Fitness for the Frugal

budget fitness

Three months ago, I ended a year-long relationship. In the beginning, it was great. It was healthy. It made me feel good, confident. But the last few months, it seemed to take more than it was giving back. My busy life made it harder and harder to see each other. I had to end it… so, I broke up with my gym.

Since quitting the gym, I have been able to enjoy a little more money each month and still get a good workout because I’ve found frugal ways to keep fit. Here are some of my favorite ways to keep myself and my wallet slim.

Get Free Videos

The internet is so handy when it comes to finding free stuff. There is a plethora of free workout videos on YouTube. Follow your favorite fitness guru on social media sites (especially Facebook and Instagram) and you’ll constantly get new workouts to your news feeds on a weekly basis – or whenever they want to share a new move or workout with their followers.

If you have On Demand, you’ll also find a handful of free workout videos, ranging from yoga and Zumba to Pilates and basic strength training, in the fitness section.

For cheap workout videos, visit the thrift store. The DVD collections always feature some older workout videos for under $5. Exercise trends come and go, so finding an older workout video may give you a unique exercise you’ve never thought of trying (remember when belly dance aerobics was a thing?).

“Shop” Around

Did you know that many fitness studios offer one week of free classes for new visitors who are thinking of joining? Why not just shop around the local area and keep getting free classes each week?

Use Groupon

One benefit of my gym was the free fitness classes that came with membership. Those classes were pretty much the only thing keeping me coming to the gym. They keep you active and they’re social. There was no way I wanted to give those up, but they can be really expensive! So, I found an alternative. I started buying Groupons to various fitness classes. For $20, I got 10 yoga classes. For $40, I got one month of unlimited Pilates classes. Even better? Many of these places had a free intro week, so they would give me the free week and then apply my Groupon. Bonus! And not only was I getting classes cheaper, I was also able to try new classes – like pole fitness and kickboxing – without having to pay too much for them.

Peruse Pinterest

Raise your hand if you haven’t seen at least one fitness pin on Pinterest. Anyone? Yeah, I thought so. Pinterest is the hub for all kinds of inspiration and aspiration. Anything you want to do or learn, you can find some kind of pin related to. The same goes for fitness. You’ll be able to find new fitness pros to follow along with various workout plans, fitness tips and tricks, and even pictures on how to do your routine correctly.

Join a Fitness Group

Check out Craigslist (be careful and smart!), MeetUp, running/sports stores, social media, or local boards for different fitness groups to join. Many cities have running groups, triathlon training groups, yoga groups, etc. Many of them will meet up weekly for a free, group workout. Not only will you save money, you’ll make some friends, too!

You can also join or start an online group, where you can share your favorite workouts, hold each other accountable, get questions answered, and receive support.

Check Your Benefits

If you read how I earned an extra $2607 from my job, you know that my job has a number of benefits up for grabs for anyone who does their research and puts in the extra work. The same goes for fitness. There are many companies that offer free fitness opportunities for their employees. Remember, healthy employees are happy employees – who typically take less sick days or medical leaves. The company can benefit from a healthy group of employees. Take a look at your company benefits or speak to your HR rep. You may find free fitness classes offered after work or even discounts to gyms.

Check the Local Community Calendar

In my area (metro Detroit), there are always free community yoga classes offered at various yoga studios or at a cool spot in the city. I’ve seen free yoga workshops at numerous parks and beaches, and even such places as Belle Isle and the Detroit Zoo. Every Wednesday, there’s a high-energy fitness class in Campus Martius – right in the middle of downtown Detroit. I’ve also seen free boot camp classes pop up at the park near me.

You may not be from Michigan, but free opportunities like these happen in almost every city – or nearby city – all over the country. To find them happening near you, check out local community boards, visit your city’s website to view its social events calendar, ask your local gym or sports store, visit local yoga studio websites or social media pages, and ask around. You’ll be surprised at how many free fitness events there are in your area.

Keep your body and your budget healthy by trying a few of my tricks. And let me know what’s worked for you. Also, share your favorite at-home workout in the comments below!

What tricks do you have for getting a good workout while living on a budget?