The average cost for a gym membership is $40-$60/month. Not frugal. Especially when there’s so many ways to exercise without it.
A great way to exercise is to replicate what you’d be doing at the gym. In the gym or not, there are generally two schools of thought: weight training and resistance training. To do weight training in your own home, you can either purchase handheld weights or use books or other household items in replacement. Resistance training is when you use your own body weight or elastic resistance bands to build or tone your muscles. Examples are crunches, push-ups, leg lifts, etc. Every once in a while I’ll pick up a fitness magazine to get ideas to mix up my work out.
Work Out Tapes
I was a child of the aerobics era. I remember my mom popping in a tape and doing step routines in our living room. Spandex, wristbands, big hair and all. Today you can get access to work out tapes of a wide variety for free. Think yoga, pilates, tae bo, hula dancing, zumba, and, yes, aerobics. You can get them off NetFlix (order or streaming,) or OnDemand.
Walking for 30-60 minutes a day decreases your risk for diabetes, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and a myriad of other ailments. Obviously, jogging is even better. It’s also free. You can use Walk with Walgreens as a motivational tool. You can log your walk, plotting it on their interactive map that shows you exactly how far you went and how many steps you took. As you start accumulating more steps, you’ll be rewarded with coupons.
Parks aren’t just for kids. They provide free access to tennis courts, basketball courts, and baseball fields. Utilizing any of them will burn calories. When it gets colder out, some parks offer indoor facilities for a small fee (i.e. $20/an hour or two at a tennis court.) (This is only a money-saver if you do it once or twice a month and supplement your fitness routine with other activities.) A lot of times they provide trails you can hike. To add a little excitement to your hikes, try geocaching.
Just because winter is on its way doesn’t mean you have to put the brakes on your non-gym workouts. I love skiing. It’s not going to save me money over a gym membership, unless I reallocate a portion of my entertainment budget towards it. Because it is something I truly love to do. A lot of resorts even sell tickets or season passes at a serious discount to college students. After it starts to snow, when you’re shoveling out your own spot do a good deed in order to shed pounds: shovel a spot out for your neighbors,too. If you’re living in the suburbs, do you neighbors’ driveway for free. A great way to get a good workout anytime of year is playing with your kids. Winter is no exception. Instead of a game of tag you might play in the summer, go sledding or engage in a snowball fight.