9 Ways to Get Fit on the Cheap

If you've been using money as an excuse for not working out, we're here to relieve you of that excuse. You don't have to blow a lot of dough on exercise. There are plenty of ways to get your sweat on without sweating your budget.

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You just need some inside tips on working out on the cheap!

1. Skip the Lululemon. High-end workout gear can have some perks, but it's not a must-have. More affordable retailers have surprisingly good performance wear, so do not feel like you can't afford the right clothes.

2. Join a gym at the right time. Membership prices can change with the season, so join in the summer rather than in January, when everyone is trying to make good on their New Year's resolutions. You may also nab a deal if you join at the end of the month, when gyms are scrambling to meet their new-member goals.

3. Don't buy more gym than you'll use. Do you really need access to a sauna? Are those eucalyptus-scented chilled towels really going to improve your fitness? Especially if you're just starting out, go for a simpler gym that has just what you know you'll use at your current fitness level. You can always upgrade if you become more serious.

By the way, your local YMCA almost always provides the best bang for your buck.

4. Ask about employee benefits. Your employer's health plan may offer incentives for fitness, like covering part of your gym membership. It never hurts to ask.

More from The Stir: 10 Simple Tips for Squeezing in Daily Exercise Even If You Are Crazy Busy

5. Workout with an app. There are so many fitness apps, and many of them are free. For example, Nike Training has over 100 workouts, including for beginners at home with no equipment. RunSafe uses GPS to help you track and manage your runs and lets you alert your loved ones in case of an emergency.

6. YouTube it. Get your workouts directly from your laptop with fitness channels like FitnessBlender, XHIT, Tone It Up, and BeFiT. Then you can chill out with Brett Larkin's yoga channel.

7. Go outside. Running and power-walking around your neighborhood is free. And with the right layering you can take your workout outside -- All. Year. Long. According to Women's Health, it's safe to exercise outdoors up until the thermostat hits 20 degrees below zero. And if there's a heat index of 90 degrees or more, that's too hot. Be very careful on either end of the thermometer!

8. Try group personal training. Hiring a personal trainer can be very expensive. But some trainers will let you split the cost with a friend or two (or more) for group sessions. You still get more individualized instruction than a class, and you're still saving.

9. Buy the right shoes for the best price. Shoes do make a difference for your workout, especially with high-impact exercises like running. If you can, go to a specialty store that can examine your gait and recommend shoes with features that work specifically for you. Then, hunt for shoes with those feature online. Sometimes you can find older versions of a new shoe for less.  

 

Image via Osadchaya Olga/Shutterstock

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