5 Flights or Staying on Budget and in Shape

Our blogger Elyse shares her exercise secrets.

5 Flights: Staying on Budget and in Shape
When you’re living on your own for the first time, it’s probably safe to say you don’t really have the money to spare on a gym membership. (Especially if you live in New York City.) When I first moved in to my apartment last summer, I was dismayed to realize my access to the free NYU gym wasn’t available when I wasn’t enrolled in classes—right when I needed to get ready for bathing suit season. Luckily, I quickly learned that tightening my purse strings could actually go hand in hand with tightening my waistband.

The first thing I noticed is that a lot of things I was doing to save money were providing me with fantastic opportunities to exercise outside of the gym. Living on the 5th floor is one of them. Landlords usually charge about 100-200 dollars a month less for each flight of stairs you add on. Yes, it sucks to climb all those stairs all the time. But think of all the time I save on the Stairmaster, while not spending the extra 400 dollars to live on the 3rd floor. Then add that I walk everywhere instead of paying for public transportation (I easily walk two miles a day getting to and from campus) and I get all the exercise I need. It may be a bit of a pain, but my calves and thighs have never looked better.

When it comes to eating right, I am once again aided immensely by my budget. It’s all about the empty calories. Yes, they’re bad for you, but it never kept me from eating them before. Now, I just say they’re a waste of money, and suddenly I lose all desire to buy that Dr. Pepper and those Cheese-Its because for the exact same price, I could eat a couple of healthy—and much more filling—meals. I can honestly say I have never eaten so many fruits and vegetables in my life.

I actually have found this method of staying in shape so effective that classes started up two months ago, and I haven’t set foot in the gym once.

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