How to Get Fit Without Going Broke

You would get in shape, if only you could afford a gym membership or some exercise equipment to use at home–right? Sorry, but with all the low-cost and even no-cost options available for working out, a lack of funds just isn’t enough of an excuse. If budget blues are preventing you from meeting your fitness goals there are two options to consider: Finding the best possible discounts on a gym membership or work out at home with classic calisthenics that utilize your body weight to help you gain strength and shed extra pounds.

Save at the Gym

Don’t settle for a fitness center that doesn’t provide the basics you’re looking for just because it has a low monthly fee. If you don’t enjoy working out there, even a small fee will probably be money down the drain. Find a gym that offers everything you want and find a way to afford it.

  • Use fitness coupons for discounts on memberships or single classes. Many gyms regularly offer special deals to recruit new members.
  • Try negotiating for a better gym price–even if the facility is currently offering reduced rates. Fierce competition in the industry makes it a buyer’s market; you shouldn’t settle for the first fee package you’re offered. Don’t hesitate to ask for a waiver of sign-up fees, a reduction in monthly costs or for the inclusion of additional programs you’d normally have to pay for.
  • Go with a group. Getting friends, family members or co-workers to join together may mean lower fees for everyone.
  • Check for employer or insurer discounts. If you work for a large company or belong to a union you may be entitled to further discounts. Your health insurance policy may also provide you with a gym membership discount as part of a wellness program. Contact your HR department to find out more.

Work Out at Home

Walking is one of the best forms of cardio, especially for people just starting on a fitness program. But for those days when the weather won’t let you get outside or if you need a more vigorous workout, try these time-tested exercises to burn calories and build muscle:

  • Jumping jacks – Remember these? You could do dozens as a kid. A set of jumping jacks will get your heart beat going, tone major muscles in the legs and arms and make you feel young all at the same time
  • Leg lifts — Get the most out of leg lifts by keeping your abs and glutes tight as you lift your leg up and down. Maintaining control over your moving leg makes each muscle work harder and protects you from back sprain.
  • Push-ups – A healthy adult should be able to perform 20 to 50 pushups in a minute. Strike the perfect form by keeping your body straight without dropping your hips. Keep this form even if it means doing smaller pushes.

Money may be tight, but that’s not an excuse for you not to be. If you need the atmosphere and support of a fitness center, don’t assume you can’t afford a membership until you’ve explored all the options. And if a gym is still out of your financial reach, there are many effective exercises you can do at home without any special equipment. All you need to get started is a little motivation.

About Josephbker

Joseph writes this post on behalf of Sears and other brands he trusts. He enjoys exercise, cross-fit, horseback riding, and reading.
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