Are you on a skin tight budget?
Believe me, I’ve been there.
Long before my husband came into the picture, I couldn’t rub 2 pennies together. For instance, my monthly salary with one of the dance companies I worked for was just a little over the qualifying amount for welfare. I know, right?
I didn’t feel I could afford a gym membership at the time so I arrived to work an hour and a half before rehearsal started to do my self-created workout.
However, you don’t have to make up your own workout in order to get your fitness on. There are plenty of ways for you to burn calories that won’t break the bank and can be a lot of fun as well!
Take a look at 8 super effective ways you can get fit while on a tight budget!
1) Daily Deal Sites
I’m sure everybody and their mamas have heard of those daily deal sites such as Groupon or Living Social. They have some pretty phenomenal deals on almost any fitness class you can imagine. This is a fantastic way to not only save money, but to try out a new fitness format without shelling out the big bucks before even knowing if you’re going to like it or not.
Bonus Tip: These sites have sales on their already awesome deals very regularly. Speaking of, Groupon is having a sale. right. now. I kid you not! And it’s 25% off. AND the promo code can be used up to 3 different times. Click here and look at the top of the page for the promo code. Like I mentioned before, these sales come around on the regular, so if you missed this one, just hold out a week or two till they have another site wide discount!
2) Stream Online Workouts for Free—A Budget’s All Time Favorite Word
You can find tons of awesome free online workouts just about anywhere these days. One way is to simply go to YouTube, type “workouts” in the search bar, and bam, you’ll have free workouts coming out your nostrils!
The website Feel Fitastic, is another resource where you’ll find over 2,000 free workouts, fitness tips, recipes, along with a nutrition database where you enter in a specific food and this cool tool spits out its nutritional facts.
In addition to that, you can actually build your own workout according to the area(s) you are wanting to focus on. Create a free account and you are well on your way to Toned Town. Whaaa whaaaat?!?
3) Work Study
When I lived in New York, dance classes were crucial in order for me to stay in “dance shape” while auditioning. However, a single dance class in New York isn’t cheap, especially from a poor dancer’s standpoint.
Luckily, I was able to snag a work study position at one of the studios. For every hour I worked at the front desk, I scored one free class. And all I really had to do was greet people and babysit the sign in sheet. Easy peasy.
Work study duties can include greeting members, signing new members up, answering any questions, taking payments, answering phones, cleaning the studio at the end of the night, etc.
If there’s a fitness facility you’ve had your eye on, just give them a call and ask if they offer any sort of work study program. Ok, so maybe you don’t have anywhere in mind. In that case, go check out the Fitness/Salon/Spa section under the Jobs category on Craigslist. Work study positions are often posted there.
Bonus Tip: Wait a sec! Before inquiring about becoming a work study, find out if they’re hiring first. Who knows, they might be looking for a front desk person! And everywhere I’ve taught in the past, employees have gotten to take classes for free.
Then you’ll get a little extra money in your pocket and free classes. Heck yeah!
4) Split a Personal Trainer Session
Have you recently found the deal of a century on a gym membership, but can’t remember the last time you actually set foot in a gym? You might want to think about buying a couple personal training sessions. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Katie, I thought this was supposed to be a post about saving some dough! Aren’t personal training sessions kinda pricey?”
Well, they’re not the cheapest thing ever. And if someone is meeting up with their trainer a few times a week at about $65 a pop, the money adds up real quick. Keep in mind a person living in a smaller town will probably pay less than those living in big cities.
However, I’m only talking one or two sessions total so trainers can a) create an exercise program suited to your goals and fitness level, and b) teach you proper form while using the equipment. Hopping on any old machine without really knowing what you’re doing could set yourself up for an injury. Additionally, correct form = better results!
With that being said, even only a couple of sessions is a good chunk of change for many of us. This is where your BFF (Best Fitness Friend) comes in. Pair up with a pal and split the trainer fee. The personal trainer does charge a little more for the hour since he’s now working with two people, but the cost still ends up being lower than one-on-one.
Or, cut the price even more by getting several of your buddies together for a small group training session. The group size is small enough to where you still get individual attention from the trainer, but this route is considerably cheaper. Expect to pay somewhere around the $20-$25 range per person.
Can’t round enough people up for a small group? No worries, lovely people! Lots of personal trainers out there do the rounding up for you so all you have to do is show up on the day and time discussed. Ask up at the front desk of your gym to find which trainers offer small group sessions.
