In addition to making you feel mentally and physically refreshed, living an active lifestyle has monetary benefits in the long run (no pun intended).  Obesity and lack of exercise increase your risk of heart disease, type two diabetes, cancer, and numerous other health problems.  Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight reduce your risk of health issues and will likely lower your future medical care costs.

Time and money are two of the most common barriers that keep people from exercising.  You don’t need to spend $100 per month on a fancy gym membership or run a marathon every day to stay active!  Here are five frugal, fast ways to get in shape.

Walk or jog around your neighborhood.

Always walk/jog in crowded, well-lit areas.  Bring a friend with you if possible.


Use a treadmill at home.

For those of us who live in the Midwest and brave -20 degree weather during the winter months, exercising outside can be downright dangerous.  If you live in a crime-ridden neighborhood, you might not feel safe running outside even during the warmer months.  Try using a treadmill instead.  It might seem expensive to begin with, but you’ll save money in the long run if you’re currently spending $50/month on a gym membership.

If you can’t afford to buy a treadmill, power walk around the mall instead (just don’t buy anything ;) ).


Watch YouTube fitness videos.

There are thousands of free fitness videos on YouTube.  Be a yogi, get your Zumba on, engage your core with specific exercises, or get your heart pumping with cardio workouts – all for free and in the comfort of your own home.


Attend free yoga classes.

Some yoga studios charge ridiculous rates, so attending a yoga class may seem impossible on a tight budget.  Luckily, many studios offer the first week free with no obligation to sign up.  Some even offer “pay what you can” classes or entirely free courses.

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Use corporate gyms.

If you work for a company that has a free gym, use it!  If you feel too tired after work, work out during your lunch break or before work.

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Squeeze in quick exercises at work.

If your company doesn’t offer a free gym, try adding a few quick exercises to your routine instead.  Sitting at a desk for 8+ hours per day is bad for your health (some will even say it’s killing you).  Get up every once in awhile to take a quick walk and stretch your muscles.  Use the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can.

You could also try using an exercise ball, jogging in place in your cubicle, or doing some lunges while you walk down the hallway.  You might feel a little silly, but that’s ok!

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Work for a fitness company.

Work at the corporate office of a fitness company or get a part-time side gig at a gym.  Potential perks include free gym membership and group fitness classes, discounts on athletic wear, and a commitment to the health and well-being of employees.


Gym trial memberships.

Many gyms offer the first week free with no obligation to sign up.  This gives you a chance to check out the gym and make sure it meets your needs before you spend any money.


Attend a free 5k walk.

Some 5k’s do have a cost, but many nonprofits offer free 5k walks.  Some provide a free t-shirt if you reach a particular fundraising goal.  My favorite 5k’s include the American Heart Walk, the Walk for Animals, and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walks.

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Squat!  Lunge!  Jump!

There are numerous quick exercises you can easily do in the comfort of your own home – do some squats, lunges, jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, or stretches.


What are some frugal ways you stay in shape?


Other stuff you might like:

9 Reasons Why I Love Yoga
5 Unexpected Results of Adopting a Plant-Based Diet
Let’s Stop Rewarding Ourselves with Excess
4 Things NOT to Say to Someone Who’s Trying to Lose Weight
20 Free Things to Do This Weekend