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How To Cut The Cost Of Exercising

Updated on September 1, 2012


Saving money is all the rage today across the board as we all try and cut costs. 

By learning how to save money on exercise and fitness, you actually will be putting money back into your wallet.

For a lot of people, the majority of money spent on exercise equipment is a complete waste of money.  Most folks end up buying high-end equipment thinking it will miraculously get them into shape or help them lose weight. 

Oftentimes, all this expensive equipment becomes a hanger for their clothes or a drying rack!

In actuality, the only thing that can help you get in shape or lose weight is you.  Not the equipment you own or the clothes you buy to "get in shape."

For most of us, the ultimate goal is to get in shape and stay in shape.  The rub is how to do it on a budget.



Don't buy things that you don't need. 

Consider this fact....most people end up selling their exercise equipment at a garage sale, donating it to charity, or hanging clothes on it.  That's how effective that purchase was. 

But what to do instead?



  • Walk
  • Exercise to DVD's or a Wii 
  • Trade DVD's and Wii programs if you get bored with what you have
  • Jog up a hill rather than programming an exercise machine to simulate hills
  • Bicycle rather than use an exercise bike
  • Snow shoe or ski rather than ride an elliptical
  • Use your home's built-in stairs instead of buying a Stairmaster
  • Lift weights with household objects such as filled liter bottles, small cans, large cans, rocks from your backyard
  • Do old fashioned push-ups, sit-ups, calisthenics, equipment required
  • Skip rope - it's great cardiovascular exercise
  • Urban mush - it's great exercise for you and your dog
  • Join jazzercise classes or free classes at the Y or senior center
  • Use old clothes to exercise in.  No matter what the exercise, the only important part of exercise attire is shoes - quit wasting money on exercise clothes!
  • Figure out an activity outside such as shoveling, raking, digging that works muscles and burns calories instead of spending money on health club memberships
  • Check out DVD's from your local library on anything from muscle building to dance to Pilates for free



Think about what you spend money on when you belong to a health club. If you want to save money, how can you simulate those exercises in everyday life?

Look up exercises for certain muscles on the Internet. Find out how to isolate muscles or do regular exercises in everyday life that burn calories if weight reduction is your goal.

Or if toning is your goal, figure out natural exercises to do to achieve the same results as paying a fee to use exercise equipment or purchasing it.

Diet and exercise can reduce weight remarkably and tone muscles. It all about knowing what exercise to do for what. Think about our forefathers and foremothers. They were not obese and just by what they did every day; they kept in shape and burned calories. That is still possible today. The added benefit is that you'll save money to boot and be healthier in the long run.

Diet and exercise go hand in hand. Figure out how to exercise without joining a health club and you will save money.

Learn how to practice NEAT - non-exercise activity time. This is a huge plus for anyone wanting to exercise. This is a term referred to by personal trainers. Constant movement burns calories and raises metabolism. Keep in motion and you'll feel even better!

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In short, there are a lot of ways to exercise without spending money on health club memberships or investing in equipment.

If you have access to a place to swim, swimming is one of the best cardiovascular and overall forms of exercise you can do. It is also one of the most relaxing.

Jogging with your canine best friend can also be rewarding for both you and your pet and doesn't cost anything except perhaps the investment of a good pair of running shoes and a leash.

There are endless ways to keep fit and in shape that don't cost a dime. Walking is the most beneficial of all forms of exercise and again requires only the investment of a good pair of shoes and your time. You can do it anywhere at any time of day or night so that makes this form of exercise the perfect one for anyone of any age.

If you have more money-saving ideas on how to stay fit, please share them with all of us in the comments section below.


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for the read, MMP - I hear you on being outdoors...nothing beats it and fortunately for me, my pups make me get out all the time!

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile image

      MyMastiffPuppies 7 years ago

      Excellent hub! I love walking or hiking outdoors. Nothing like some fresh air and sunshine! It is so easy to get caught up in working at the computer and not get up and move around. Thanks for the inspiration, voted up, useful and awesome...

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      I agree, Om - folks who have to spend a fortune on equipment and memberships baffle me because there is a lot we can do 'naturally' and save bucks!

      Too funny as usual BJ - I'll send you some 5-pound barbells to get working on that come with a necklace...that way you always know where they are...unfortunately they can promote spinal curvature!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Audrey, I am taking your advice. From now on, I will run every single day . . . to the car and back. I am also exercising with two 3-pound bar bells that I can lift all by myself. Well, to be exact, I exercised once with them and all went well so I stored them away.

      Problem is I haven't exercised since because I forgot where I put them. But I'm certain they will turn up soon and I will start exercising again. Promise.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago

      Great hub, Audrey. Your advice is very practical. I've been using some of these tips. Walking is one of the best exercise routines. It's free. We can do it anywhere and don't need a trainer to teach us how to walk! :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Will - and you are so right!

      Alekhouse - You are too funny - but thanks for the vote of confidence...these were all part of my finances hubs but my arms would not let me complete them for the contest so I'm still plugging away.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 7 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Audrey, you should be a financial analyst. I'm not kidding.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great Hub!

      True, the cheapest excercise machine is the sidewalk. All you have to do is use it!