9 Frugal Fitness Tips for Fall
1. Enjoy the outdoors.
You really don't have to spend much money when it comes to getting healthy and fit. Just strap on your sneakers and head outside for a brisk walk, jog, run or hike. Not convinced that's enough? A study published in the journal PLoS Medicine showed that adding 150 minutes of brisk walking each week, or 22 minutes a day, can add over three years to your lifespan! Keep your walk exciting by switching up the scenery. Head to a nearby park or even downtown. When the weather cools down, you can take laps around a nearby indoor mall at no cost.
2. Set up a gym at home.
A recent study showed that people are more likely to workout when they do it at home. While that's motivating enough, it's also way cheaper to set up shop in your living room or bedroom. Though an at-home gym costs more upfront, you'll end up saving money in the long run. Consider this: the average gym membership runs $58 per month. After five years, you're looking at spending nearly $3,500 to get your sweat on. Head over to stores like Walmart or Dick's Sporting Goods to pick up inexpensive dumbbells, a balance ball and resistance bands to get started. For cardio equipment like a treadmill, search local ads to find used options in your area for less.
3. Repurpose household items for weights.
You don't need fancy barbells or free weights to burn calories. Get creative and tone muscles with common goods in your home like water bottles, soup cans, detergent or oversized-bags of dog food. You can use these items for arm moves like bicep curls and overhead shoulder press, or hold those heavier items when squatting or lunging to build muscle faster. Review this list of 17 items that work just as good as weights for more ideas.
4. Use your own weight.
Though gear and equipment can enhance your routine, all you need is your own bodyweight to get a good sweat on. Planks, squats, lunges, burpees, push ups and mountain climbers are hard enough without added weight and such plyometric moves scorch calories and blast fat fast. Get free guides online from favorite fitness magazines or bloggers who post workouts and show you how to keep such moves challenging.
5. Stream videos for free.
For those who prefer to take classes, you can stream workout videos online that offer the same feel as if you're in a hip hop or kickbox session at your local gym. Check out The Daily Hiit or subscribe to a YouTube channel that features preferred workout styles. From yoga to dance to high-intensity training, you can find daily and weekly workouts online for free or far less than you would pay for a health club membership. If you aren't sure where to look on Youtube, check out Mashable's roundup of top free fitness channels.
6. Max out gym and studio trials.
If you're the type of person who is more motivated to workout at a health facility, you can still find ways to save. For instance, taking advantage of complimentary or super cheap trials at the various gyms and speciality fitness studios in your area will get you several months of free workouts. Such trials may include a free three or seven-day pass, or a deep discount on one-month use. If you decide to sign up somewhere, negotiate your membership first. Ask the sales associate to waive the sign-up fee, throw in the first month free or add a few more personal training sessions to sweeten the deal.
7. Look for deals online.
Before you sign a contract or buy a pass, look for deals online to save on your fitness membership. Deal sites like Coupon Sherpa offer sporting goods coupons and free passes for health clubs including 24 Hour Fitness, while daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial provide deep discounts of up to 70-percent on local memberships and personal training. You should also check a studio or gym's social media page where there may be new-member deals hiding.
8. Find free workouts in your area.
Ask local fitness retailers or organizations if they offer any complimentary workouts. For instance, Athleta offers free Barre, CrossFit and yoga and Lululemon provides complimentary yoga on Sundays. Some even organize run groups at no charge. Beyond these stores, your daily newspaper is a great resource for finding freebies, including complimentary or discounted fitness classes so search before you pay at a pricey gym!
9. Barter, volunteer or teach.
You can get a free membership to a gym, Pilates or yoga studio by offering your professional services as a trade like website design, marketing or bookkeeping. While this usually works best for a small, locally run club and studio, you can offer to volunteer or work just one night a week helping check members in or cleaning up in the evenings in exchange for a complimentary membership. Otherwise, consider teaching your favorite class just once a week or fill in as a sub to get free access the rest of the time.
Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more. In addition, Andrea's stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. You can visit her website at AndreaWoroch.com for more information.