I don’t know about you but the cost of gyms and studios can be ridiculous! The cheapest I’ve seen is $30/month for your bare bones studio that’s pretty dank, usually has little to no classes and the machines are about as old as time itself. When I first started to work out I was living paycheque to paycheque and there was no way I’d be able to afford the cost of a gym membership so I had to get all sorts of creative to work out and I quickly discovered that you can reach whatever health goal you have for very cheap, if not for FREE!
I’m a big fan of slowly building an at-home gym. No, this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy expensive equipment, I just suggest starting to invest in some cheap workout DVDs and basic equipment to have on hand. Having a set of dumbbells from 5lbs to 20lbs (or a set of resistance bands), a stability ball, jump rope and mat are really all you need to get an amazing workout right in the comfort of your own home.
So, for all of you who don’t think you can afford to get fit, I’m here to happily bust that excuse for you! To help you out, here is a list of great resources you can turn to, for absolutely FREE, to get you fit, healthy and build up your retirement fund!
Free Online Workouts – This site offers a variety of free training plans that caters to all sorts of health goals from body building to weight loss and were created by certified personal trainers. Some require basic equipment like dumbbells (which you can easily pick up at second-hand shops if you can’t afford new ones) but other than that, the exercises only require your own body!
Sparkpeople – You’ve heard me talk about this great, free, website before (and you’ll probably continue to hear me talk about it). With just a basic (and still free) membership, you get access to tons of workouts that you can perform at home with minimal to no equipment needed. Most are in short chunks so you can mix and match them to create a solid workout or take it on the go if you’re travelling!
Youtube – Just type in “workouts,” “exercise” or what have you and you’ll bring up a plethora of workouts you can do right at home! Just be careful about this, though, they may not all be certified trainers but I have used this successfully for yoga with great results!
Women’s Health – Women’s fitness magazines like Women’s Health, Shape and Oxygen all provide some amazing workouts that you can do either at home or in the gym. You don’t even have to subscribe to a physical copy, just bookmark the sites and look around for their archived workouts!
Yoga Today – This is my favourite site for yoga videos! Yes, there is a paid feature to it but they also offer a free, full length yoga video each and every week. If you find one that you LOVE, the price to purchase the download is amazingly affordable (come on, I KNOW you’ve got $4 on you)! I frequently use their Yoga for Runners video even when I’m not running! Just download it and slap it onto a DVD to play on your TV! All videos are categorized so that you’ll know if it’s beginner, intermediate or advanced!
Jillian Michaels Ultimate Fitness – If you have some fancier equipment you may want to check this one out! These are free, downloadable workouts, created by Jillian Michaels to use with the equipment she recommends. Some of it is super fancy (like the Ultimate 3-in-1 Aerobic Step) but a lot of these you can use with ordinary equipment or modified slightly for what you have on hand at home!
Nike Training Club – This is an app from the heavens! 100% free, you get a tons of workouts for whatever level you’re at. The fun part is unlocking trophies and new workouts from famous personal trainers and athletes! This app features a timer and announcer that tells you what to do and when as well as giving you pictures of the exercises and then video if you don’t get the pictures. This is the ultimate workout app, in my opinion, and has kicked my ass on numerous occasions!
Not being able to afford a gym membership is a poor excuse for not getting your sweat on! Even if you didn’t own a computer, there’s no excuse as you can slap on a pair of shoes and head out the door for a walk or run! In fact, I originally got into running because I couldn’t afford anything else!
So what are you waiting for?! Get up and get moving!
Photo Credit: The Breaking Story
*As always, consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you’re working out at home without a trainer. You never know if a workout could injure you if you don’t get a professional opinion first!