Updated: Jul 28, 2022
Being in your 20’s is a conundrum. You have the most freedom and energy you’ll probably ever have, but this is also the time where half of your friends barely make ends meet and the other half will be able to retire by their 40’s. If you’re like me, you want to be active and live this time to the fullest without breaking the bank every time. Here are some great ways to be active without messing up your financial success in the future:
Home Workouts Honestly, I used to write this off as a “mom thing” and imagine those 1980’s aerobics videos. COVID, however, made me lose my trainer as well as my willingness to go to a gym. The pervy guys checking you out as if it were a bar was bad enough. Now I have to double check that the last person cleaned the rowing machine before I sit down? Pass. When I moved back to my hometown, there was also the lack of accessibility. The local gyms are military based which isn’t good for a rape victim of someone from the military. They all just felt isolating and like I was watching future rapists being formed. So, I quit working out for a bit. It made things worse, but not as bad as it would have been if I had gone. Then I had discovered the joys of YouTube fitness channels. When my anxiety gets too bad, I can pull out my palm leaf yoga mat. When I want to work on my posture and flexibility, there’s ballet. The possibilities are endless and I can choose female instructors to get back to the “women’s empowerment” feel that seems to be lacking in my transition from NYC to intensely conservative Arkansas. Sometimes friends come over and we workout together. Most of the time I try to incorporate it into my morning routine for the hours when I first wake up, but don’t want to start work yet.
The perfect fit for a home workout (Shop Now)
Gardening If you’re looking for a routine that doesn’t have to be strict, but forces you outside, gardening can be a great outlet! You get to play in dirt, watch physical progress of things you work on growing, it brings food, it brings flowers, and did I mention you get to play in dirt? No yard? No problem! There are window boxes for your herbs, Snake Plants that are best indoors, and plant lights that emulate sunlight. It is easy to find the right amount for your level. BTW: Nantucket Hydrangeas don't need a lot of sunlight if you have a mostly shaded yard.
Camping I’ll be real with you; I haven’t gotten to get into this as much as I’d like. Camping is a great alternative. Depending on whether you want to sleep in a tent, under the stars, or in a hammock, the price levels for this differ based off preferences. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. For the most part, this will cost money on the front-end. After you have your basic supplies, all that is needed will be food and gas money. No hotel fees and you’ll be able to travel to anywhere you’d like!
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Riding Your Bike This is another “expensive on the front end” deal. I also won’t deny the cat calls aren’t fun. However, if you live in a more liberal city, I’ve noticed there are far less cat calls and more friendly bike paths. Depending on where you’re at, this is a super solid option!
Dinner Parties Call me old fashioned, but I will never let this one go. If you want to hang out with friends, but don’t want to constantly buy dinner and drinks, why not potluck it? No one has to cook everything, and everyone gets a full meal out of it! Additionally, wine nights with the girls is never a bad idea. Dress it up with a personalized ice bucket and you're set! Best part is that you can pick the guest list! No having to scan the restaurant before you sit down to make sure you’ve said “hi” to everyone you know in order to not offend. No awkward moments where the server walks unknowingly up to a very personal conversation; it’s just you and your favorite people.
There are a lot of other options, but I’d much rather you explore and figure those out on your own. Hope this helps you get started!