Exercising for Free or on the Cheap {Eat.Live.Be.}

by Cate on January 30, 2013

When it comes to working out, it can get expensive. Gym memberships, fancy equipment, and all those new, fun work-out clothes and colorful sneakers don’t come cheap.

For sure.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How about some tips on how to do it without breaking the bank?

no regrets

1 – Get outside and walk. Yes, that’s it. When I worked out with a personal trainer years ago, that is all he wanted me to do for the first month. One hour a day. Five days a week. Walking. Of course when I went with him, there were far more hills involved than when I chose the routes myself. But really, it *is* that simple. And free. And, man, was it ever effective.

2 – Weather is not always conducive to walking, for sure. Back in December, the kids and I embarked upon a #mileaday challenge, walking often to the grocery store and downtown to not only get our walk in, but to also spend time together, save on gas, and just generally feel good. But when the temps dipped to the low teens, I didn’t want to subject them to that. Take to your stairs inside your house. Up and down and up and down and up and down again.

3 – Groupon and LivingSocial are your friends. And they surely are mine. Outside of exercise, they have exposed us to a ton of new stuff, and I love that, but keeping on our topic, they are awesome for deals on gym memberships, personal training sessions, kick boxing studios, and the like. I got a six-month gym membership for $95 recently, instead of their regular $320 price tag. If you’re not already signed up for the e-mail list for your area for Groupon and LivingSocial, get on it.

3 – Drop-in classes. You don’t have to necessarily join a gym to partake in their classes. A lot of places have a drop-in rate, or you can go as a guest (and pay a small fee) with an existing member. It’s a good way to try out new classes and break up the monotony of whatever routine you’re already doing.

4 – Online. There is a virtual treasure trove of videos online that you can do in your own home. For free. My favorite is this 8 minute arm video from Tracy Anderson. It’s a killer, for sure, and at about the three minute mark, there is a serious burn felt, but the more you do it, the farther along you’ll get before the burn makes you drop your arms for a moment. Many times when I see Sarah online, we’ll start the 8 minute video at the same time. It’s more fun when you know someone else is suffering right along with you. For quick sourcing, I have a Pinterest page dedicated to Tracy’s videos and exercises.

5 – Which also brings me to my next tip – because you’ll see on that Pinterest page, I’ve also included one-page work-outs. Whether you like Tracy’s style or someone else, or if you’re working on a particular body part or trouble area, do a search and you’re bound to come up with simple exercises that you can do at home. Put together your own page so you can find it quickly (and if you do, please share). I have another Fitness page here, where there is a variety of exercises you can do at home, fitness tips, motivational items, and more. And this one is more focused on just motivation.

6 – Start buying small items on your own. I saw a small piece on the exercises that Fergie (the singer) does to shape her posterior using these loop bands. A great budget-friendly item to add to your home work-out. Resistance bands are another inexpensive option to go with, and they take up way less space and are less bulky than having their counterparts (weights) on hand.

7 – This post is a great resource with a number of free exercise ideas.

*photo from kushandwisdom.tumblr via pinterest

Nick and I were talking about an entirely different topic last night, but the advice I gave to him applies here as well … whether you’re working out to maintain your weight, lose weight, train for a particular event, or be the fittest version of you possible, it comes down to one thing > how bad you want it. If you want it, there are numerous ways to achieve it, and it has very little to do with how much you spend.

Have some of your own free (or cheap) ways to get or keep fit? Would love to hear them!

And you can check out the #eatlivebe hashtag for more on Twitter and Instagram. Come join in the fun!

*top photo is from Pinterest

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne January 31, 2013 at 7:28 am

Running is also a super cheap hobby! I also like the idea of living actively in general…walk to the store instead of drive/take the subway/take a cab, always take the stairs, etc. Just try to add little extra bits of activity into your day wherever possible. All in all awesome post!
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Pain de Campagne and Braised Mixed Greens and Garlicky Beans on Toast {eat.live.be}


patsy January 31, 2013 at 9:35 am

Great post! These tips are great and so easy to forget until someone reminds me of them! Thanks!
patsy recently posted..Game Day Snack: Cheez-it Bayou Blitz Mix & Giveaway


Sarah W. Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) February 1, 2013 at 12:19 am

Also, take advantage of FREE. I am doing a free 30-day trial of Insanity via DailyBurn.com. It’s intense (and part of a work assignment). But there are other similar things out there — like free day passes to gyms and the ilk.
Sarah W. Caron (Sarah’s Cucina Bella) recently posted..Cheese and Tomato Pizza with Garlic Bread Crust


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