It’s hard to get motivated to get in shape, stay active and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Throw in the hefty cost of a gym membership and it can seem hopeless. Rather than forking over cash to a gym you’re not even sure you want to join, consider these inexpensive – or even free – ways you can easily stay in shape and feel great.
1. Get the whole family involved
Make your quality family time active by exercising together. This could mean going for a long walk or jog, shooting hoops, playing tag at the park, or even just playing together on the playground.
2. Start a walking or jogging meet-up group
There’s nothing better than exercising with others because it motivates you and keeps staying in shape fun. Start a group at meetup.com for jogging or walking to get others involved. It’s a free way to stay connected with people interested in staying active, make new friends, and stay in shape.
3. Create exercise goals with co-workers
Grab your team at work and encourage them to join in on your health kick. Instead of going to lunch together, do some exercise. Make sure you have a healthy lunch afterwards too!
Take turns creating and leading different workouts for each other. For example, on Mondays, you walk one kilometre; on Wednesdays, you could do 60-second jog/walk intervals and three sets of 25 crunches; and on Fridays, you could do 30 minutes in a local swimming pool. Take turns bringing in healthy snacks for the team.
Or, hit the road after work – especially in summer months when the daylight lasts so much longer.
4. Opt for a treadmill desk
This may not be for everyone, but you could leverage all hours of the day for exercise by using a treadmill desk. Although treadmill desks can start at around $450, it’s something that you may be using for months or years to come, allowing the overall price to ultimately be less than spending money on a monthly gym membership.
5. Look for used exercise equipment
Check Craigslist, eBay, Gumtree and other discount sites for used exercise equipment that’s still in good condition. By investing in a piece of equipment like a treadmill or elliptical machine, you can easily exercise at home and you won’t need to spend money on a gym membership. You can often find older equipment from gyms on these sites: there’s nothing wrong with the equipment, it’s just not the latest model and you can end up with something that’s gym-quality without the hassle of being locked-in to a plan you might not want.