10 Tips for Getting Fit on a Budget

Hiking the Great Island Trail in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

You don’t need to spend money to get into shape. In fact, most of the best workouts are those which you can do in your own home or around your neighborhood. Joining a pricey gym doesn’t guarantee a new fit body. A high number of people who join gyms stop going for many different reasons, including: traffic and driving time, high costs, and feeling embarrassed working out in front of other people.

Creating a fitness routine at home takes out all the negative factors above. There is no commute when you work out at home. You do not have to worry about what you wear or whether or not someone is watching you on the treadmill. And, most of the time it costs next to nothing. Check out my helpful tips below and enjoy the benefits of a healthy, affordable exercise program.

1. Start a jogging routine – Jogging is one of the best all over body workouts and also one of the least costly. Besides a pair of gym shoes, there are no other extra equipment costs. It also gives you time to think, enjoy nature, and get out of the house.

2. Find free yoga videos – Yoga is an excellent workout, both for your mind and body. The physical benefits are endless: increased circulation, more flexibility, stronger muscles, and so forth. Because most of the poses require so much concentration, your mind does not drift off to thinking about problems. This gives you much needed time to decompress and meditate. Luckily, there are tons of free videos to check out, both for beginner and advanced yogis.

3. Dig out your old jump rope – A simple 10-15 minute jump rope session everyday burns tons of calories and gives your legs an intense workout. It may seem like a kid’s toy, however, jumping rope is one of the best cardio activities around. It really gets your heart going. Plus, it’s fun!

4. Make simple everyday changes – Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther away from the store. Take your dog for a morning and evening walk each day. All these little changes add up to plenty of extra time on your feet.

5. Make exercise weekend fun – Instead of paying for pricey attractions, movies, and restaurants, head over to your local park, find a bike path in town, or find a hike near you. You can have fun and get a workout in at the same time. Pick somewhere with a great view and quiet setting – it won’t even feel like exercise! Start your weekend off fresh and healthy. Skip the shops and enjoy beautiful nature. Bring with a picnic lunch after your workout to keep the relaxing theme going.

6. Do body weight exercises -Too many people just focus on cardio and ignore weights all together. This is a mistake as body weight exercises such as push ups and phylometrics work every muscle in your body. Working out your muscles is what gives your body a defined shape.

7. Make your own free weights – You can easily grab 2 cans and use them as light free weights. There are plenty of cardio with weights and weight training exercises available on You Tube. This is a great free way to stay in shape. 2 cans might seem light but after repeating a set of motions, you are sure to feel the burn.

8. Find free cardio videos – There are tons of free exercise videos available. Kickboxing and boot camp workouts are fun and challenging. You will find these videos in abundance. Try one out in the comfort of your own home.

9. Stay up to date on community events – Check your parks and recreation office for free and/or low cost exercise programs. Another great place to check is with local nature preserves in your area. Many offer free guided nature walks and other community focused activities. Also be sure to check for free yoga and meditation sessions in your area. There are many amenities available to you that you probably have not noticed before.

10. Turn up the music and dance! – Turn on any upbeat music and dance around the house. It sounds silly, however, dancing is a great cardio workout that burns a lot of calories. It’s fun and it’s free. So put on your favorite tunes and get moving!

What are your favorite budget workout ideas?