Are you tired of paying a monthly gym membership? If so, you’re not alone. According to Time, an average membership price is almost $60 a month, with 67% of gym memberships going unused. Your health is very valuable, but you don’t need to break the bank to look and feel good. I’ve put together five free or cheap fitness alternatives:
1. Walking or Running
Walking and running are great, free exercises for just about everyone! Measuring your progress is simple, and you can easily adjust your distance or pace to suit your needs. As you become more fit, you’ll be able to go farther and faster. By choosing to walk or run the same path, you can measure how long it takes you by using a watch or your phone. You don’t need to purchase any equipment or memberships. But remember, walking or running long distances can prove to be tough during the long winters in Maine. Unless you’ve already purchased a treadmill, a gym might be your only warm option for a few months out of the year.
2. Online Exercise Videos
Along with the hefty price of a membership, not knowing what to do can steer people away from the gym. A large part of your success in getting fit is being genuinely interested in your routine. This is where online exercise videos are extremely beneficial. You can find them for free on YouTube, or included with your Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriptions if you have them. These are very convenient, as you can watch them at your own home, on demand. There is a wide variety of possible choices, with endurance, strength and balance exercises. You can pick and choose what you’d like to focus on.
3. Join a Team
If you find yourself getting bored of the same old routine at the gym, consider joining a team. Some towns or cities offer anything from a softball league to ultimate frisbee teams. You’ll be learning something new, meeting new people and burning calories at the same time! You may have to pay a small fee to join or buy some of your own equipment, but it can be a cheaper and more unique alternative to the gym.
4. App Challenges
Smartphone apps have become hugely popular alternatives for a lot of things. There are apps for mobile banking, socializing, games and even fitness. There are a lot of cheap and even free apps that initiate a little friendly competition. By logging your fitness milestones into the app or completing their challenges, you can compare your progress to your friends and family. The 30 Day Fitness Challenges, Lose It, MyFitnessPal, Strava and Fitbit are all great apps for both iOS and Android devices. My favorite app is Charity Miles. It’s free and earns money for charities every time you run, walk or bike. Sponsors donate a few cents for every mile you complete. You simply browse the app’s list of charities, choose one and then start exercising to help benefit your choice.
5. Community Center
If your city or town has a community recreation center, take advantage of it! These centers have cheap monthly membership fees, and some are even free to local residents. Recreation centers sometimes have exercise equipment, indoor pools, courts and even running trails. The recreation center can serve as your gym, but for a lower price. Also, the centers can have intramural sports and exercise classes.
What cheap fitness alternatives do you know of? I’d love to know!