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Wouldn’t it be ideal if we could all afford gym memberships? And gym memberships with childcare to boot?
Now, if you do have a gym membership and childcare readily available, then I am happy for you! I would totally take advantage of that!
But I simply cannot afford a gym membership at this time. I even looked into our local YMCA’s scholarship program. Yes, we qualify, but even with the scholarship amount, we still could not afford to pay.
So what are some ways to fit in fitness on a budget? Check out these 13:
Image by Rennett Stowe
1. Run/Jog/Walk around your neighborhood.
Yes, this one is a no-brainer. But it’s free. And…if you have a good jogging stroller–or even a regular stroller for walking–you can take your kids along with you!
But running is not for everyone. I’m the type that absolutely hates it. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever been on a “real” run.
I do enjoy walks–but only in warm weather.
2. Ride a bike.
But doesn’t that require that you own a bike? Well, yes. And don’t bikes cost money? Yes–but not much. I have seen bikes at Goodwill or yard sales for $10–or less! If you really want to find one, just keep your eyes peeled, and you will probably be able to find one. Beyond yard sales and local thrift shops, try Craigslist, Freecycle, or a Facebook online “yard sale.” Post that you are looking for one and the price you are willing to pay.
My sister picked my bike up at a yard sale, and we got my husband’s and a bike trailer for our girls on Craigslist. It is so much fun to take a family bike ride together when it’s warm outside!
Image by danxoneil
3. Take a swim–if you have access to a neighborhood pool.
Now, I used to think that only the wealthiest of subdivisions had pools. Not anymore. It seems that neighborhood pools are popping up all over the place! Again, this is a warmer weather activity. My family rents a 2-bedroom townhouse, and we have a pool. I have especially enjoyed swimming during my pregnancies.
4. Buy a piece of exercise equipment off of Craigslist.
Oh Craigslist–how I love thee. Let me count the ways! When we were newly married, I bought an exercise bike off of Craigslist, and I bicycled every night while my husband and I watched TV. It was the most fit I’ve ever been–and it really didn’t even feel like I was exercising!
5. Bring out some old fitness DVDs–or shop for new ones at a discount store, eBay, on consignment or at thrift stores.
When I first got married, I loved, loved, loved The Firm workout DVDs. One of my old roommates had gotten me hooked on them. At the time, I could not afford group exercise classes, but I liked the “feel” the DVDs gave me. It was as if I were in a class! Each afternoon, I transformed my living room into a gym. And I can say that the DVDs were the best I’ve ever done–as far as building muscle tone and trimming down!
Later in this series, we’ll hear from both Mary of The Encouraging Home, who uses TTapp DVDs, and Brandy from Living Water Health & Wellness, who uses Beach Body! (Both are trained coaches!) Fit2B also offers DVDs if you prefer that to an online membership.
Image by danxoneil
6. Workout to online videos from YouTube.
Now, I would be very careful here because I imagine there are probably some YouTube exercise instructors who really do not know what they are doing. I would honestly feel safer using a DVD from a certified instructor. But several reputable DVD programs do have trial videos on YouTube, so that might be a good place to start to “try before you buy.”
7. Apply for a scholarship or financial aid at a local gym or YMCA.
Our local YMCA now offers membership rates based solely on income. I seriously considered it and even calculated out how much we would have to pay, but it was still too much for our budget. But this may just be a good option for you. Our YMCA offers an excellent childcare program that is included with a membership fee.
8. Check out local “cheap” gyms that offer the basics–but no “thrills and frills.”
We have a Planet Fitness gym right down the road from our house. It does not offer any type of classes, but they have all the basic equipment and professional personal trainers–for only $10/month.
9. Take advantage of city-sponsored, community center classes.
Our town offers zumba and other aerobic-type exercises for $5/class at our local community center. To be honest, $5/class is still a little much for me when you consider 3 classes/week would equal $15, and that would equate to $60/month. (At that point a gym membership would be cheaper.) But you never know if your community may even offer some classes for free!
Image by JBLM MWR Marketing
10. Be on the lookout for fitness Groupons (or the like).
I am currently attending a Burn Bootcamp fitness class using a Groupon I snagged. I got two months of the class for more than 90% off retail value! I see Groupons for fitness classes come in all the time. Sign up to receive weekly Groupon, Living Social, Juice in the City, etc. e-mails, and you may just find a fitness class that fits in your budget!
11. Join an online fitness studio.
I am enjoying my Fit2B membership. It’s nice being able to work out in the privacy of my own home–anytime I want! Plus, I appreciate that the owner, Beth, knows how to work in tummy-safe exercises for postpartum women. And it’s even nice that there is a kid section for exercises my girls can do with me.
I knew that at $14.99 the membership wasn’t pricey, but I didn’t realize how low it was until I noticed an advertisement for yoga/pilates classes the other day–at $10 per class! I was blown away!
Humbled Homemaker readers get a 3-month membership for only $20 using code: “humbledhomemaker”
12. Do your own circuit routine at home.
I love doing a basic circuit routine because it changes things up and prevents boredom.
13. Use a Wii Fit.
Now, you actually have to already own a Wii for this to be a possibility. We actually have a Wii that we got over 4 years ago that I’ve barely used in the past two! I used to love the exercise routines of the Wii Fit. I actually think my older two girls are big enough to do some of the exercises with me now, so I should pull it back out!
How to do you fit in fitness on a budget?
Get Fit with Fit2B! For just $14.99/month, Fit2B is a fraction of the price of a gym membership. But Humbled Homemaker readers get an even better deal! Use code humbledhomemaker to get 30% off a 1-year membership!
Disclaimer: *This basic circuit training routine is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please review this routine with your trusted healthcare provider and have written permission to begin your chosen fitness routine before doing so. The Humbled Homemaker cannot be held responsible for any injury resulting from misuse of this educational material. By beginning any workout routine without first consulting your physician, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk.*