Over the past several years, my family has briefly had memberships at several different gyms. They were all great at first, but we quickly found that it was difficult finding time to really make the effort to drive out to the gym and make the most out of our membership. However, there are simple ways to stay fit when you can’t afford the gym!
Considering how relatively little time we spent at the gym, the membership fees were what really got us. For example:
Planet Fitness membership – $125/yr.
Gold’s Gym membership – $509.87/yr.
YMCA – $420/yr.
Add gas prices to that, and you’re spending quite a bit of paycheck on the gym. For some people, the fees are worth it because of the motivation and benefit they get out of attending a gym. But for me and my family? The whole “gym thing” just wasn’t happening.
So what other alternative was there? I love exercising and staying in good shape, and didn’t want to abandon that because of a lack of a gym membership. Surely there are ways for me to stay fit at home, I thought. And sure enough, the more I looked into it, the more I realized how right I was!
For about six months now, I’ve been “training” by my own home fitness regimen, and, because of its incredibly easy access, I am more fit than I have ever been.
One of the initial steps to my “workout” is super, super simple. All it is is doing a one-minute plank every day. It sounds kind of silly, but it truly does strengthen your core and build up your stamina. Besides, there are no excuses for not doing it. It literally only takes one minute out of your day!
One Song Workouts
If you do need short and sweet home workouts, another great way to exercise is through one-song workouts. I discovered these on Pinterest a while back, and they are so much fun! Simply search “one-song workouts” on Google, click images, and voila! Just put on whichever song it is and follow the instructions.
There are so many fantastic free fitness apps that I love using as well. Here some of my favorites:
This running app is designed with the beginner in mind and will literally take you from sitting on the couch to completing a 5K! The app features a timer and a narration that tells you when to run and when to walk, so that you aren’t over exhausting yourself while still making progress towards better stamina. My favorite thing about using this app is that it tells you exactly what to do. It even tells you when to take break days so you don’t run too much. How cool is that?!?
Down Dog is one of my absolute favorite apps ever, fitness or otherwise. In a nutshell, Down Dog provides you with an awesome yoga class on your phone. In the app, you get to choose the length and difficulty of your sessions. Then, you can enjoy as a professional yogi guides you through each step! Yoga is a fantastic builder of flexibility, strength, and mental stamina. (And it’s a great way to rewind after a long day).
Similarly to Down Dog, Nike+ Training Club offers personalized workouts from professional athletes and trainers right on your phone. This app is great if you’re looking to build up strength and aren’t quite sure where to start.
Sometimes it’s hard to find motivation to get out and run, but this app fixes that problem! With it’s movie-like narration, Zombies, Run! transports you to another world where zombies are chasing you and you have to run away. Switch between this app and listening to music and running will be fresh and exciting every day.
Now, what about workout equipment? Of course, one of the main advantages gyms have is a boatload of machines to exercise on. If you want to splurge and have room in your house, you can purchase used treadmills or other machines from places like Play it Again Sports .
However, if you’re looking for a more short-term, wallet friendly option, I’ve found that my two favorite pieces of home equipment are weights and a self-installable pull up bar. Both of these are easy to do reps with and don’t take up very much room in your house.
Pair of weights: $20 for two
Self-installable pull-up bar: $7.55
Overall, I have found that you really do not need to have an expensive gym membership to stay fit! There are plenty of options and ways to easily workout at home, you just have to find out what works for you. And the awesome thing is that when you are fit, happy exercising, and happy with your body, you feel better overall! So stay home and start exercising. You can stay fit when you can’t afford the gym!