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Getting Fit for Under $100

Updated on July 27, 2009

No Gym Memberships Necessary

You can create an inexpensive, less than $100 workout experience at home or on the road without ever setting foot in a gym.

Not being able to afford a gym membership has been used as an excuse to "do nothing" for as long as gyms have been in existence. Many of us believe that if we do not have access to a treadmill or weights we can never get healthy and fit. At this point, if you know you are overweight or that you need to incorporate exercise into your daily life for better health, I am going to tell you, "Excuses only satisfy those who make them."

Most people who can afford a gym membership don't use it more than 3 or 4 months before they begin to find excuses not to go. I'm not talking about those super fit people who enjoy their workouts (and profiling their physiques).  For the rest of of I ask, "Why waste your money?"

An Exercise Mat Is the First Investment Under $70

For most of us the exercise mat should be the first investment.  Almost all exercise programs enjoy floor work.  Whether you decide on a Pilates program or Yoga, or even if you choose another aerobic and weight training program, sooner of later you will find yourself on the floor. 

Exercise mats can be purchased for $19.  That is probably the low end of pricing.  Of course, other mats can run up to hundreds of dollars.  It is usually best to settle on a mat somewhere in the middle. 

You should select a mat that

  • can be rolled up for easy carrying,
  • has carrying handles
  • is easy to clean

Most exercise mats are 24" wide, although they can be wider.  They are approximately 72" long.  That is the standard size.  The thickness can be anywhere from 3/8" to 1".  If you plan to carry the mat with you, the one inch thick mat could be too bulky and too heavy to roll and carry.  For most the 3/8" thickness is sufficient.



Resistance Bands Under $30

Forget those weights! Today we have resistance bands. They are the answer to every woman's exercise needs:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible
  • Full workout with little possibility of injury

Resistance bands can be purchased at one of those big box discount stores for $7 for a set of three, one of each resistance strength --- green, orange, blue.  These bands do not have handles but are cut lengths of rubber that is of various strengths for three levels of resistance.  For some, these are the bands of choice.  We first discovered these while a family member was in the hospital and undergoing occupational/physical therapy.  These bands without handles are preferential for some because they are easy to grasp at a length that feels rights without lots of adjustments.

There are also resistance tubes that cost a little more but come with handles for ease of grasp.  Rather than wrapping the end of the bands around your hands, you can hold the handles.  These are perhaps better for those of us who have trouble grasping.

Resistance bands are much better than free weights for weight training, especially for women. There is little chance of injury from straining muscles to dropping a weight on your toes. These bands allow each person to work at his or her own pace, developing muscles and strength at a pace that is less likely to cause muscle damage.

Total Workout for Under $100

Just think of it!  Everything you need to get into great shape for less than $100.  Now, all you need is a little willpower. 

After all, the only reason we do not accomplish our goals is because we don't know how or we don't want to.  So, if you shop wisely you can get started for less than $50, but you should not spend more than $100 for your equipment.

A complete home gym with no gym membership, all for under $100!  Happy workouts!

Pilates Workout on Exercise Mat


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    • Coach Ellen profile image

      Coach Ellen 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Very informative. I tell my clients all the time, you don't have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks. When training someone I use an exercise mat, a medicine ball, and resistance bands. They can do just about anything those high cost machines can do and more. Great hub. Loved it.


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