Are you still making excuses that you can’t go to the gym because it’s too expensive? Or can’t afford a new bike to exercise?
Be afraid, be very afraid, because you’re about to encounter some simple, cost-effective, ideas for you to work out on your own at home or somewhere outside. So no more excuses for not getting into shape!
- Do some running in the park. Before we had nice gyms and indoor tracks, we ran outside — everywhere. In fact, a book called Born to Run talks about how humans were designed to run long distances, and run barefoot. So no more excuses that you can only run on a treadmill. Besides, the impact of running on grass is less than on a treadmill or an indoor track. A hard outdoor surface like asphalt is a no-no for your joints.
- Get a pull-up bar. For roughly $30 you can get the Iron Gym (affiliate link) — an all-in-one pull-up, chin-up, and dip bar with multiple grip positions. It fits into place above any solid door frame in your house, and it’s removable. It’s quite an amazing device. You can even use it as a push-up bar.
- Try body-weight exercises. Remember gym class? Yes that’s right; push-ups, sit-ups, dips on outdoor railings, squats, lunges and more. There are so many body weight exercises and variations to combine for a great workout.
- Borrow a yoga or workout DVD set. Ever since Tae Bo, fitness gurus have been releasing DVD sets for you to work out at home and get in killer shape. Try DVD sets like PX-90 and Insanity to get your body into excellent shape. If you want to try yoga DVDs, all you’ll need is a yoga mat or carpeted area, and some blankets for propping up.
- Buy a used bike. We’re not talking about a high-class road bike or mountain bike here, just something inexpensive to get your heart pumping while riding on the streets of your town. You may even be able to find a bike at The Salvation Army or Goodwill.
- Buy used weights from Craigslist. People are always moving or need extra cash and Craigslist is the place to go for low-cost used workout equipment. A set of dumbbells, a small barbell set, and a cheap exercise bike for indoors is all you need for a good all-around regimen.
- Take advantage of YouTube exercises and workouts. There are tons of free videos on YouTube giving away basic exercise tips to complete workouts for free, and many of them can be done right in your own home, or even outside in a park. One of the best I found was a 10-minute high intensity cardio workout by Yuri Elkaim (Canada) that could be done in less than 10 square feet of real estate. I thought my lungs were going to jump out of my throat when I was done. Click here for the link.
- Use resistance bands. I didn’t know about these until I found a great circuit workout using resistance bands on YouTube by another Canadian workout instructor, Mike Roulston, from Mode Athletics. You can buy a set of basic resistance bands at one weight for less than $20. However if you are serious about working out with them, it’s better to invest in a full set with multiple weights and tensions. You can easily workout your entire body with a set of resistance bands and get a fantastic workout! You can checkout Mike’s resistance bands workout here.
- Make your own weights. If you’re really strapped for cash, take some spare plastic bottles and fill them with dirt or sand to make your own weights.
- Barter. If you’ve got a friend who’s a yoga instructor or personal trainer, then you can barter something you’re skilled at to learn those hidden secrets from a master of the art of fitness.
A recap and some final tips
- As always, you can negotiate some great deals if you buy used equipment; this more than makes up for what you paid in gym fees.
- No matter how little or how much you spend on your equipment, if you don’t use it, you’ll never see the results.
- The key to getting fit in the shortest amount of time is consistency and intensity.
- Make a budget that fits into your personal financial planning routine.
- Let’s not forget how much you can save on doctor bills and medications by simply getting in shape and staying healthy and fit over the long-term.
Now go forth with your new money saving knowledge and get fit on the cheap.
About the Author
David Hamilton (aka FPT Guy) is owner and author of Financial Planning Tips, where you can find sensible information on personal finance for the average guy or gal.
Photo Credit: Amy Selleck