8 Budget Fitness Tips – Work Your Body NOT Your Wallet

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Budget Fitness Tips

With the start of the new year, many of us are  resolving to be more fit with exercise and healthy living.  It’s easy to end up spending a lot of money on your exercise routine, but you don’t have to!  There are lots of ways you can get fit without hurting your wallet using these budget fitness tips.  Here are a few ideas.

Budget Fitness Tips

Check Your Insurance Plan:  Many insurance plans now offer a discount or credit toward the cost of gym membership.  Take advantage of this benefit and you may get a greatly reduced, or in some cases free, membership.

Try a Gym for Free Before Committing:  Most gyms have a free trial period ranging from one week to 30 days.  During this time you can use the facilities and determine if the gym fits into your lifestyle and if you will take advantage of it enough to make it worth the monthly fee.  As an example, you can request a 3 Day Free Gym Membership Trial for 24Hour Fitness.

Buy Used:  If you want to work out at home and are looking for exercise equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, free weights, etc. for your home, buy used.  Craigslist and second hand sports shops will have much lower prices than buying new.  The items are also often in excellent, almost unused, condition.

Double Up with a Friend:  If you still don’t want to pay even used prices for exercise equipment all by yourself, partner with a friend.  Each of you can buy one piece of equipment and then you can borrow each others for a variety in your workout.  Or keep both pieces at one of your homes so that you can work out together.

Free Fitness Videos:  If you like to be led  through an exercise routine, but don’t want to pay for a group class or buy videos, you can get fitness videos for free.  Either rent free DVDs from your local library or go online to YouTube where you’ll find free full-length video.  Lionsgate BeFit has over 600 free videos available from top trainers like Jillian Michaels.

Community Resources:  Many cities have community education programs where you can take group classes for low prices.  Many also have “open gym” nights with volleyball or basketball that is open for anyone who wants to join in, again often for just a few dollars.  Check with your local school district – they usually can provide information.

Free Kindle Books:  Every day there are lots of free Kindle books available through Amazon – often in the health and fitness category. Browse through and see what you can find for free!

Personal Training:  If you need or want the specialized guidance of a personal trainer, think about barter.  Most trainers are self-employed and may agree to provide training in exchange for whatever service YOU can provide.  Do you do bookkeeping, clean houses, tutor, babysit?  Any of these services might be able to be exchanged for their services.

Do Good While You Get Fit:  There are many volunteer activities that also require some physical effort.  By helping out not only do you help others, but you help yourself by getting a workout.  Some ideas are dog walking for an animal shelter, doing yard work and shoveling snow for senior citizens, etc.  You can find lots of opportunities through Volunteers of America.

What are YOUR tips for working out on a budget?

About Chrysa

Chrysa is the founder and owner of ThriftyJinxy.com, a site dedicated to living a fabulous life on a frugal budget. Her approach is that by spending less on the boring everyday stuff, you can have more money to splurge on the things you REALLY want, whether it’s travel, fashion, electronics – you name it! Chrysa is married, has a 9-year old nephew she dotes on, as well as three lovable cats and a big sweetie of a German Shepherd.


  1. That’s kind of how I looked at shoveling snow this morning. The roads weren’t plowed, so I couldn’t make it to my spin class – and shoveling was quite a workout in and of itself. And that was free. Thanks Mother Nature.

  2. Love the idea of trying a gym before you buy it. I joined a gym and paid the membership and then never used it 🙁

  3. I wish more gyms let you try it before you buy it. I know I can’t afford a gym so I walk at the park for free and do exercises I see on youtube. It’s free and a great workout

  4. I love the idea of buying used equipment! New exercise equipment can be so expensive and sadly, buying used may even mean you get a like-new item anyway!

  5. I think using free fitness videos is such a great idea! You can even rent exercise videos from the library!

  6. I highly recommend Tone It Up, those girls are incredible! So motivating!

  7. I personally like to use free videos! There are tons of great ones 🙂

  8. wow, our health insurance has a discount option!! woo hoo!!

  9. Fabulous tips for staying under budget and getting in shape. I’ve got DVDs I do at home to save.

  10. It is great for you to give so many ideas on gettting fit at a good price. This time of year a lot of people are planniing to kick up their exercise routine. Your post will help.

  11. I typically work out at home because I know I won’t go through the extra steps or expense of going to a gym. My ex tried to join twice and went like three times total between the two times he joined. Sticking point!

  12. I did join the gym last month, because my best friend works out there 3days/week, and I’ll be going with her. I need the accountability. I do have home exercise equipment, too, and love these tips. Thanks.

  13. Wow I didn’t know that about insurance! Thanks for the tips! I’ll look into that!

  14. Gosh after nearly wasting two gym memberships in the past, working out at home, or outdoors is the way to go!

  15. This is the first year I have enjoyed a gym membership. While the decision to make a monthly payment was not one I was super excited about, I am sooo happy I did it. No matter what the weather, I can enjoy a workout….and also get some time away from my 2 year old 🙂 And he loves going to the play area at the gym. I do love your money saving tips though. Before I had a gym membership I did all kinds of DVD’s at home.

  16. I just heard of the fitness videos and even real time classes you can participate in from home, some even for free. Thanks for the tips.

  17. I’ve never thought to buy used equipment! Thanks for the tips!

  18. i like utilizing the library and our cable providers services for work out videos. i don’t have equipment though, i should look into that

  19. I love free videos! They are fun to stream!

  20. These are such great tips! I really like the idea of doing good while getting fi.

  21. Excellent tips, especially trying the gym before you sign. Go to the gym at different times too, this way you see how busy they are at different times!

  22. Sarah Elyce says:

    I love these tips. I am a baker on the side so I have yet to find a personal trainer that will trade me for cupcakes. 😉

  23. I like your comment about using fitness videos. I love to work out, but I can’t afford a trainer. I also like to constantly change my exercise. Youtube fitness videos are so helpful.

  24. I have totally used the free videos on Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube. I love your volunteer idea! I’ll have to look into what’s available in my area! Great tips.


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