Exercising on a budget may seem like an impossible dream. But, you can do it. All you need is flexibility, creativity, and a strategy.
We already know that staying healthy saves money. We can avoid the expense of medicines and out-of-pocket medical costs.
If you’re on a tight budget, and who isn’t these days, you might think your options for exercise and physical fitness are limited. Not true. You can enjoy exercising on a budget and get all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
With these 6 tips not only will you protect your financial goals, but you will save money for the long-term. AND, you will feel better both mentally and physically.
When Exercising on a Budget, Skip the Fitness Clubs
If you can afford it, a fitness club is a great venue for exercising. No matter the weather, you can still get in your workout. There is a wide variety of cutting-edge exercise equipment and classes to keep you motivated. Fitness clubs can also be a social venue.
BUT, joining a fitness club can be a significant drain on your budget and monthly expenses. And truthfully, how many fitness clubs have you joined and abandoned after the first few months? Unused memberships are not good for your budget.
When exercising on a budget, skip the fitness club and set up a workout space in your home.
Purchase exercise equipment that has multiple functions. Ignore all the ads of targeted exercise equipment that you see on TV or social media. Their goal is to get you to fill up your house with exercise equipment and take as much of your money as possible. A multi-station home gym, for instance, while requiring a bit of cash up front, will in the long-term save you money.
For cardio, an elliptical trainer is one of the best pieces of exercise equipment on the market. A treadmill also works, although it might require more effort to stay motivated.
If you love to bike, here is an excellent review by Consumer Choice of exercise bikes that are perfect when exercising on a budget. The article also tells you how to select an exercise bike that fits your body type and goals.
Lower-cost fitness equipment
These include exercise balls, resistance bands, dumbbells and jump ropes. These are all very affordable and can give you the same results as a multi-station home gym.
Buy Used Equipment
When exercising on a budget, you need to find the most affordable, yet good quality exercise equipment that you can. However, it does not need to be brand new. Consider resources such as Craigslist, Play It Again Sports, Groupon, garage sales and second-hand stores for your equipment purchases.
Take Advantage of the Great Outdoors
Most communities in America today have paths for runners, walkers, bikers, bladers and exercise enthusiasts. These venues cost you nothing. All you need is a good pair of shoes or other equipment and exercise attire. If you are a runner or walker, making an investment in high-quality shoes is a priority. Even so, whatever you invest in exercise attire, it will be cheaper than joining a fitness club.
Many parks also have weight and/or resistance equipment. As an alternative to your home gym, you can pump iron outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. When it’s raining or cold, check out your local shopping mall. It is a great venue for fast-walking and these days, the malls are pretty much empty. No worries about having to dodge shoppers!
Yoga strengthens your body, stretches and tones your muscles and frees the mind. All you need is a yoga mat, which is very affordable. If you need help getting started, you can find lots of yoga classes on YouTube. Or, sign up for a limited series of classes at your local community center or fitness center. Once you have the basics, you can easily continue on your own.
You don’t have to join a fitness center to learn how to exercise or get motivated. There are many other options, one of which is YouTube. There are tons of exercise videos on YouTube covering just about every exercise program. No matter your fitness level, you can find YouTube exercise videos to match. Be sure to check out the number of views or reviews to be sure you are tuning into quality programming.
If you love the idea of exercising with others, community centers offer another alternative that is affordable when exercising on a budget. If you are a resident of the community, the membership fees are usually pretty cheap. Community centers have all the latest equipment, weight training rooms, fitness classes, and usually also swimming pools and saunas, all at a fraction of the price of a private fitness center.