on yourself, if you want to witness real mind and body changes.

Stop neglecting yourself

It is time to stop neglecting yourself and invest in your fitness. A fit body can make you fierce, sexy, and proud. And guess what? You can adopt a budget friendly approach, that puts these worries below at rest.

Gym memberships + supplements + ‘elite’ fitness dietary plans = more than half my paycheck gone, how do I have a life now?

Time + energy (we often have erratic work hours and it just seems impossible to wake up early and hit the gym or drag yourself after work) = Are you kidding me? How is this even going to work?

You don’t need a gym

In my experience, you don’t need to have a huge wallet to get fit. You just need to be smart and willing to push hard. I have gone from 78 kg to 52 kg in one year WITHOUT going to a gym.

What matters is your willingness to put up with trial and error, before you find what truly works for you. You really don’t need a gym in the beginning. There’s nothing like your own home, to start your fitness regime.

The more time you spend getting to know your body and experimenting (safely), the more likely you are to build a passion for fitness. This passion will ultimately drive you to making fitness a habit. Once you have attained a certain level of fitness, you can consider joining a gym or other fitness center. At this stage, you are more likely to make a commitment you can honour.

My recommendations for basic equipment

1 or 2 pairs of dumbbells (absolute must)
Go to a store or consult a trainer, to determine the weights that work for you. These should be easy to lift, but tough in the last few reps of a set.

In the beginning,  2.5 kg is a safe bet. If you feel like you are not ready for even the lightest pair of dumbbells, you can opt for resistance bands or body weight exercises instead.

1 kettlebell(optional)
Same advice as above – check the weight (usually 4 – 6 kg is a good bet for women). You can also use your dumbbells like a kettlebell so this is not mandatory.

1 yoga mat (absolute must)

1 pull up bar which fits into a door frame(highly recommended for beginner males and moderate/advanced females.)

You will not be doing pull ups for a while, but these are ideal for body conditioning. If you have a park near by, go for the monkey bars! A pull up bar is a great investment.

Once you are ready, you can consult an online guide to help you train to do pull ups/chin ups. Usually, men have a significantly easier time going pull ups/chin ups than women, but we can all get there with some training!

All of this should cost you about INR 3,000 – 5,000 (unless you are going fancy), and this is a good long term investment for anyone starting out who wants the flexibility to workout at home leisurely and still see results.

My budget friendly favourite apps

Here are my personal favourites, that have helped me during my journey from fat to fit:

  1. Seconds (Free): The HIIT/Tabata timer which makes life brutally fun!
    It’s great to follow YouTube channels which give you a plethora of interval workouts (HIIT, Tabata, etc.) to follow. However, for those of us who want to mix and match, the Seconds timer allows us to customize and create a workout timer to time all our intervals. It can be used for any time of exercise and is a must have.
  2. Nike running app (Free): Anyone who loves running needs a basic running app!
    There are many debates about which running app is the best (for those of us who like our morning runs) – I cannot recommend an absolute best but this app does the job for me. The point is that it is good to have a running app if that’s your thing.
  3. StrongLifts (Freemium): The simplest workout program to lift big or go home!
    Helps you keep track of how much you are lifting and upping your game. Great fat burning, strength builder! Lift heavy, lift hard!
  4. Jetfit/Fitstar (Freemium): Quick but challenging workouts for when you are on the go!
    These apps give you great workouts which are not very time consuming – for when you are hard pressed for time but not effort!
  5. Heart Rate Monitor (Freemium): Just keeping tabs on the basics!
    Simple but great app for anyone to use in to track heart rate.