Fitness on the Cheap

Are you trying to get back into shape, but worried about how you can afford to do so? Whether you’re going through tough economic times or you’re trying to save some money, it’s never been easier to work out without belonging to a gym. Both cardio and strength exercises can be done on your own time or at local studios and community centers for less.

All you need is some good workout clothes, shoes and a creative mind. Depending on where you live, many of these activities can be done outdoors year-round.



Walking is one of the most underrated exercises. Many people think that because they don’t sweat a lot when walking, they’re not burning calories. This is incorrect.

For walkers, it’s important to focus on distance to burn more calories. Don’t worry about speed, just enjoy the outdoors and keep walking. If you are unsure of your distance, set a time goal and start your watch to keep track of time. Stick with it and when you find that your day is to full, try walking around your home, or even parking your car at the end of the parking lot. Every little bit counts!

Ask a friend or neighbor to join you on the walk. Determine a convenient time of day for both of you and stick to it.

Next time you have errands to do, don’t get in the car and drive to them. Instead, walk and burn some more calories.  Once you start walking and see the pounds shedding away, you may just find yourself wanting to walk everywhere. That is a good thing, so don’t fret.


Running is a very efficient exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime. For every mile that you run, on average you will burn 100 calories, even more depending on your frame and weight.

In addition to burning calories, running is very good for heart health; it decreases your cholesterol and if you’re outside on a sunny day, it’s an easy way to get Vitamin D.  Be sure to start slowly, if you have not exercised in a while. It is always advised to speak with your health care professional before starting any workout routine.


Throw on a helmet, comfortable workout clothes and jump on your bike to unleash your inner child to get in shape and enjoy some fresh air.

Many cities and towns will have biking paths that will let you ride away from traffic and pedestrians.

Strength Training

Yoga/Pilates Classes

Many yoga and Pilates studios will offer discounted classes early in the week, with new teachers or for new students.  Some studios even offer a community class which is free to anyone who comes by.  There are also monthly or weekly packages that will be discounted based up on the number of classes you decide to do.

Studios don’t usually require students to pay a monthly fee to take classes.

Also keep your eye on bargain Web sites such as Groupon or BuyWithMe, to name a few, that will offer discounted classes at local studios. They are usually between 40 and 50 percent off from regular prices.

Don’t forget to checkout your local YMCA or Park District for discounted classes.

Resistance Bands

Buy a plastic resistance band from your local sports store or online and use this instead of weights. These are low cost items, but you can do a great number or strength exercises and stretches with them.  It will provide strength training, toning and burning calories. This can be done in your own home or outdoors while you are running or taking a walk.

olivia nicolas By Olivia Nicholas | Olivia  is a writer and a busy mom. She is always happy to share her passion for life and experiences through her work, and in her spare time works as a freelance writer for Storkie.

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