How to Stay fit on a Budget

Maybe you have no money for a gym membership but want to get fit. You CAN still stay fit on a budget.

stay fit on a budget

I don’t know about you, but I find it easy to make a list of all the reasons I can’t work out. The truth is, it doesn’t matter where you live, or how much money you have, you can always make exercise a priority.

Personally I’m a gym kind of girl when it comes to my exercise of choice. I love being able to go to a place where all the equipment is there for me, where I can listen to music or watch a show while walking on the treadmill, and where I don’t have to worry about my kids interrupting me.

However, I do not have a gym membership for two reasons. The first is that it isn’t really in our budget at this time. The second reason is that I live 40 minutes away from all the gyms which means an hour workout can in the end take me three hours when you include driving time, getting in and out of the building and parking lot, changing, and whatever else I need to do while there.

3 hours multiple times a week just doesn’t fit into my schedule in between homeschooling, homesteading, and working from home. Therefore, when it comes to exercising, I need to be creative.

Maybe you have obstacles in your way when it comes to working out. Maybe you’ve wanted to spend 2019 getting in shape but you feel like you can’t afford it.

Today we are going to talk about all the ways you can get in shape without it breaking the bank.


Go for a run outside. The best thing about exercise, in my opinion, is that you can do it completely free! It doesn’t cost a thing to go running or even walking outside. It doesn’t matter where you live either. You can walk on trails in the country, or you can run downtown in a city.

Buy exercise videos. If you prefer to stay inside, invest in some exercise videos. You can do them anytime that fits your schedule from the comfort of your own living room. Your kids can even join in. 🙂

Watch YouTube Exercise videos. You don’t even have to buy videos anymore if you don’t want to. A search on YouTube and you will quickly find there are a ton of exercise videos you can follow.

Download an app. YouTube exercise videos aren’t the only thing advanced technology has given us. You can now download apps to help you with an exercise program. There really IS an app for everything. 🙂 While some cost money many are free. One of my favorites is Couch to 5K which is a program that helps you get from the couch to being able to run a 5k.  Check out this post with a list of different C25K apps you can download.

Buy secondhand exercise equipment. Years ago I really wanted a treadmill, but I knew I couldn’t afford the ones in the store at that time. Determined to find one in my price range, I started searching online for a secondhand one. I ended up finding one for $50. True, it doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles, but as long as it allows you to run or walk indoors, what more do you need? I’ve had it for at least 4 years now and it’s still going.

Find treadmills, exercise bikes, or even weights online secondhand from sites like Craigslist, Kijiji, or Facebook Marketplace. You usually don’t have to look very hard before you find someone trying to get rid of their exercise equipment that is used more often as a clothing rack rather than to exercise with.

Make your own weights. You can fill plastic jugs with sand. You can use milk jugs or soup cans. There are so many ideas when it comes to making your own weights. You don’t need to run out and spend a fortune. Check out this post here for some ideas and how-tos when it comes to making your own weights. You literally can make your own home gym between the secondhand exercise equipment and homemade weights.

Find a beach. Okay, at this time of year you aren’t going to be out swimming, but in the warmer months you can hit the beach for some exercise. Just make sure your doing more swimming than sunbathing. 🙂

Go skating. When it’s not beach weather, it’s skating weather. Many arenas offer free skates from time to time, or if you are lucky enough you can find a pond to skate on. If you want to really go for it with a rink you can always make your own. There are many low cost ways you can make a rink.

Apply for subsidy at a gym. Gyms that are run by the city often offer subsidy programs. The YMCA offers subsidy for low-income families. Years ago we had a subsidized membership through the Y that not only allowed me to use the gym facilities for exercise, but offered swimming lessons and a bunch of other programs for my kids. Look into what your community offers.

Do the stairs. If you have stairs in your house run up and down them multiple times. Stairs are an excellent way to exercise and it only takes a few runs up and down before you start feeling it! If you don’t have stairs find some in your community that are not used too much.


Exercise doesn’t have to break the bank. The above list are examples of exercise you can incorporate into your life without a huge price tag attached to it.

What I have discovered is everyone has a different preference when it comes to working out. You want to find what works for you so that there is some element of enjoyment. For me, as I said earlier, I first and foremost love going to the gym, but since I can’t do that my second choice is to walk or run on my treadmill while listening to some music through my headphones.

So what do you say? Is 2019 the year you add some exercise to your schedule that will fit nicely into a frugal life?

Related: 11 Ways to eat Healthy on A budget

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