10 Key Tips to Getting Fit on a Budget

Jennifer Purdie
by Jennifer Purdie
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10 Key Tips to Getting Fit on a Budget

The boutique studio industry might not want you to know this, but it’s possible to get fit on a tight budget. We’ll say it another way: You do not need to spend big bucks to work out.

These 10 tips can elevate your fitness level while keeping your budget in check.

1. BUILD AN AT-HOME GYM FOR ABOUT $20

According to Richard Sullivan, fitness author and personal training consultant, this is all you need:

  • A door that shuts securely
  • Room to move
  • Resistance bands
  • A computer/television with Wi-Fi/Roku

Simply type “resistance band workout” into the YouTube search engine. He says, “YouTube has revolutionized fitness due to the enormous variety of exercise videos, all available 24/7 and for free.”

2. BUY USED GEAR

Lisa Howard, former ACSM personal trainer and athlete, recommends going the tried and true thrifty shopping route with places like eBay, the Dollar General Store and wholesale or outlet stores. She finds like-new and gently used exercise equipment and accessories like headphones, headbands and lifting gloves

3. GO TO THE LIBRARY

“When my workouts start to bore me, checking out the new physical fitness titles and DVDs from my local library branch always offers something interesting to jump-start my enthusiasm again,” says swimmer Cardyn Brooks

4. USE YOUR BODYWEIGHT

“On average, who are the most ripped about built athletes out there? Gymnasts,” says Harry Sherwood, co-founder of Consciously. “They only use their bodies for training.” Using your own body weight allows you to get stronger, fitter and is free. He says you simply need a pullup bar, which you can find at local parks — no need to buy anything. Better yet, bring your kids to play while you do pushups and pullups.

5. ASK FOR HALF-HOUR SESSIONS

“From a trainer’s standpoint, this can actually work in their favor so they are more likely to do it,” says Jamie Logie, a certified personal trainer,  nutrition, health and wellness coach. For example, he says, if trainers normally charge $50 an hour, they can instead charge $30 for a half hour and put two people within that hour time block. They make more money and you save — it’s win-win

6. CONNECT WITH A REGULAR CLIENT

If you don’t have a friend who would like to train with you, try asking a trainer or coach if he or she has “current one-on-one clients that would be a fit for you,” says Kyle Kokotailo, a strength and conditioning coach. You can then split the cost and work out together.

7. JOIN SMALL-GROUP TRAINING SESSIONS

Yana Hempler, a small group trainer, finds this beneficial to both her bottom line and her clients’ wallets. “Instead of one person paying me $85 per session, I took on groups of four people of a similar fitness level and charged each person in the group $25 per session,” she says. She found it not only cost effective for clients, but they had more fun.


READ MORE > 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING A PERSONAL TRAINER


8. OFFER A SKILLSHARE

“Let’s say you know how to play guitar or change oil on a car,” says Jeffrey Siegel, author and health and wellness coach. “You can offer to teach what you know in return for some training sessions.” He admits this might not always work out as an even one-to-one trade, but anything to save you money is worth the ask.

9. SWITCH YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP

Ask yourself: How many times a month do you actually go? If it’s hardly at all, you could spend $30+ a month on one visit. “Is it cheaper to get a punch card?” asks Nicole DeBoom, founder and CEO of Skirt Sports. Some gyms offer this service, which saves you money compared to a monthly membership.

10. ACTIVATE YOUR FITNESS PLAN BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR A GYM

Pat Connelly, founder and CEO of Corevity, says “Sadly, even [a gym’s] set monthly cost won’t keep you healthy.” He advises you get started on your fitness routine before you even consider signing up.

About the Author

Jennifer Purdie
Jennifer Purdie
Jennifer is a Southern California-based freelance writer who covers topics such as health, fitness, lifestyle and travel for both national and regional publications. She runs marathons across the world and is an Ironman finisher. She is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. You can follow her on Twitter @jenpurdie.

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