I’ve had the itch to write about this topic for quite some time because I’m always looking for ways to cut expenses. I don’t care about a fancy apartment or new shoes, but I do care about traveling…and my health.
Last fall I signed up with a gym that’s within walking distance. For $30 a month it had everything I wanted. I quickly learned that I didn’t enjoy the atmosphere and the place was busy at just about every hour. I started to feel like my $30 was being wasted, so I canceled my membership and used that as a way to get more creative on a budget. Here are a few ideas I came up with.
Use what you’ve got– My apartment has a gym that’s a little run down, but it has everything I need- free weights, racks and benches, and cardio equipment. They also offer classes a few days a week. If you have access to something that’s free (or already part of your rent), might as well use it. This has worked out well for me because it’s a little more cozy and it doesn’t feel like a meat market.
Make friends with the sidewalk– Walking is one of my favorite forms of exercises and it’s always free. Find a park or trail near you. If it’s cold, hit up a mall and walk inside. Just avoid shopping! I’ve recruited a few walking buddies lately and we sometimes walk around the local lakes for almost two hours. Great practice for being a tourist!
Meetup– If you don’t like working out alone or you want to try something new for free, Meetup is a great place. I’ve seen hiking, yoga, dance and volleyball groups around me, just to name a few. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people.
Social networks– YouTube and Pinterest are full of free workouts. If you’ve been active regularly, you can easily find something to fit your needs and interests. I follow a few different channels and I have a workout board on Pinterest that I use for days I don’t want to leave my apartment. There are tons of body weight exercises I can do right here, and Pinterest helps jog my memory. If you’ve got no equipment, just search for “body weight workout.”
Local events– Depending on where you live, it can be easy to find free fitness classes or events. A lot of Crossfit gyms have free Saturday classes, and most Lululemon stores have free yoga classes one day a week. We even have some vegan restaurants around me that have free yoga and meditation classes. Google is your friend if you’re interested in going this route.
Fitness Blender– Fitness Blender is a website with free workouts. What I love about this site is that you can search for the type of workout, length, equipment needed and more. They have tons of options. The videos are very plain, but you can definitely stay in great shape with what they offer.
Do Yoga With Me– Do Yoga With Me is another free website with, you guessed it, yoga! It’s really hard for me to focus enough to follow a video when it comes to yoga, but I use this site every now and then. There are several videos and you can search by the type of yoga, what it works and the length.
NOT FREE, BUT GREAT FOR A BUDGET
Daily Burn– My little brother bought me a Roku for Christmas (because I won’t pay for cable, ha!) and I am in love. It has several fitness channels. Some are completely free, but require you to take ridiculously long breaks for commercials. Daily Burn is $15/month commercial free and it is SO worth it in my book! They have tons of programs to choose from- everything from metabolic conditioning and gymnastics to yoga and dance- and they add more workouts all the time. It would take you forever to go through them all. You can also track your workouts and follow different nutrition plans. You don’t have to have a Roku to use Daily Burn. You just create an account and you can log in from anywhere to work out. I like this because I can use it when I travel for work, too.
Groupon and Living Social– These aren’t free, but they’re an easy way to keep your fitness routine fresh at a pretty steep discount. You can try something different each month so you’re never spending more than you want. I love using these on more expensive classes that I would never actually do on a regular basis.
Anyone have ideas to add?