The 3 Week Diet

How to Achieve Your Health and Fitness Goals on a Student Budget

Trying to live a healthy lifestyle on the limited budget of a student can be difficult. Nutritious food is often more expensive than what a student can afford and there usually is not a lot of expendable income available for a gym membership or to buy fitness equipment. Fortunately, there are ways to eat right and get fit without spending a ton of money.

Getting fit

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and reaching fitness goals. Try to get in at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

*Recreational centers – Many schools offer students access to recreation centers as part of their tuition. These facilities are often outfitted like gyms and may offer fitness courses and trainers. Since admission is free, students should take advantage of them whenever possible.

Student Budget*Get friends involved – Gather a group of friends and join an intramural sports team. Exercise may be the main motivational factor, but it won’t seem like working out if it’s fun. Another option is to make a friendly competition out of achieving certain fitness goals, whether it is to run a particular distance in a given amount of time or seeing who can lose the most weight. Having others involved can prevent the tendency to quit.

*Avoid driving – For those living several blocks off campus, avoid driving to class and walk or ride a bike. If a student is commuting, they can still park several blocks from their class building and walk the rest of the way.

*Vary the routine – Sticking to the same exercise routine can get boring after awhile. Mix things up from time to time. Jog around campus a couple of days a week, lift weights a few other days and make sure to always stretch.


Eating right is just as important to staying healthy as exercising.

*Portion control – Even when eating healthy it is important to keep track of how much is being consumed. In general, servings of meat should be the size of a deck of playing cards, while other foods will vary by type. Eat smaller portions at each meal, but increase the number of meals to around five a day. This gives the body a continuous supply of energy without that “stuffed” feeling after eating a large meal.

*Healthy snacks – Instead of having bags of chips lying around, make sure plenty of healthy snacks are available when hunger strikes. Fruits, whether fresh, frozen or dried, make excellent options.

*Cut your own – To save money when buying produce, skip the selections that are already pre-cut and buy the whole piece and chop it at home.

*Eating out – When eating at a restaurant, look for foods that are grilled or baked because they will usually have fewer calories.

Having limited funds doesn’t mean options are limited for a healthy lifestyle. There are lots of alternatives for students to get and stay fit and eat healthy everyday if they plan ahead and invest a little time.

Christina Lloyd writes for a site that gives advice on financial aid for students, such as disabled student grants. She enjoys keeping fit and making healthy food choices without going over budget.

By: Caroline Smith

Category: Teenage Health

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