You may have thought you had the perfect excuse about why you can’t exercise: “I can’t afford it.” Well, we have good news and bad news for you… the bad news is that excuse time is over. The good news is that we have five free ways to exercise along with some extra super-low-cost options for getting your fitness on.
Broke but Swole
Now, we all know a gym membership can be costly, and the new crop of exotic boot camps, barre fitness classes, kick-boxing fit camps, theory fitness classes, private yoga and Pilates, and personal trainers are all the rage. But, they can cost you an ungodly amount of money, comparable to a small car payment. So, what can you do if you feel like having a car and getting in shape? Well, we’ve rounded up some great suggestions for you to check out that can be easy on your pocketbook but still leave you tapped out at the end of your workout.
Check Out these Awesome Free Ways to Exercise
1. Get Out and Stay Out—having the great outdoors at your fingertips is a wonderful way to get some workouts in for free. Depending on your climate, there’s a lot you can take advantage of in your quest for free ways to exercise.
- Biking—this is a great form of exercise as you can pretty much do it anywhere. There are many places that offer bike trails or even bike lanes in busier cities.
- Outdoor sports—volleyball, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and skating (in winter)… these are all free or mostly free, and you can have fun with your friends at the same time.
- Walking and running—always free and 100% portable, these might be the perfect workouts. All you need is some sunscreen and some good walking or running shoes and maybe a friend to join you.
- Hiking—depending on where you live, there may be some interesting mountains or hills near you that are just begging for you to hike them.
- Climbing—rock climbing is fun yet taxing. Check locally, but there are some sporting goods stores like various Dick’s Clothing and Sporting Goods with rock walls you can climb for free.
- Walk your dog—see, even your best friend can benefit from your desire to get fit. It’s a true win-win (and one of my favorite free ways to exercise).
- Swimming—weather permitting, check out your area to locate public pools. Or, if you’re in an apartment complex or live in a neighborhood, you may have access to a pool at no extra cost to you. Swimming is a fantastic cardiovascular workout that puts no stress on your joints. It’s a great way to rehab, and it’s an amazing workout as well.
2. Public Fitness Facilities—check into what’s available locally. Most likely, there are many free ways to exercise in your neighborhood:
- Colleges—chances are good, if you’re a student, that your college or university has a fitness facility you can use for free.
- Schools—many schools offer free or low-cost use of their facilities, such as their pools for example.
- Community centers—there may be some free fitness facilities at your local community center. Check with your location to see what you can use.
- Workplace—many offices and workplaces now have fitness facilities for employees to use. So, you may either have an onsite gym or get a discounted rate at neighboring fitness facilities.
- Public gyms—some communities offer gyms that are open to the public or open during certain hours.
- Community tennis courts—many of the public parks have tennis courts that are free for the public to use.
- Basketball—pretty much anywhere you go, you’re bound to find a basketball hoop or two. Take advantage!
- Nature trails—don’t forget the happy trails.
- Gardening and yardwork—it may not sound like much of a workout, but try engaging in either activity for a little while and see how you feel. Chances are really good that you’ll put these activities into the “exercise” category.
3. Home Workout—a lot of workouts can easily be done at home, usually for free.
- DVDs—there are all kinds of great workouts on DVD and many that are downloadable as well. This is a great home workout option and something you can do again and again without incurring additional costs.
- Fitness channels—there are fitness channels available on many cable stations. Simply find something you like.
- Home gym—if you have some gym equipment at home, now’s the time to use it!
- Bodyweight workouts—you can always use your own bodyweight to get a stellar workout.
4. Fitness Groups—there are many fitness groups you can join. Check online to see what’s available in your area for free ways to exercise. Such as:
- Biking groups
- Running groups
- Walking groups
5. Retail Locations—many retail stores also offer free classes.
- LuLu Lemon—check your local stores, but some will offer a free yoga class prior to opening hours; space is limited, so arrive early.
- Fleet Feet—these stores offer a variety of free classes, depending on your location: Good Form Running classes, Power Vinyasa Yoga classes, Surfset Fitness classes, Pure Barre, Self Defense, and more.
Here are Favorite Low Cost Fitness Options
So, we’ve discussed a lot of free ways to exercise, but it’s worth mentioning a few that may not be completely free, but they won’t break the bank, either.
- Planet Fitness—at under $10 a month, it’s hard to go wrong. This is a full-fledged gym that even offers group classes. They have everything you need for some amazing and effective workouts, and they even offer free fitness training. Known for being a “judgement-free zone,” it may be just the place for you.
- Home Equipment—investing in some low-cost home equipment is a great idea, too. Some equipment that won’t break the bank includes: jump rope, stability ball, Kettlebells, resistance bands, and possibly even some free weights if you have the space. Last, but not least, check local listings, Craig’s List, and places like Play It Again Sports for lower cost used equipment.
- Group training—while hiring a personal trainer on your own may be cost-prohibitive, hiring that same trainer to train you and your two friends can make it affordable.
- Fitness Apps—there are many apps that can help you get in a workout, including free apps like My Fitness Pal, Couch 2 5K, Sworkit, and the 7-Minute Workout. There are many to choose from.
- Streaming Fitness—if you’re looking for a boot-camp-type workout but don’t want to spend the money on a boot camp, an online streaming channel can be a more affordable option. Beach Body on Demand ($13/month billed quarterly), Daily Burn ($10/month), and Crunch Live ($10/month) are just three of the most popular, but there are many options, including some that are free. And you can often try numerous free workouts with Youtube.