Moms, it can be so hard to find time to take care of ourselves and get healthier. With early wake-up calls, kids that demand attention, a household that needs taken care of, and even work, it’s no wonder you’re so tired and don’t want to even think about working out! Luckily, becoming healthier doesn’t have to involve hour-long workouts or gym memberships. Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise! All you need is a pair of shoes (and maybe a stroller) and you’re ready to head out. And did you know walking can help you save money? Here are some ways you can save money walking and get healthier at the same time!
Keeps you from visiting the doctor more often
Taking up walking as a form of exercise can help aid in weight loss; which can lead to less health problems; which can lead to less doctor’s visits. In 2015, I went to the ER because I had been having constant heart palpitations for about 2 weeks. After learning that nothing was really wrong, I did research that said losing weight could help prevent them from happening again. I signed up for MyFitnessPal, bought a Fitbit, and walked/worked out/ate better until I reached my pre-baby weight 8 months later. I haven’t had an episode since!
Saves you money through free gift cards and points
I couldn’t believe this at first, but you can actually earn money by walking! Right now I use two resources that help me earn points towards gift cards and store cash, and all I have to do is walk. Check these out:
- Achievemint: Achievemint pays you for doing what you normally do in a day, without even thinking about it. You can sync multiple apps, like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, and Achievemint will automatically pull data from them and give you points. For example, if you log your food in MyFitnessPal, you’ll earn like 6 points; if you walk 10,000 steps, you’ll earn around 30 points. You can earn up to 80 points a day through your exercise; and once you reach 10,000 points, you can redeem them for an Amazon gift card! Click here to create an account and get a bonus 250 points!
- Walgreens: When you sign up for a Walgreens account, you can link your Fitbit and MyFitnessPal to their Balance Rewards to start earning points. The more points you have, the more they’re worth; so 1,000 points equals $1.00, 5,000 points equals $5.00, but 40,000 points equals $50.00! You earn points much the same as in Achievement: Walking, healthy activities, weighing yourself, linking apps… plus you earn 10 points per dollar spent at Walgreens, so it can really add up. To be honest, I keep forgetting I have a Balance Rewards account. I just recently checked and I’m up to $35.00 in rewards! It’s amazing being able to earn money without even thinking about it.
You’ll notice that the ways to earn money above involve a tracking device, like a Fitbit. If you don’t have one, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to spend all that money just to earn a little money. Well, the health motivation alone is worth it for me; but what if you could earn yourself a FREE Fitbit? I did it using Swagbucks and am now on track to getting another free one with my Amazon gift cards! You can read all about how I did it in this blog post.
Keeps you from other activities that involve money
Going out walking can keep yourself occupied so you don’t spend money! Now, this may not work if you go to Target or the mall to go walking. But if you find yourself getting bored, grab your stroller and go around the block once or twice. Personally, I can actually go to Target, take laps around the store, and leave without buying a thing. It’s a gift, I guess! But maybe, if you’re a compulsive online shopper, getting out walking will hopefully take your mind off that urge; and when you get back, you’ll be more energized to resist.
Saves money on gas
Depending on where you live, you can save money just by walking to wherever you need to go. We have a park that’s about a seven-minute walk from our house, so it’s easy for me to put Allison in her wagon and pull her there. John’s also been known to walk to Wal Mart or Meijer (a bit further away) when he needs his steps and needs to buy something. That may be a little extreme for you, especially with kids. But the little things can add up to big savings on gas by walking to different places around you.
Saves money on gym memberships
Do you have a gym membership? If so, what do you use it for? If all you do is use the treadmill, maybe you can opt to cancel the membership and walk/run outside instead. Of course, gyms have other benefits, like classes, weights and childcare; so by all means, keep it if you use the other features. But if you just want to get in a good cardio session, walking outside can save you the extra money every month.
Now that you’re motivated to hit the pavement, don’t do it alone! Find friends to walk with you. I constantly see moms walking together with their strollers at my local park, and it’s a great way to catch up, get fresh air, and get your exercise in! Get some accountability, too. Join a healthy actions group on Facebook, like the one I’m in that was started by my friend Stephanie of Wife Mommy Me! Post your wins and struggles and find comfort in those dealing with the same issues. Finally, rejoice in the money you save by walking! Being frugal and healthy is an awesome combination and one that I hope you can keep going indefinitely. Do you use walking or exercise to help save money? Share your tips in the comments!
Be sure to check out the other posts in my ABCs of Frugal Livings series!