How to Get in Shape on a Budget

Athletes training in a gym

Getting in shape doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. For most, paying $300 for an expensive gym membership, on top of luxury fitness apparel and equipment, is simply out of the cards.

Fortunately, you don’t need the best of the best to get stronger, crush PRs, and get active. Below, we’re going to go over all you need to know about getting in shape while on a budget.

Go outdoors

The most affordable way to get active is by opening your front door and stepping outside. There are plenty of ways you can get in shape while being one with nature. With a pair of cheap running shoes that don’t compromise quality for the price, you’ll be able to:

  • Go on a run: Running is a great way to build up your aerobic base and get in some good cardio. If running isn’t your favorite pastime, you can make it more enjoyable by downloading a social running app like Strava or MapMyRun and running against friends or partaking in challenges. Running is also a great way to free your mind, listen to music, or learn something new from a podcast, all you need is a phone holder and some headphones, and you’ll be good to go.
  • Hike up a mountain: Not every area has mountains, but you’re sure to find local trails in your area where you can enjoy a leisurely walk. Hiking is not only an excellent way to take in the scenery and disconnect, but going uphill and downhill can strengthen your ankle, calf, and thigh muscles.
  • Bike around town: Biking is another aerobic workout that lets you explore your town and surrounding areas. What’s great about biking is that you can travel much farther than on foot, and stop at places along the way, such as a local juice shop. With a bike, helmet, and cycling shoes, you’ll be the next best cyclist in no time.

Most of these exercises are affordable and require minimal equipment or equipment you may already have. While most of these activities focus on cardio and endurance, there are plenty of muscle-building exercises you can do outdoors, too, such as stair sprints, wall jumps, and squats.

Do an at-home workout

The internet can be your best friend when it comes to finding exercises you can do to stay in shape while on a budget. On YouTube, you’ll be able to find exercise videos that target almost every muscle in your body. From yoga to HIIT classes, finding a free video with a professional trainer is as easy as a click of a button. Some at-home and budget-friendly workouts we recommend include:

  • Yoga: With a yoga mat and some calming music, do classic yoga poses such as the adho mukha svanasana, lotus pose, bakasana, fire log pose, vriksasana, and eagle pose.
  • Circuits: There are plenty of circuit training regimens you can find online or makeup yourself. For example, you can do 30 seconds of burpees, followed by 15 pushups, followed by 25 crunches, and finish with a 1-minute plank. You can then repeat this circuit as many times as your body can handle.
  • Weights: Investing in a pair of adjustable dumbbells can open the door to countless exercises. From squats and bicep curls to overhead presses and bent-over rows, there are countless exercises you can do by adjusting the weights on your adjustable dumbbells.

Look for gym discounts and free classes

If you want to work out at a gym without paying the hefty membership fee, do some online research to find gym deals and free glasses. A lot of gyms offer free classes once a week to lure in new potential customers and build a sense of community.

Some also offer free short-term passes for a few weeks or even a month for you to decide whether their gym is right for you.

Buy affordable athletic wear

As they say, look good, feel good. However, this doesn’t mean you should be buying a pair of $200 leggings and a $100 breathable top with hopes of performing better.

While buying a pair of quality shoes is always worth the investment, you can buy bargain-priced athletic wear and still burn just as many calories as the gym-goer decked out in designer athletic wear.

The bottom line

Getting in shape doesn’t mean you have to empty your wallet and buy the most expensive gear and gym membership money has to offer. With these budgeting tips, you’ll be able to gain some muscle and improve your cardio without breaking the bank.

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