Gyms offer all-in-one access to working out: you can find classes, weights, and a variety of machines to help you meet your fitness goals. But all that convenience and accessibility comes at a price. Sometimes it’s a price you simply can’t afford. But just because you can’t afford to join a gym doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your fitness goals. Here are cheap ways to get fit that don’t require a gym membership.
TV and DVD shows
You can find a plethora of exercise DVDs that are usually quite affordable, allowing you to stock up on several different kinds. You can even look to see what channels offer exercise shows to watch. If you pay for any streaming services, they have fitness shows too. TV and streaming services offer a variety of workouts, so you won’t get bored.
A fitness or stability ball is a unique way to get in a workout. A fitness ball is a large, inflated plastic ball that you sit on that engages your core in order to remain balanced. You can use it at your desk, while you watch TV or read. A stability ball can also used to up the intensity of your workout. Try doing crunches on top of one or pushups with your feet on top of it, for an added challenge.
Apply yourself with an app
There are tons of free or inexpensive fitness apps available. From little known developers to big name fitness instructors, there are apps for everything from yoga to running to weightlifting and more. These apps offer encouragement by tracking your workouts and your progress (pounds lost, inches lost/gained, etc.) Many apps even come paired with diet plans, recipe tips and other fitness information. Apps are a great way to increase the effectiveness of your workouts.
Look for cheap or used equipment
Check websites and sporting goods stores for good sales or even used equipment being sold at a great price. You can easily create your own home gym by finding excellent deals on used or inexpensive equipment at a fraction of the cost of a gym membership.
Walk or ride to work
Walk or ride a bike to your destination. This might require extra time to get to where you’re going, but it it’s a great way to get in some exercise. It is also free and doesn’t take up additional time out of your day.
Look for outdoor gyms at the park
Look for parks with paved or otherwise marked walking, jogging or running trails. These often have “exercise stops” where you’ll find a variety of simple exercise equipment. Take a walk, use the equipment and you’ve just combined your cardio with your weightlifting and gotten a double workout.
Join a sports team
Find a local baseball, softball, soccer or football team and sign up. You’ll enjoy a fun game while working out at the same time. The accountability of having a team counting on you can also help bolster your determination to workout. Some leagues charge fees to join, but cost far less than a gym membership.
Take a hike
A hike is a great way to get your heart pumping while still having fun. You can lace up your hiking boots, grab some good friends and a big bottle of water and hit the trails. An afternoon spent in the great outdoors will give you a great workout, a nice tan, and some great laughs with friends. Take along a camera and you’ll also get some great photos to remind you of your accomplishments.
Join a local running club
Join a running club, you’ll get a great workout, find new running routes, and make new friends. Some clubs charge minimal fees for joining, but many are free. Invest in a good pair of running shoes and some workout clothes and have a blast.
Try yoga at home
Yoga isn’t easy, but it is generally a relatively safe and simple workout. You can find a ton of free resources to teach you how to do the poses and how to plan a good flow that will help you get in shape. All you need is a mat, a block and a strap. You can do yoga anywhere and it will reduce stress and makes you feel more flexible and relaxed.
A gym may offer more equipment and classes, but it’s not necessary to get in shape. The only requirement to get in shape is a commitment to working out on a regular basis. Try a variety of different workouts listed above and you will never be bored. Get fit, save money, while never setting foot in a gym.