Keeping Your Body and Your Wallet in Shape

exerciseSticking to an exercise routine is hard enough as it is without throwing in ammunition for excuses based on cost.  Truthfully, some gym memberships are prohibitively expensive and can also create additional stress when they aren’t used on a regular basis, because of the ongoing cost without reaping a benefit.

Really though, it isn’t exercise itself that is expensive, and there are numerous options to keep both your body and your wallet healthy and in shape.

Throw on your Shoes

Depending on your fitness level, there are few exercises that are more convenient or cheaper than opening up your front door and going for a run or a walk. This exercise is versatile, travels well and is completely compatible to your schedule.

Considering that the only equipment you really need are a good pair of shoes, be sure that you get ones meant for the exercise that you are doing and that they fit properly. Ill-fitting or worn out footwear will make you far more prone to injuries.

Go Home to Work Out

If you have an extra corner in your home that is not being used, then you have just expanded your living space to include a home gym. Gyms don’t have to be populated with expensive weight machines. Many weight-bearing exercises can be done with free weights or bands which can be purchased relatively inexpensively. Check online for used weights as well for extra savings.

For those just starting out, household items that you probably have around already, like soup cans or heavy books can be used in place of weights.


Do you enjoy fitness classes, or do you seek a regimented fitness program that lays out a schedule for you? For a fraction of the cost of joining a gym, you derive these same benefits by getting fitness videos and watching them at home. Several personal trainers have set programs available on Blu-Ray or DVD.  Zumba, Yoga or Pilates home workouts are widely available. Many exercise videos are available online for free or for a fairly low cost as well.

Your Local Rec Centre

While this option does often involve a cost, exercising at a local recreation centre, or partaking in a fitness program that is offered through your Parks & Rec department is often heavily subsidized and much less expensive than traditional gyms. Often local pools, rinks and gymnasiums offer discounts if you buy a multi-pass, or if you go as a family for a swim or a skate.

Check out local parks for free basketball or tennis courts, for another exercise option.

Be More Active

It’s amazing how sneaking a little active movement into your daily routine can help increase fitness level, all while still supporting adherence to a budget. Walk or bike to work, if that is feasible.  When running errands, park farther away from the store.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Have active play in the park with your kids. You can even burn calories by gardening, intensifying housework or having a dance party in your living room.