Looking for some free or cheap ways to exercise on a budget? Then you’re in the right place! Here are some of my absolute favorite ways to get active and healthy without spending a fortune on a gym membership!
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Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive.
$30+/month for a gym membership you’ll barely use? No thanks!
There’s no need to lock yourself into that kind of membership just to get active. In fact, instead of limiting yourself to one type of exercise, why not have a variety of exercise options to suit your mood?
So go ahead and ditch your gym membership because you won’t need it after today!
I’m going to show you some of my personal favorite ways to exercise on a budget. I just know you’ll be able to find something in this list that works for you too!
7 Free or Cheap Ways to Exercise on a Budget
1. Walk or run at a park.
Check out your local parks and find one that suits your needs. I have several parks to choose from near my house, but I prefer the one that has a 1.5-mile walking track around a lake since it offers a pretty view.
Obviously, you’ll want to feel safe if you go alone. I like to carry this pepper spray with me when I walk alone.
2. Find some local trails to walk or hike.
See if your area has some safe trails that you can use to walk or hike. In addition to parks, I also have several trails that I can visit in my area. I don’t use them very often, but it’s nice to have them as an option.
3. Visit the free gym at work.
If your work has a free gym, then use it! It may not have the latest and greatest equipment, but it probably has the basics like a treadmill and weights.
My husband likes to visit the gym at his work a couple days a week so he can incorporate weight training into his routine. The gym is on the smaller side, but it still has all the weight lifting equipment he needs.
4. Find exercise channels on YouTube.
YouTube is an excellent resource to help you exercise on a budget. It’s free, and you have access to all kinds of fitness programs!
If you have a smart TV, play the YouTube videos there so you can see them on a big screen. If you don’t have a smart TV, just place your laptop on a coffee table or chair so you can see it easily.
5. Try PIIT28.
I’m a huge fan of Cassey Ho, the creator of Blogilates. She’s so bubbly and fun!
After falling in love with her Pilates videos on YouTube, I bought her PIIT28 workout program. It’s awesome! She combines Pilates with high intensity interval training, which results in her own unique fitness blend: Pilates Intense Interval Training, or PIIT for short.
I IMMEDIATELY fell in love with PIIT28! I’m already slim, so I didn’t see any weight loss with the program, but man, my thighs were SCULPTED by the time I finished it! I could tell a huge difference in my overall strength and endurance, and even Josh noticed that I looked much more toned.
I highly recommend you try PIIT28 if you want a program that’s intense, fun, and doesn’t take long to complete each day. And the best part is that it’s a very affordable one-time payment instead of a monthly subscription!
6. Use exercise DVDs.
If you like variety in your workouts, then build a collection of exercise DVDs! You can get them for cheap on Amazon.
I’m absolutely obsessed with Jane Fonda’s 80s workout videos right now. I bought her 5-disc DVD collection and couldn’t be happier! It’s definitely worth the one-time payment to get her most popular videos in a set, but you can buy the individual DVDs too:
- Jane Fonda’s Original Workout
- Jane Fonda’s New Workout
- Jane Fonda’s Complete Workout
- Jane Fonda’s Low Impact Workout
- Jane Fonda’s Easy Going Workout
And then there’s my other favorite Jane Fonda collection that features three separate workout series. The Abs, Buns, and Thighs videos are fantastic!
Of course, don’t let the date on these videos fool you. They may have been made in the 80s, but the moves are still relevant today. In fact, I see some of her exact moves when I do workouts from Cassey Ho, Jillian Michaels, and the Tone It Up girls!
Why? Because they really work!
Even though I’m pretty fit, Jane’s videos kick my butt every single time. She wasn’t playing around when she made them! Her routines get my heart rate up and work muscles I didn’t even know I had.
But truth be told, the best thing about Jane Fonda’s workouts is that they feel more like a party than a workout. I mean, who doesn’t love that 80s music, big hair, and legwarmers?! 🙂
7. Create a mini gym in your home.
Who says your home gym has to be a whole room of full-size equipment? All you really need is some hand weights in various sizes, a fitness mat if you have hard floors, and maybe some yoga blocks and a pull-up bar. You can keep all of your equipment tucked away in a closet when you aren’t using it.
If you want to find some good deals on fitness gear, head to TJMaxx or Ross first. You’ll find name-brand items for much less than what you’d pay at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, and even Walmart! I’ve bought hand weights, yoga mats, and yoga blocks from TJMaxx and they’ve been fantastic!
You can also check out thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and Craigslist for used weights, gear, and equipment.
Bonus tip: Buy workout clothes at thrift stores, TJMaxx, or Ross. And choose quality!
If you’re in the market for some new workout clothes, do your wallet a favor and skip Dick’s Sporting Goods. Exercise clothes are grossly overpriced at big retailers. Instead, check out thrift stores, TJMaxx, or Ross.
I’ve been able to find lots of brand-name exercise clothes that still have the tags or look brand new at thrift stores! We’re talking about tank tops for $2, shorts and yoga pants for $3, and so on. It helps to visit thrift stores in affluent areas. Those stores are more likely to have the good stuff!
If you don’t live near any affluent areas, stop by TJMaxx or Ross. You’ll spend a little more there, but you’ll still spend far less than what you would at big retailers.
Wherever you buy your clothes, make sure to look for quality.
At thrift stores, don’t buy Walmart brands even if they’re new. They just won’t last as long as big brands such as Nike and Under Armour.
And when you’re at TJMaxx or Ross, be wary of buying brands you’ve never heard of. Just because they’re $8 doesn’t mean they’re good quality. Make sure the fabric looks and feels well-made so you don’t waste eight bucks on a cheap tank top that only lasts through two washes.
Wrapping it up
So those are my favorite ways to exercise on a budget! You definitely don’t need a gym membership to get active. In fact, having a variety of fitness options to choose from is a great way to stay interested and motivated. I tend to get bored doing the same thing all the time, so I love having plenty of options to choose from.
Other posts you may enjoy
- How to Save Money without Feeling Deprived
- How to Afford a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget
- Why We Transitioned to a Plant-based Lifestyle
- Smoothie Prepping for Busy Mornings
- How to Spend Less Money When Your Spending is Out of Control
- 7 Budgeting Mistakes You’re Probably Making and How to Fix Them
- How Being Healthy Saves You Money: A Personal Case Study
- How to Win with Your New Healthy Lifestyle
What about you? What are your favorite ways to exercise on a budget?
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