Gym memberships can truly be a financial burden. If you are paying anywhere from $10 to $100 a month, it can add up. Also, contracts force people to continue paying for the gym (even if they aren’t using it). Breaking those contracts can be even more costly. However, you do not have to pay for a gym membership to continue your healthy lifestyle. From at-home body weight exercises and videos to free public places to workout, there are plenty of ways to get a decent workout without paying anything (or not paying much).
You can get a pretty great workout at your local park. Parks are free and they usually have everything to do some pull ups, rows, dips, ab exercises, lunges and cardio (you can run or walk wherever you want to). These types of things are sometimes in the same area or slightly spread out so that you can jog, walk, run or skip to the next “station” for the next park of your workout. You can get a pretty great circuit-training workout at the park for absolutely no money. The only down side to this is that if the weather is bad, you may not be able to get your workout in.
Playgrounds at the park can also offer a great space for a workout. One piece of “equipment” on the playground that will kill your arms and abs and challenge your grip strength is the monkey bars. You can also Google some great monkey bar workouts and get a full-body workout in at the playground for free!
Body Weight Workouts
Body weight workouts can be done wherever you take your body. These are obviously very low-cost (usually free). You can do squats, push ups, lunges, jumping jacks, sit ups and jogging with absolutely nothing but your body. If you want to make the workout a little more difficult, you can buy a set of resistance bands fairly cheap (much cheaper than paying for the gym each month).
Public Fitness Centers
Many larger cities have public fitness centers that are less costly than a “mainstream” gym. Many of these gyms are well-maintained and they don’t come with the pressure of contracts. These usually cost much, much less than regular gym memberships. In some cases, you can pay $135 for your entire family for a year. Sometimes these facilities have gyms as well as saunas, indoor (and outdoor) pools and group fitness classes. If you live in a bigger city, you can check your city’s website and discover whether they offer any programs like this.
In addition to public fitness centers, there are also gyms that are non-profit. The most popular facility of this kind is the YMCA. Although the YMCA can be more expensive, they have programs that help those who need assistance paying for their gym membership. They can take individual (or family) income into consideration before giving you a price for membership. Each YMCA is privately owned though, so you aren’t always getting the same thing at each Y you go to.
Workout at Home
People have been working out at home for quite some time. It is the ultimate way to get rid of monthly gym fees. You can buy a workout video for fairly cheap, however, Youtube and some fitness classes online can be viewed for absolutely free. There are also some subscription services, like DailyBurn, that offer free 30-day trials of the workout streaming services. After the free trial, it costs $12.95 a month (which is pretty low cost).
Focusing on your health and fitness is important, however, many people turn away from fitness because of the cost. It doesn’t have to cost you much (if anything at all) to get a good workout and be healthy!
Photo: Flickr: Ms. Phoenix