Signing up for an annual membership at your local gym is an admirable thing to do; however, those good intentions can cost you a lot of money if you don’t make it to the gym on a regular basis.
To avoid that big, upfront cost—and the possibility that you won’t get your money’s worth—there are cheaper options to pursue if you want to get in shape.
Here are some easy ways to get moving without heading to the gym:
Whether you use your phone or another fitness tracker, it’s easier than ever to track your at-home workouts. You can also keep track of how many steps you take in any given day, the amount of energy used and your heart rate. These numbers can be shared with friends in order to create an accountability group, which will go a long way toward keeping everyone on track when it comes to moving throughout the day. You can even set up mini competitions to meet weekly goals.
Google a Plan
If you haven’t followed an exercise routine recently, you may not know which type of plan is right for you and your goals. Rather than giving up before you even begin, do some research online to see what’s out there. Whether you decide to recommit to an old favorite—or step out of your comfort zone with something entirely new—the internet is a great place to find something you’ll truly enjoy.
Committing to a workout schedule with friends makes it a lot easier than doing it on your own. Set up a dog walking group, take a walk during your lunch break with co-workers, rent a bike near work and take a 20-minute biking break, or start a weekly pick-up soccer game. Look for activities that are free, or close to it, and you’ll get the added bonus of doing something fun with friends without having to break out your wallet.
Buy Inexpensive Gear
Exercise equipment can be expensive. Instead of shelling out a lot of money for a treadmill or stationary bike, vow to keep your spending within reason. If you end up not liking the activity you’ve chosen, you won’t feel as guilty since you didn’t make a huge financial investment. Some inexpensive options include resistance bands, dumbbells, a jump rope and a pedometer. Be sure to check out a used sporting goods store or even a garage sale to find second-hand sporting equipment that can provide a cheap introduction to any activity.
For no money at all, you can get a good workout by doing exercises that only require your body weight. Examples include squats, lunges, pushups, pull-ups, planks, burpees, jump squats, bicycle crunches and back extensions. If you need more ideas, search for workouts online or on your favorite social media platform.