I tend to believe that eating whole, unprocessed natural foods is the most important part of a healthy lifestyle. I believe that because I know first hand that no matter how much we exercise, we can’t undo a poor diet. That being said, physical fitness does play a role in our health and we should find ways to include it into our modern, busy lifestyles. What that physical fitness regimen looks like is going to vary from person to person. The one constant, however; is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. We can hire personal trainers or buy expensive equipment, however; neither guarantee success if we don’t have motivation to keep at it. I, personally, would rather spend my hard earned dollars on other things and so I’ve learned to few frugal fitness tricks to keep my body active and my wallet full.
1. Make it Do:
Maybe you don’t have fancy dumbbells, but I bet you have some kind of water bottle around that you could fill and use in their place.
Don’t have a yoga mat? Do you have a throw or even just a cushy spot on your carpet that you can use until you get something?
Look around your house for what you already have on hand, you might be surprised what you can use instead of spending money at the sports box store.
2. Think Secondhand
Look at your local thrift store. All my dumbbells have purchased at local thrift stores for a greatly reduced price compared to new. I’m currently looking for a slightly heavier set. I see all kinds of things at my thrift stores – treadmills, stationary bikes, helmets, exercise balls, and more. Be sure to peruse yours with your fitness routine in mind. Craigslist and Ebay can also be great places to look.
I’ve also purchased most of exercise clothing (with the exception of shoes) at the thrift store, finding moisture wicking name brands for way less than the original, new cost.
3. Get Outside:
Going for a walk or run around the block doesn’t cost you a dime, gets you moving, and some precious Vitamin D exposure. I understand sometimes weather conditions force us inside but look for things you can do for free whenever possible. Can you go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in a local park? Is a local park having a guided hike, bird-watching adventure, or some other activity? These are great ways to get fit, learn something, and meet members of your community.
4. Seek Out the Free:
While fitness classes can be fun and a great way to learn new things. The cost can add up quickly. There are a ton of wonderful resources online that won’t cost you a penny. I’m particularly fond of these channels on You Tube: FitnessBlender, PopSugar Fitness, & Tara Stiles.
5. Discounted Memberships:
My local weather has been particularly awful for outdoor runs this winter. I found a gym that I could join for less than $30 a month and allows me to put my membership on hold for part of the year. So, I’m using the membership through the winter and once the weather turns, I’ll put my membership on hold and run outside again (I much prefer that, anyway). Next winter, I’ll be able to pick up my membership again without having to pay any initiation fees. Look around your area and ask if gyms have similar deals.
It might seem overly simple, but these little bits of frugality and fitness add up. Besides all the money you save on buying equipment can go towards buying really good shoes (an area where I don’t think frugality should be the first consideration), taking a vacation, paying down the mortgage, or any other personal worthwhile expense.
What’s your favorite frugal fitness tip?