Frugal Fitness

Last week I wrote about my terrible not bad half-marathon.

For the six months leading up to it I spent only $170 on fitness, $70 of which was the race entry fee and the remainder on the new shoes I bought in August. It works out to less than $30/month for all of my fitness related expenses.

I’ve been a runner for a long time so I have always preferred to run outside by myself, which as it turns out is one of the cheapest exercises! Yes I run outside during the winter. Yes I tried to run through the -30 weather, but I lasted 5 minutes.

But not everyone is a runner. But everyone can certainly make exercise a part of their life in a financially healthy way.

How to work out on the cheap!

1. Check out YouTube. Seriously, it’s not all cute French bulldogs. There’s SO SO SO MANY workout videos on youtube, all for free. There’s tons of yoga, pilates and strength workouts with no equipment for really any level and any length of time. There is also a lot of sport-specific channels and stretching videos. Last winter when I was starting to think I would never leave the house again because of the soul-crushing snow I discovered that there’s a bunch of super challenging pilates videos online. I use Blogilates/Pop Pilates,  many of the ‘post-run yoga’ 8-15 min videos and Livestrong women’s channel has some great short no-equipment strength workouts.

2. If you want to ramp up your workout with weights, look around your house! Big books or cans work great. I took to filling up wine bottles with water for a very cheap and accessible weight system. You could also fill them with sand for extra weight.

*Just tell your partner you are doing this. I had two white wine bottles filled with water in our living room last year and he mistakenly thought they were my contribution to Valentine’s Day Supper so we had a lovely meal paired with workout water.

3. Buy good exercise clothes and wear them until they wear out! You absolutely do not need to look fashionable, trendy or sexy working out. Well I guess to each their own, but I do not not need to look fashionable, trendy or sexy generally any time, especially when I’m sweating through a downward dog. My most recent workout clothes purchase was black loose running pants from MEC in 2011. I still have my reflective running jacket from 13 years ago!

What do you do workout? How could you save money while still enjoying it?


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