7 Ways To Exercise On A Budget

Free Workout

We all know that exercise does the body good. Research proves that regular physical activity lowers the risk of common health issues such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and cancer, which can lead to a longer, happier life.

But did you ever think of exercise as a financial security measure? According to NerdWallet, there are hefty financial repercussions that come along with health problems. They predict that in 2013, 86 million Americans under age 65 will have trouble paying medical bills and nearly 17 million American adults will be contacted by collections agencies for unpaid medical bills.

Of course, thanks to age and heredity, in many cases medical issues are unavoidable. But exercise is one of the most accessible ways to maintain or regain a clean bill of health. Expensive gym memberships and pricey equipment give exercise a bad name in terms of affordability – but with a bit of creativity, there are plenty of ways to work out while spending little to no money. We spoke with money savings expert and self-proclaimed fitness junkie Andrea Woroch to get her top tips for exercising on a tight budget.

Look for daily deals

“Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer huge discounts for limited-time memberships,” says Woroch. “This is a great way to try new facilities and new types of workouts without committing financially. Plus, you could bounce around town using these cheap deals and never get bored.”

Speak with HR

“Your employer may have a deal with a local gym for discounted memberships to offer employees, so inquire with your HR department if this is available,” Woroch suggests. “If not, you may be able to round up enough employees to get this perk started with your firm as it’s something most health club facilities offer to companies.”

Turn your smartphone into a personal trainer

“These days, there are lots of fitness-specific apps on the mobile market,” says Woroch. “These apps represent a much more affordable alternative to pricey fitness tests done by professionals or technicians.”

Take advantage of trials

“All fitness clubs offer some type of trial,” notes Woroch. “Whether it’s a free 7-day pass or a complimentary month to test out the facility, it’s really smart to take advantage of these offers. Collect them from all the fitness clubs in your area to determine the best facility for your needs. Doing so will also get you a few months of free access to classes and equipment.”

Use your own weight

“From squats to push ups, planks and tricep dips, there are many challenging workouts that burn massive calories using your own body weight,” Woroch says. “Whether it’s an isolated move or an explosive movement, you can do body weight workouts at home or at the park. Not only do they offer amazing results, but it’s also totally free.”

Tune in online

“There are tons of fitness videos available online at sites like fitness.com and BodyRock,” says Woroch. “You may need to spend a little money for equipment like a timer or hand weights, but once you make the initial investment, it’s cheap from there on out.”

Freeze your membership

“If you have a long vacation coming up or prefer the great outdoors during the warmer summer months, ask your gym to freeze your membership,” she says. “You will pay a small fee, but the overall savings will be huge.”

For more tips on staying healthy while keeping a budget, check out our full health and money series.

Exercise disclaimer: before beginning any exercise program or regimen, you should first consult with your physician. Some exercise regimens and fitness programs do require already good physical condition to be able to participate. You should also understand that there is a possibility of physical injury whenever you participate in any exercise regimen or program.