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Money Habits

How can you make more of your exercise for less?


Have you ever stopped to think how much it costs to be fit?

Let’s face it, Aussies are obsessed with fitness. With nearly two thirds of us exercising more than three times a week, we are a nation focused on getting and keeping fit.

So, what’s the cost of being a fit Aussie? Well, we’re glad you asked. The Suncorp Cost of Being Fit Report, a part of the Suncorp’s Cost of Living Series, found out some interesting facts, discovering that Aussies are divided when it comes to spending on exercise.

It turns out that 65% of Australians believe their active lifestyle comes free in this amazing country of ours. The other 35% are more serious about exercise, spending an average of $1,800 annually on keeping fit.

It’s quite a surprise to see that 76.6% of Aussies don’t pay for their exercise, choosing instead to lace up their sneakers and head out for a walk, run or hike as their fitness ritual.

When it comes to the fitness fanatics out there, their biggest expense is on gym memberships, with 91 per cent spending up to $150 per month.

The report also showed that men are more likely to splurge on fitness, spending more than women on memberships and fitness gear.

It’s great to see that we Aussies are as obsessed about our physical fitness as our financial wellbeing.

10 tips to dial up your fitness regime without breaking the bank

During work

1. Turn one meeting a day into a walking meeting and hit the pavement with your workmates

while getting work done at the same time.

2. Count your steps each day with a pedometer, setting a daily goal so you can measure your

activities. Free apps like Pacer count your steps and help motivate you to reach the

recommended 10,000 steps a day.

3. Make lunch time about more than just grabbing a quick bite. Try to squeeze in a quick

walk around a block or two. It will clear your mind and you’ll get exercise at the same time.

4. Try jumping off the bus or train a stop early to get some incidental exercise.

5. If you have stand up desks in your office, try and move your work station every few hours to

stay active.

After work

6. It’s always easier keeping motivated in a group, so try a free fitness group like Parkrun to get moving.

7. Make use of the free fitness facilities you can find in most parks.

8. Take a walk through a beautiful national park – you’ll be surprised how quickly you can walk

five kilometres when you are immersed in nature.

9. Walk around the block after dinner and forget about watching TV for a night.

10. Throw down a towel or a yoga mat in front of the TV and take yourself through some basic

stretching flows.

Putting these tips into practice in the short term is one thing, but staying motivated in the long-term is much harder.

Tips for staying on track

Stay Motivated

1. Reward yourself with a monetary element to your goal setting. This could be financial commitment to exercise, like a gym or app membership. Otherwise, reward yourself for the results you achieve, by putting money towards something special for every kilo you lose.

2. Have a plan. Write it down and make sure you plan for the challenges that might tempt you to stray. Plan your daily schedule around your goals to ensure you stay on track.

3. Break it into achievable actions. Large goals can be overwhelming, but if you break them into smaller steps, you’ll have more chance of meeting them.

4. Pair up with a friend or buddy and share your goals and successes with them; they’ll keep you accountable at 6am when your first instinct is to hit the snooze button.

5. Check in on your success. Set a weekly phone reminder on Sunday evenings. Reflect on your week and set goals for the next week. On the last day of the month, write down all your achievements – it will motivate you to keep going.

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product

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