5) Borrow Fitness DVD’s
If streaming a video is not your cup of tea, then just do what we all did before videos were available online…borrow a few dvd’s. Do you know a fitness enthusiast? Well, if they’re over the age of 30, chances are they’ll have some sort of collection of workout dvd’s that you can use.
Can’t think of anybody? Do not fret m’friend because you can take your purdy face on over to the library! I used to head to my local library and check out fitness dvd’s all the time. Let me tell you though, the library does carry some doozies.
Meaning, it could be that the workout is like 2 seconds long, or maybe the instructor is eye twitchingly annoying, or it might just be that the workout itself sucks a big butt cheek. My advice would be to check out several at once so you have a better chance of getting at least one quality workout.
6) Fitness Classes at Church/Synagogues/Mosques/etc.
Instead of primarily focusing on one’s spiritual health, many religious organizations are now branching out to include the body and mind as well. Within the last decade or so, faith-based wellness programs have been springing up like gangbusters!
Religious leaders and congregants alike are addressing the belief that “if our bodies really are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, we had best get them down to the size God intended,” as Charlie W. Shedd explained in his book, Pray Your Weight Away.
Basically, God gave us this body, so we should be taking better care of it!
Faith-based organizations are tackling this subject matter head on by opening up gyms, offering group fitness and nutrition classes, sport camps, rock climbing, etc. And by making their programs super affordable, or even free, it provides everyone the opportunity to become a healthier version of themselves.
If your place of worship doesn’t offer any sort of wellness program, ask to start one of your own! More often than not, if you’re a member of your religious community, you are able to use a room of the building for free. So! Get a small group and a workout dvd (or stream it online) together, meet up at your church/temple/mosque/etc. and you’re good to go! Sweat session accomplished.
Do you prefer a brisk walk over other aerobic activities, but you’re also the type of person who quickly becomes bored?
Well then recruit a few of the neighbors and start a walking group! Not only will the time fly when you guys are chatty Kathy-ing it up, but you’ll help to keep one another motivated.
Whether it’s noticing a couple of the ladies holding back, so they don’t blow past the rest of the group, while you’re seriously sucking wind struggling to keep up, or encouraging someone who’s having difficulties maintaining her healthier eating habits, being a part of something like a walking group will give you the added benefits of a built in support system as well as the gentle kick in the pants one may need to work outside the ole comfort zone.
Another huge plus of a walking group (or training with others in general) is the accountability factor. You don’t want to ditch anyone or bail at the last minute when people are counting on you, so you’re much more likely to show up.
You know that one friend everyone has who always promises to be there, but very rarely follows through.
Not too many people strive to be that “one friend.”
8) November Project
November Project is a FREE fitness group that 2 Bostonians began back in 2011 to help them stay fit during the winter. Fast forward a few years and you can find numerous November Project chapters spanning the country as well as up into Canada, Iceland, even Serbia!
This group is not, I repeat, is not only for the fanatics who workout 20 days a week. (Wait, what?) They welcome every. single. fitness. level. From the complete and total newbie all the way up to Olympian status *gulp,* their motto says it all, “Just show up.”
As a rule, the workouts happen in the a.m. during the week, rain or shine. And depending on the city, there could be one or multiple workouts a week.
I think one of the coolest parts about the group is how the members encourage, support, and provide a welcoming environment for everyone. I mean, when you hear they’re all about hugs, high fives, and cheering one another on, that’s pretty frickin’ awesome! And guessing from the amount of November Project communities out there, other people feel the exact same way.
Ok, now after reading all this you may find that some of the suggestions will take a little extra push in the beginning.
And if you’re human, like most of us are, and you tend to struggle in the whole gaining momentum department from time to time, buddying up is the perfect solution!
To add to the workout buddy benefits I mentioned in tip #7, combining forces helps you double up on almost anything: gaining momentum, resources, confidence, follow through, you name it.
But! Ahem, as usual I digress.
So whether you’re scraping your pennies together or just looking to save a few bucks, whatever that budget may look like, I hope at least one of the above ideas sparked some interest!
Is there a budget-friendly recommendation you have when it comes to exercise? I’d love for you to share it with me down in the comments section!
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you. I am thrilled to be featured in Henpicked, an amazing online magazine and resource based in the UK! Their content is geared towards women over 40, but in no way does that mean chicks in their 20s and 30s couldn’t relate to the topics. I’m telling you, every time I pop over to their site I end up reading a handful of their articles.
And the women behind Henpicked? Flipping incredible. Some of, if not, the nicest people I’ve come across since diving into the brouhaha of blogging.
Let’s connect, shall we?
This post will be linking up with these these parties!