Michelle Bridges teaches us how to get in shape and make friends with our wallet.

Photo: Instagram.com/mishbridges

This story first appeared on news.com.au, published here with permission.

Summer is edging closer and so too is that time of year for fad diets and quick-fix weight-loss programs.

Many Aussies vying to get fabulously fit get hooked on shakes, buy devices such as Fitbits and reignite their long-lost relationship with the gym.

IBISWorld figures show the diet industry is expanding — consumers are tipped to spend $ 630.5 million on weight-loss counselling, low-calorie foods and dietary supplements, another $ 2.1 billion on gym memberships and hefty $ 412.5 million on personal trainers in 2016-17.

While your intention may be good, it’s easy to blow hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on fads when you could be trimming your budget and waistline with a simple diet and exercise program.

Fitness guru Michelle Bridges believes Aussies can get fit and healthy relatively quickly if they set their mind to it and without huge cost.

“When it comes to both your finances and your health, the most powerful tool is knowledge,’’ she says. “You don’t even need a gym membership to get fit — head to your local park or do a workout at home, there’s no excuse.”

She encourages those looking to shape up to eat healthy, fresh food which is “better for your waistline and your wallet.”

RELATED: Lose weight and save money.

This includes going to the supermarket or local fruit and vegie shop armed with a shopping list, making purchases of items in season and buying in bulk so the food to cook and freeze.

Similarly retired triple-gold medal swimmer Libby Trickett, who is studying to become a personal trainer, says there are so many no-cost ways to keep fit.

Trickett, who will be at this year’s Brisbane Fitness and Health Expo on October 22 and 23, has taken a new look at exercise.

“When I was an athlete I could never have imagined that I would say that walking is fantastic … but since becoming a mother, I’ve realised it’s a great, easy, convenient, low impact exercise that has massively contributed to getting fit post baby,’’ she says.

“As long as you have a pair of sneakers, you can literally walk anywhere.’’

She also encourages people to look out for free fitness classes on the internet or by searching your local council guide to see if there are free exercise options available.

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October 21, 20168:03am

fitness | body+soul

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