If I had to pick one phrase to define my experience this summer, it would be “physical activity”. I’ve been exercising more this summer than I think I’ve done in any summer of my life time. Sure, I’ve had periods of my life where I’ve been exceptionally physically active (like the last time I trained for a 10k), but I’ve never been so active in so many different ways before.
I haven’t joined a gym or purchased a treadmill or any of those crazy expensive endeavours. Nope, I’ve found frugal and super fun ways to get my physical activity in, and save money too. Here’s how I’m doing it:
Running is a huge part of my identity, but over the past few years I haven’t been doing as much running as I’d like. That’s all changed this summer, because I made the conscious decision not to squander the bit of fitness I gained while training for the Bluenose this Spring.
Instead, I’ve ridden the wave and continued to run into the heat of the season. Right now my long runs are 7km but I intend to keep slowly increasing those until I hit 10km. At that point I’m hoping to enter another race, probably in the Fall.
Cost To Me: $16
I haven’t spent any money on running this summer. I already had my Garmin Forerunner 210 (pictured above), which was a Christmas present from a few years ago. In the shoe department, I’d bought a pair of Merrell Bare Access Arc 3 Running Shoes (also pictured above) last fall, and man do I ever love them. I know some people are skeptical about the barefoot running movement, but these shoes have been a godsend.
Usually when I run anything above 5km regularly without cross training, I’m plagued by a “mystery leg pain” in my left leg, but so far *knocks on wood* things have been fine as long as I’m in my Merrell’s. Finally, my running wardrobe that I accumulated a few years ago when I was doing serious training has been holding up well, so I haven’t had to purchase anything, except a new pair of socks from Lululemon for $16.
I love hiking! So far I’ve been on two hikes at our local Provincial Park, both of them were about 9km (5.6 miles) and involved a beautiful waterfall at the end. I love hiking because it’s a slower pace than running and it’s usually a family affair. My husband and I go together and we bring our dog Molly along with the walk. Both times this year we’ve invited even more family members along, because group hikes are always more fun.
Cost to Me: $20
The first time we went, we had to pay admission to the park, which was about $20 for the two of us. The second time we went, it was Canada Day and all parks are free on that day so we didn’t spend anything. Sweet!
As far as gear is concerned, I use an old backpack that I had from my Europe touring youth. I don’t have hiking boots, but I use my Merrell’s and they perform well given that the provincial trails are pretty well groomed.
This summer I fulfilled my life long dream and bought my first grown up bicycle. It wasn’t the cheapest bike, but boy do I love her. My husband and I cycle together several times a week, and I love taking my dog Molly out for a quick run alongside the bike. She loves the higher speed and I love giving her a good workout without exhausting myself.
So far I’ve cycled 88.5km (55 miles) over 17 trips. I love cycling because you can go much further than when walking or running, and because it’s a no-impact sport that let’s me get an outdoor workout without pounding away at the pavement.
Cost To Me: $390
Ok, so not exactly frugal, but you could totally get your hands on a bike without spending as much as I did. I willingly spend above the minimum to get the bike I wanted. I bought a Schwinn Sanctuary 7 Cruiser, along with a helmet, mirror, and (most recently), a Wald Bicycle Basket. You could easily spend half of what I did if you got a used bicycle off Kijiji and used a milk crate and some zip ties instead. BUT, every time I ride my bicycle, it becomes a little more worth it. Right now the cost per use of this bike is sitting at:
$390 spent / 17 rides = $22.94 per trip.
Not bad! A few more rides and I’ll have it’s cost-per-use down to public transit levels.
How are you staying fit this summer? Got any fun outdoor activities to share?