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Burn Calories, Not Cash

Four tips to better health on a budget

As a minster, you're responding to God’s call on your life - and often making it work on a tight budget. But that doesn't mean your health should take a backseat. There are budget-friendly fitness options available to you.

First, set your family's budget. Then, determine how much you can spend on fitness. Even if it's zero dollars, you don't have to sacrifice your health. A good diet, exercise and sufficient sleep can help you focus on your ministry work as well as reduce stress.

Here are four frugal ways you can get fit.

  1. No-cost exercises. There are plenty of workouts you can do for free. Run. Walk. Take the stairs. Your public library may have health and fitness instructional DVDs. Find one near you, walk to it and rent your favorite. You are not limited to expensive gym memberships, boot camps or machines.

  2. Fitness at your fingertips. Get a baseline of your health with an online assessment. From your results, you can create a program fit for you. Find free workout guides online and be your own personal trainer. If you have a smartphone, download a free app that can track your progress or give workout guidance.

  3. Get real with food. There’s not a magic diet pill. The secret is the right nutritional balance and fresh, whole foods. Your plate should be half fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and veggies can be quality lower-cost alternatives, too. But watch out for processed foods; even if they claim “low-fat” or “sugar-free,” they make up for it elsewhere by adding sodium, preservatives or unpronounceable chemicals.

  4. Discounts through GuideStone. Through your GuideStone medical or dental plan, you have access to Blue 365 (medical plan participants) or Healthy Rewards (dental plan participants). Tap into these programs if you want to replace your worn out running shoes with new Reeboks, start a weight loss program through Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem, or take advantage of a 10% off coupon for gym memberships.

Budgeting is not easy. Making time for and working hard at your health isn’t either. But it’s important to be a good steward of the resources God has given you. Start by setting achievable goals. Ask your friends and family for advice or encouragement. GuideStone is here for you, too. We have personal finance articles for you in our Learning Library. And we update the wellness website regularly to keep you motivated.

GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention welcomes the opportunity to share this general information. However, this article is not intended to be relied upon as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.