Say goodbye to those $18 yoga classes! Learn some great tips and ideas for how to exercise on a budget!
The main yoga studio in my town charges $18 per class. Yup, $18 for 1 hour of…let’s be honest…stretching? That’s ridiculous. If I wanted to do yoga 3 times a week, that’s over $200 a month or $2,800 a year!
After my first and only yoga class, several months of being lazy on my couch, and a few pounds later, I decided I needed to find ways to exercise on a budget. I wanted to continue to aggressively pay off my student loans, but I also wanted to stay fit.
So here’s a list of all the ways I was able to exercise on the cheap. You WILL find something on this list that works for you!
1. Subscribe to fitness YouTube channels
This is first on my list because it’s by far the most effective, cheap, and sustainable way I have found to exercise on a budget. It’s free to set up a YouTube account, and free to watch these fitness videos.
These YouTube personalities make it pretty easy and fun to exercise (well, as “easy” and “fun” as exercising can be).
Here are my favorite channels that I think are worth subscribing to:
- Blogilates. Cassey Ho creates videos on Pilates and body sculpting. Her videos are so simple to follow (perfect for beginners – I didn’t even know what Pilates was when I started watching). I highly suggest checking out the 4-week beginners plan on her blog.
- ToneItUp. Karena and Katrina create videos that remind me of those 80s fitness tapes…but in a good (modern) way! Their videos are very professional and you definitely get a very well rounded workout from these two.
- FitnessBlender. This channel has videos that are a little more technical and straightforward than the two channels I mentioned above. If you don’t want flashy music or girl talk, this is the channel for you. I love that their website allows you to easily search all their workout videos depending upon what you want to do (difficulty level, equipment (yes/no), workout time, etc.)
If there is one thing you should do today, just check out these channels and subscribe. By subscribing, you are basically
bullying reminding your future self into trying a YouTube workout.
2. Download fitness apps
You can download free exercise apps on your phone and workout from anywhere.
I love the Workouts app – it is so bare bones and that’s what makes it amazing. This app allows you to choose which part of the body you want to exercise (abs, arms, legs, etc) and the amount time you want to work it out for (5, 8, or 10 minutes). This app makes it so easy to workout (it’s really hard to say “oh, I don’t have 5 minutes to do this today”).
There are also tons of other apps out there. I’ve also had some luck with Sworkit.
3. Find a cheap class
Sometimes you really need that external motivation.
You may be surprised, but there are some affordable exercise classes out there.
My work actually offers classes throughout the year and they only cost $3/class. Granted, it’s not as insane as some of the higher cost classes, andddd there’s usually a co-worker or two in the class, but the class does the trick.
There is also a church near me that offers cheap yoga classes (they even provide day care!). Do some research and see if you can find some exercise classes at your work, church, community center, or local park.
4. Find a free or cheap gym
Oh man, you can spend a lot of money on a gym. And it hurts the wallet even more if you never go (but still pay the fees).
There are some cheaper options that may be worth looking in to. My work offers a gym membership for only $40/year. You may also be able to find a gym in your apartment complex or community center.
5. Use public courts
This is a fun way to exercise, but you do need to have friends to do this… 🙂
You probably have several public tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, and tracks around your town…and they are free! Yeah it may cost you a little to buy a racket or a ball, but after that initial investment, you can exercise all you want.
I’ve taken advantage of the free tennis courts in my neighborhood…who knew you could sweat so much during tennis?
This is by far my favorite way to exercise.
I’m talking the real hiking – you spend the day at a state or national park and go on a 5 or 10 mile hike. Hiking barely seems like exercise to me because I love exploring new places and taking in the beauty of nature. It’s also a great way to spend some quality time with your spouse or friends (or, get in some good quality time with yourself!).
7. Running (or Walking)
So if you are a natural runner, I hate you. You can exercise on the cheap ANYWHERE. And it’s quick too. My body is pretty much incapable of running, so this wasn’t in the books for me. However…
I love walking. I really enjoy taking a night time stroll with my husband; we get to explore our neighborhood, judge other houses on the street, and say hello to a neighbor we’ve never met.
8. Find a workout friend
One of the best ways to exercise (instead of just thinking about exercising) is to get a workout buddy (aka an accountability buddy).
Friends are usually free, and maybe you’ll even find a friend that is really into getting in shape (and can act as a friendly personal trainer).
This has worked wonders for me and was the only reason I was actually able to run a 5k last year (like I said earlier, running does not come easy to me). We agreed to meet once a week and run as long as we possibly could (I don’t think we made it two blocks the very first time we ran). I never wanted to bail on a friend, so I actually ran once a week! So cool.
9. Find a community pool
I bet your town has a free or low-cost community center that has a pool for residents. Why not check it out? And maybe you can participate in one of those cool water aerobics classes…I’ve always wanted to try that!
10. Join meetup groups
If you haven’t checked out local meetup groups, you are missing out. Joining a meetup group is a great way to find other people who share your interests.
Even small towns have meetup groups. You can be social and active at the same time – win, win!
My town offers groups that play volleyball together, run (they’ve started a running club), kayak, and there’s even a kite flying group (that’s exercise right? Someone’s got to chase those kites around).
It takes a little guts to go on your first outing, but take a risk and you’ll find out how friendly everyone is.
It IS possible to exercise on a budget
See? It IS possible to stay fit on a budget. It IS possible to balance paying off debt and living a healthy lifestyle.
And it’s okay to splurge every now and then on a class. But try to avoid those $18 hot yoga classes or $24 anti-gravity class (I’m not making the price or the class up). And make sure if fits in your budget. Don’t have a budget? Start yours today and grab a free monthly budget printable by filling out the box below!
What’s your favorite way of exercising on a budget? Do you have any recommendations on what I should add to the list?