I have a love/hate relationship with the summer. I love the weather, but hate bathing suit shopping, it only reminds me that I need to get fit and start exercising again. Let’s be honest, gym memberships can be pricey, especially if you are not sure you will actually stick with it. It is basically just throwing your money away. I have come up with some tools and tips you can use to get fit on a budget.
Try a gym before you join
Some people love the gym and feel that it helps keep them accountable. I think they are great if you are going to use them and get your money’s worth. Before you join a gym, ask if they offer free trial periods or consultations so you will know if it will work for you. If you have a friend that frequents a gym you are interested in, ask if they have a guest pass you can use to try out the gym at no cost to you.
Ask for a lower fee
Most gyms will waive the membership fee certain times of the year, like in January. They may waive the fee any time of year if you just ask. Also, ask if there is a discount if you commit for a longer period. Find the best gym membership deal you can from a competitor and see if your preferred gym will match the deal.
Create a Home Gym
Creating a home gym doesn’t need to be expensive. All you really need is a stability ball, hand weights, mat, and elastic bands. There are a lot of exercises that don’t require any equipment, just your body weight and things you could easily find around the house like a towel, chair, and stairs.
Look on Craigslist
If you feel like you need expensive workout equipment like treadmills or bench presses, check out Craigslist. People buy these all the time and they just sit and collect dust. You could get a great deal on equipment that is hardly used.
I love workout DVDs. I’m not the type of person that goes to the gym, I like working out at home when I have the time and not having to drive anywhere. You can get a great workout DVD for around $5-$10. I have about 5 so I can switch up the workouts and not get bored. If you don’t like working out in front of other people this may be the way to go. You can even get free workout DVDs at your local library. I highly recommend any of Jillian Michaels’ workouts.
Fitness magazines are a great source of information and inspiration. They always have a few workouts that you can try and each month you get new ones. You can checkout Discount Mags for some great deals. I post magazine freebies often and several have been for Shape, Women’s Health, and Men’s Fitness. Keep an eye out for those on my Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also check out my post for how to get free magazine subscriptions well.
There are a ton of workouts available online that are completely free. Check out YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, even On Demand. They are a great way to try different forms of exercise without spending a dime. All the variety keeps you from getting bored and burned out. You may also want to check out BodyRock TV.
Buy Workout Gear in January
We see most of the sales on workout and exercise equipment during January. Check out Target, Walmart, Dick’s, etc. for all the sales they have going on. You can get great deals on workout machines, home equipment, DVDs, apparel, and so much more. Not to mention all the gym membership deals that go on as well.
If you need even more tips and encouragement to stay fit and healthy, check out Becky Mansfield’s course, Lose Weight, Gain Energy. She guides you on how to lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks the healthy way
I hope this has made you start to think about ways you can save and still get in shape at the same time. I wish you nothing but luck on your journey to a healthier and fitter you. If you have any tips you use to get fit on a budget, please let us know in the comments below.