If you’re on a budget, there are probably a number of things higher on your priority list than a gym membership (paying your rent and buying groceries come to mind). But gym memberships, although pricey, can also be a comfort blanket for some people.
How are you supposed to workout without access to your choice of state-of-the art machines and equipment? The good news, though, is that people have been working out without gyms for centuries– it just takes a little imagination mixed with some motivation. And, of course, some pumping music.
Here are some ideas for working out without paying for an expensive gym membership:
Now that the weather is warming up, going outside is becoming considerably more bearable. Which means it’s getting harder to blame not working out on not having a gym membership. After all, there are tons of outdoor exercise options. Instead of relaxing on the couch after work or lazing around every Sunday, put on some tennis shoes and just start walking.
Look up some of the best walking and jogging trails near you, and try to explore the fun outdoor areas in your city. Or, if you’re close to some mountains or hills, try to fit a couple of hikes into your schedule each month. If you have a dog, bring them along and you’ll both get a good workout in!
Rethink Your Commute
You don’t need to block off a chunk of time just for working out– you can mix it into your daily routine, too. Find a quality bike and commit to leaving a bit earlier each morning so you can bike to work instead of driving or taking public transit.
You’ll burn tons of calories, and you’ll likely be a lot more energized when you get to work than you usually are.
Invest in Some Equipment
The gym doesn’t hold the monopoly on workout equipment. Look online for some free weights, resistance bands or even simply a yoga mat.
Any of these pieces of equipment can get your workout regimen off to a great start, and the one-time purchase won’t bust your budget too much.
Find a Friend
If you depend on the gym to keep you motivated, find a friend who will have the same effect that you can workout with. Schedule a couple nights a week and go on walks or bike rides, or stay in for some yoga (potentially followed by a couple hours of mindless reality TV as a reward).
You can even look up classes near you and see if any allow participants to pay for just one session. Try a new Zumba or spin class together if you can find some inexpensive options!
Get Online– Or On Your Phone
There are a ton of resources online that can teach you fun mat workouts, calisthenics routines, and even high-intensity circuit training. Look on Google or YouTube for some inspiration.
There are also a ton of fitness apps out there that can get you moving without any equipment! Look up fun apps like Zombies, Run!, which turns your leisurely runs into adrenaline-rushing zombie chases, or Nexercise, which turns fitness into a game where you can earn points and compete with others.
Check Out Public Options in Your City
Most cities have public tennis courts, volleyball courts or even swimming pools, so take a look online to see what your neighborhood has to offer.
If you can find a workout buddy, a nearby public tennis court could be a great way to get some serious workouts in while honing your Serena Williams-style power serves.
Choose the Active Options
For instance, take the stairs whenever possible, rather than the elevator. Or, get off the train or bus a few stops early so you can walk the rest of the way.
Though you won’t be able to do this workout daily (unless you have seriously messy roommates), cleaning your apartment can help you burn some major calories. Plus, if you incorporate things like squats and lunges into activities like doing the dishes and cleaning the windows, you’ll feel even more of a burn.
Even simply rearranging the furniture in the living room can give you a solid workout. So put on some great music, pull out the vacuum and broom, and get cleaning!
Join a Team
If you played sports in high school or college, it may be time to return to that team frame of mind. Sports are a great way to get exercise, and you may find yourself with a new group of buddies you can hang out with.
Check out local athletics clubs to see if they have anything available. Or you can even see if your co-workers are interested in teaming up to join a local kickball or softball league.
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