If you’ve recently got the exercise bug, you’re not alone. Millions of people take up exercising every year, and taking care of your physical health is just as important as taking care of your financial health. While Peloton bikes are all the rage recently, not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on buying the latest exercise bike. And don’t forget that there are monthly subscription costs on top of the upfront cost of the bike itself. So if you’re looking to stay or get fit without splurging on a Peloton, here are some ideas you might want to consider.
Exercising without actually exercising
The first thing that you can do to exercise is to figure out ways to get more physical activity without actually doing what you might consider “exercising”. This could include things like:
- Swapping out your office chair for a standing desk or a treadmill desk. There are some DIY standing or treadmill desks that are fairly affordable
- Park further away when you go places and walk further
- If you work in an office, take the stairs instead of the elevator
Ideas like these can help you get more active within the confines of your regular routine. Simple changes can make an impact! And you’re more likely to stick with things when they aren’t drastic disruptions to your routine.
Hit the outdoors
Spring and summer are perfect times to get healthier! For two reasons — the weather is great and you have more daylight. Taking up outdoor exercise like a Couch to 5K running program or walking can be done in your neighborhood without having to pay for a gym membership. If you live in an area where it gets oppressively hot in the summer, then plan your outdoor exercise early in the morning or late at night. Getting into routines for free in the summer can build up the habit — then you can consider an indoor gym membership when the weather turns colder and you’ve already developed the habit of exercising regularly.
Working out at home
If exercising outside doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, another option is to work out at home. Working out at home has a number of built-in conveniences! Starting with the fact that you’re already AT home — no need to motivate yourself to drive to the gym. That means you can get extra sleep, not to mention showering and changing at home instead of packing a gym bag.
And working out at home doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on your workout either. Nor does it mean that you have to spend thousands of dollars on fancy bikes, treadmills, or home gyms. There are plenty of online workouts that you can follow for free and still get an amazing workout. Body weight exercises, while not the most exciting of exercises, also provide a great workout. Things like sit-ups, pushups, lunges, jumping jacks, jogging in place, and squats don’t cost anything and will definitely get your heart rate going.
Buy multi-use equipment
Another tip to keep things affordable is to buy equipment that you can use in multiple different ways. A few examples to consider:
- You can use an exercise ball for weight training exercises or to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
- A step can be used for cardio workouts like step aerobics as well as a bench for lifting weights.
- Simple hand weights like dumbbells can be used for multiple exercises. You can purchase them for a fraction of the price of a full indoor weight system.
- A resistance band can be used for stretching, yoga, or strength training.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a workout! Getting simple equipment that can be used in a variety of ways is a great way to save money without skimping on your workout.
The Bottom Line
Staying healthy doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of ways to stay in shape without spending thousands of dollars on exercise equipment or signing yourself up for large monthly payments. Like most things in life, the best way to get and stay motivated is to make gradual improvements over time. That way you can decide what you like best, what works for you, and what you’re likely to stick with. Start small, both in effort and in spending, and you’re likely to win big over time.
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a site that helps families to travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 kids.