When you’re piecing together your budget and deciding which categories are draining your cash pool, take a closer look at your expensive gym membership. Gym memberships can range from $10-$100 (for specialty gyms like Crossfit) per month! If you’re serious about staying in shape but don’t want to deal with contracts, automatic payment withdrawals, or annual fees, check out what the Mvelopes Fitness experts have put together.
Staying fit doesn’t need to be expensive. All it takes is your motivation, sweat, and a little creativity. Below are the most effective ways to stay in shape, lose weight, and be healthy – and most of these won’t cost you a dime!
Duh! There is nothing new with these fitness tips, but they are also the most ignored free fitness activities. Considering that over 45% of gym patrons go to the gym to use treadmills (60% use cardio equipment in general), you could save your time and money by heading outside and walking/jogging on the sidewalk or designated trails.
- Fitness Apps
Fitness apps, next to personal-finance apps, are some of the most popular in the app store. Some are great and others are a real bust. No matter what your fitness level, there are free fitness apps to plan, motivate, and track your workouts. For runners try MapMyRun (for bikers, MapMyRide). If you enjoy lifting weights, you can invest in inexpensive resistance bands or used dumbbells and complete any free workout on Fitness Buddy app, or MoveMeFit – a new fitness app that allows for free customized exercise plans regardless of experience or equipment!Want to keep your fitness and finances all in the same place? Download the Mvelopes app (available on iOS, Android, and Kindle) and start managing your budget and fitness from your phone or tablet!
- Fitness DVD’s
You can beat the gym-membership madness by purchasing instructional fitness DVD’s and exercising on your time and in your own home. You could save even more money by buying used or older editions of your favorite routine because in the past 60 years, there has been very little change in fitness philosophy. Whether you’re into P90X, Insanity, Bikini Body, or Richard Simmons the principles are all the same.
- Health Insurance Subsidies
Check your health insurance policy and your employee benefits – fitness memberships may be fully or partially reimbursed. Although these benefits often come with the caveat that you have to show up at the facility a minimum number of times during a certain period, this could be a great way to motivate yourself and save a lot of money.
- DIY Exercise Equipment
Many people spend money on top of their gym membership fees to provide yoga and other exercise equipment like foam rollers, stretching bands, yoga blocks, stick massagers, and expensive ball massagers. According to Beret Kirkeby, a registered massage therapist and yoga instructor, most of these items can be obtained free from within your own home and the savings is significant. Try turning a men’s neck-tie into a yoga and stretching band, or substituting a frozen water bottle in place of your cold roller. These things add up!
- YouTube Videos
With the ease of creating and uploading videos, there are thousands of free workouts and routines online that can take the place of those expensive gym classes you’ve been taking. Not sure what to search for? Try BeFit, Blogilates, BexLife, YogaSync, or Sarah Fit and get moving!
- Community Fitness and Exercise Adventures
Be sure to take a look at your local rec center for upcoming fitness activities or outings. As the weather gets warmer, many centers will sponsor free outdoor exercise classes or workout groups. If not, get online and check out MeetUp.com to find other people in your area that have similar fitness goals and start an outdoor fitness group to motivate each other.
Your finances don’t have to suffer at the expense of your fitness goals and vice versa. Neglecting your health will inevitably affect your finances, and by making finances and fitness priorities in your life, you’ll find you obtain more of both! Good luck!
Tell us what you’re doing to stay fit on a budget! We’d love to share your ideas on our social media pages!