This year, I’m focusing on my health. I’ve been a couch potato for too long and need all the help I can get! Since I can’t afford a gym membership, I have to find other ways to get in shape, like joining my kids in playing “Just Dance 2015.”
As someone who works from home, it’s easy to get out of shape. Long days of sitting at my desk working on deadlines with no one to pull me away have in the past done a number on my back and my waistline. Of course, I always muse about going to a gym, but taking out a membership loan is not ideal for me. Plus I can’t always get there, so I’ve needed to find other ways to get in shape.
Here are 9 affordable ways that you can encourage yourself to get motivated, get up and get moving without a costly gym membership. These have all worked for me at different times in my life, and they can work for you too!
- Buy a mini trampoline.
This little baby is a great way to get started. A mini trampoline is very affordable and can fit anywhere. If you are very out of shape, start out with 15 minutes a day – 5 sets of 3 minutes if that’s better for you. Once you get more advanced, you can Google trampoline workouts. And if you have kids, this will occupy them for HOURS!
- Start walking.
I know it sounds simple, but I stopped walking because the area around my house is too boring. The solution? Drive somewhere interesting that’s local. I’m 15-minute drive from an amazing local mountain trail. Find what’s near you – and gear yourself up. Make sure you not only have good walking or hiking shoes, pick up an iPod or other personal players so you can hike while you listen to a great audiobook or interesting lecture.
- Find your workout on YouTube.
Yay for YouTube! Now we don’t have to go to the gym, we can simply sit home and watch whatever kind of workout strikes our fancy for the day on our television. YouTube has a big selection of workouts, from “Fat Burning Cardio” in 37 minutes to “Jillian Michaels” videos. Make sure you can get YouTube on your Smart TV or pair your gaming system to your television. Or you can buy a Roku Streaming Player or other media streamer, from Sony, Apple TV, and some DVD players.
- Turn your gaming machine into your gym.
If you already own an XBOX, PlayStation 4 or WiiU, you can buy a number of You can buy games that cater to your likes. You can even find a fun Zumba or Just Dance video. Or, if you have an interactive station like Kinect, you can play a game like Shape Up which lets you work out while playing a game.
- Buy music mixes for your workouts.
A great workout remix of your favorite tunes is a good way to get started working out. Many artists remix CDs for working out, from Amy Grant to Gangnam-Style. Find out if your favorite artist has a one or one for a favorite workout show, like The Biggest Loser.
- Have workout gear on hand.
We think that unless we’re at the gym, we don’t need workout gear, but that’s not true. Not only can the proper gear give us much needed support and make working out easier, putting on workout clothes will make you feel more ready to work out. So gear up on sneakers, yoga pants, sports tanks, capris – whatever clothes are made for athletic performance.
- Find an accountability partner.
You shouldn’t go it alone! I always find I do better when I engage a person to help me keep on target and help them back. Find a good friend who would love to share this task. Better yet, if you know someone who is already working out regularly but needs help in another area, like diet, it’s even better because they will already be on track to motivate you.
- Do equipment-free workouts or buy low budget tools.
Doing cardio or high-intensity interval training doesn’t require any workout tools at all. If you are going to buy tools, make sure they are low budget ones and indispensable tools, like yoga mats, small neoprene dumbbells or ankle weights. All of those are reasonably priced.
- Use the tools at hand.
My Galaxy Note 4 came preloaded with Coach by Cigna. This little app not only monitors things like heart rate and blood oxygen, it sends me a little reminder when I’ve been inactive for too long! This is a great frequent reminder for more activity. If you’re ambitious or don’t have a smartphone, you can also buy a host of activity trackers from Fitbit, Omron, LifeTrak, Garmin or more! Some can be pricey but all are less money than an annual gym membership.
- Find an accountability partner.
You shouldn’t go it alone! I always find I do better when I engage a person to help me keep on target and help them back. Find a good friend who would love to share this task. Better yet, if you know someone who is already working out regularly but needs help in another area, like diet, it’s even better because they will already be on track to motivate you!
Getting back in shape doesn’t have to be a challenge. Start small with a few minutes a day and have the tools you need on hand to make it a success.