If you’re like most people, you may have resolved to hit the gym regularly but can overwhelmed by the cost of it all. Instead of giving up, follow these 11 ways how to save money on exercise.
1. Dress for Success
It helps to get excited about apparel when you hit the gym, so retire that holy tee shirt and pair of baggy sweatpants in favor of something more fitted. You can find name-brand workout clothing for less at discount retailers like TJMaxx. Setting rewards for mini accomplishments will help you stay motivated.
2. Use Coupons for Gear
If sticking to your resolution requires working out at home, the right gear will also motivate you. Retailers are mindful of your resolution and are currently offering deals and promotions. For easy access to in-store savings, download the Coupon Sherpa mobile app for deals to stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods where you can save up to $40 off in weights and accessories.
3. Redeem Holiday Rewards
Don’t forget to redeem rewards earned through loyalty programs or credit cards which can offset the total cost of your new equipment. For instance, Sears & Kmart Shop Your Way members may have earned up to 10 points for every dollar spent during the holidays. Use those points before they expire on January 31 toward fitness gear already on sale to get more bang for your workout buck!
4. Shop Used Equipment
For at-home fitness, you can’t beat a good treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. However, this equipment can cost you a small fortune when purchased new. Keep your eyes peeled at garage sales or peruse local listings on Craigslist for used alternatives.
5. Visit Gyms for Equipment
Many people visit gyms to inquire about memberships and amenities, but you can also ask the facility manager if he or she has any old equipment for sale. Health clubs that have recently upgraded their equipment will have excess inventory and may be able to sell you quality exercise machines, dumbbells and other gear for cheap.
It would be nice to kick off the new year with shiny-new dumbbells, resistance bands and medicine balls, but loading up on all this gear will seriously derail your other New Year’s resolution to spend less. Luckily, several household items represent great substitutes for fitness gear, like canned goods as light weights or pantyhose as a resistance band. You can also use a chair to deepen such strength-building moves as incline lunges, push-ups and tricep dips.
7. Stream Videos
Workout DVDs represent a great way to mix up your fitness regimen, but theyre so 90s! These days, you can stream workout videos online at The Daily Hiit or subscribe to a YouTube channel that features preferred workout styles. From yoga to dance to high-intensity training, you can find daily and weekly workouts online for free or far less than youd pay for a gym membership.
8. Use Your Body Weight
Though gear and equipment can enhance your routine, all you need to get a good workout is your own body weight. Planks, squats, lunges, burpees, push ups and mountain climbers are hard enough without added weight.
9. Shop Warehouse Clubs
Big-box stores and fitness retailers aren’t your only options when shopping for new equipment. Warehouse club stores also offer equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills, all-in-one gym systems and heart-rate monitors at a lower cost than you can find in regular retail.
10. Be a Kid
If you have children, you likely envy their endless energy and enthusiastic approach to physical activity. Instead of sitting on the sidelines while they run around, join them on the playground by practicing pull-ups on the monkey bars or using your core to get higher on the swings. Dust off your mountain bike, tennis rackets or baseball bat and gloves, and turn fitness into fun again.
11. Get It for Free
They say the best things in life are free, and it is possible to get your fitness equipment without paying a dime.FreeCycle.org is an online community that connects locals looking to unload their clutter at no cost. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member if you can borrow a piece of exercise gear you know he or she isn’t currently using.
Thanks to Andrea Woroch for information on this post. She is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles.
Photos courtesy of Kinoli Inc.