Low Cost Ways to Exercise

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two women jogging

Walking, jogging and running are great workouts and don’t cost a thing!

If you’re trying to make good on your New Year’s resolution to exercise, but can’t justify those high-priced gym memberships, you should check out these bank account-friendly workouts:

1. Run or walk around your neighborhood.

If you live in an area that’s safe, well-lit and low on traffic, you should take full advantage by going for a walk or jog at least once a week. Running and walking are both great ways to get your heart rate going and improve your energy levels.

Here’s an outdoor workout circuit from Amry Rambin’s youtube channel:

2. Search online or visit yard sales for used exercise equipment.

Fitness equipment can be pretty expensive, and the sad truth is, most people who invest the money in these pricey items end up selling them or letting them collect dust. If you want to start exercising and have the extra space to accommodate the equipment, why not shop for a bargain? Another idea would be to borrow some equipment from a friend who isn’t using it at the moment or work out some kind of trade. It will certainly be cheaper than going to a gym, but you’ll need to be good about disciplining yourself to work out regularly at home.

3. Use steps or stairs.

If you have steps or stairs in your home, you can utilize them in your workout routine. Just be careful, especially if you’re exercising alone. A fall on your staircase could cause serious injury. If you don’t have stairs in your home, you might try finding a safe, public place to exercise instead. Remember the famous scene in Rocky, where Sylvester Stallone runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art? Surely you can find a similar place in your city. And what stair-running routine would be complete without playing the Rocky Theme on your MP3 player?

Want to take it a step further? Check out this video on running stairs for fat loss and conditioning:

4. Do some “couch crunches.”

Just because you’re sitting on the sofa doesn’t mean you can’t work out at the same time! Sit upright on your couch and repeatedly move your legs up and inward, toward your abdomen. This is also a great way to entertain yourself during commercial breaks.

Yes, there are videos for this too.

5. Dance!

Even if you have to wait until no one else is home, close the curtains and lock the doors, you really should dance. Crank up the music and just dance. Who cares if you look ridiculous? Dancing is a fantastic way to improve your cardio, not to mention your mood. I once heard of a stay-at-home mom who made it a point to dance along with Ellen DeGeneres every time her talk show came on. It not only got her up and moving, it helped her start her day off on a fun note.

6. Spend a day at a local farm.

There are lots of cool farms that offer pick-your-own produce or allow volunteers to come out and work in exchange for some of their product. This is great for people who love being outdoors and enjoy locally-grown food. Believe me, after a day of farm work, you’ll be tired, sore and happy – plus, you might be able to score some healthy food for later. It’s a double win!

7. Get paid to work out by taking on a part-time job that involves some physical labor.

Whether it’s moving stock in a grocery store, landscaping, house cleaning or dog walking, any job that gets you up and moving can make you feel more productive and help you stay active.

8. Go swimming.

Swimming is the perfect workout for people who need something low-impact. If you live near water, great! If you don’t, you may need to check out your city’s public pool facilities.

9. Don’t just drink your milk – lift it!

It may sound totally random, but doing 10-20 lifts with your milk jug every morning can help you build strength in your arms. Reward yourself with a nice bowl of low-calorie cereal!

10. Take a hike.

No, really. Find out if there are any good nature trails in your area and use them. Most trails are owned/maintained by the city so they’re free to use. Just make sure you wear appropriate shoes and clothing, pay attention to the posted rules and stay hydrated.

Do you have any other suggestions for low-cost exercise ideas? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments.

Anna Platz is an Editor at ForTheBestRate.com, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to GoodCentsSavings.com, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at ForTheBestRate.com. My Google Profile+

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