Everyone knows the importance of fitness, at least in theory. You’ve likely heard that you should get 60 minutes of physical activity three times a week. Depending on how packed your schedule is, that can be easier said than done. Still, you need to do it, and not just for your looks or self-esteem. Regular exercise provides great health benefits, both physical and mental, so it’s hard to pass up. Cheap health insurance can help you out in a pinch, sure. In fact, it’s easy to compare cheap health insurance plans with iSelect, but preventive care is always the best option.
Scheduling isn’t the only tough part of staying in shape, though. Fitness can be expensive. Gym memberships can be wallet strainers, especially if they have rough sign-up fees. Buying equipment to keep at home often isn’t much cheaper, either. Luckily, you don’t have to go through any of that to start getting in shape because there are plenty of cheap, and even free, ways you can exercise.
1. YouTube Fitness Channels
Remember workout DVDs or the fitness VHS tapes of the 80s? YouTube workouts are basically the modern equivalent, except you can get these for free. As with any topic on YouTube, you have tons of options to choose from ranging from simple weight resistance exercises to martial arts routines. There are options for beginners and advanced programs for those looking for more intense workouts. While it’s generally good advice to be wary of anyone promising to help you get ripped for free (or even worse, for low effort), these channels can help you build a great foundation for lifelong exercise.
2. Body Weight Training
If you want to build strength, you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy a weight set. At least not at first. Using just your body weight can be effective, and there are plenty of exercises you can do to reach all your muscle groups. You can even modify classic exercises like pushups into wall pushups if they prove too difficult at first. Situps, squats, pullups, and burpees can all be done in your own home with little to no equipment.
3. Outdoor Running
A jog around your apartment complex or in the park is completely free and a great way to burn calories and boost your cardio. Depending on your area, you may be able to find running tracks in the woods or other good spots. It’s important to note that running on the ground will be harder than running on a treadmill if you started out that way. It’s fine to take walk breaks, but you’ll probably want to use a running app to track the distance you actually ran. Some of these may even help you find events to connect with other runners.
4. Recreational Facilities
If a monthly gym membership isn’t your style, you may be able to find sports facilities or fitness classes offered in your area. Yoga classes are a great example of this, and some locations even offer complimentary classes on a first come first serve basis. Classes work for many people who find it difficult to work out on their own since the group environment gives extra motivation.
From basketball to tennis, you may be able to find some free options to participate in some games. While many places will require you to join a team for a fee, if you live near a university, you may be able to use their facilities. Naturally, students get this benefit for sure. Public pools can also be a good bet, although they may be freezing if they stay open year-round.
Speaking of pools, if you already have your own or are looking to invest, swimming is another great way to stay fit at home. Larger pools are great for swimming laps and underwater exercises, but you can create routines in smaller above-ground pools as well. Just make sure to follow standard safety guidelines, including using pool safety covers when not in use.
There are plenty of other ways to use household items to help in your routines. Don’t let price be the thing that keeps you from getting in shape, and enjoy having that extra energy during your day.