15 Frugal Fitness Hacks to Ditch the Gym Costs

A survey conducted by Finder.com revealed that Americans spend a whopping $397 per year on unused gym memberships. I would like to think a considerable percentage of this is fueled by the New Year resolutions, where everyone is determined to transform their fitness journey. This is when many people get yearly gym memberships they would never use. 

Let’s now get down to the totals… according to the Global Institute of Wellness, Americans spend an average of $634 to $810 per year on their gym memberships. 

This amount could go even higher depending on your gym and its location. 

The thing is, you do not need to go to the gym to achieve your fitness goals. You could find ways to keep fit without spending a penny on expensive gym memberships. 

Are you looking for ways to stay in shape without expensive gym memberships? 

This is what this article is about … keep reading as we give you tips to help you keep fit, all while saving your hard-earned money.

1. Explore Free Outdoor Workouts

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There is a false belief that you need gym equipment to keep fit or to lose weight. Whatever your fitness goal is, you can quickly achieve it using outdoor workouts. 

In fact, many studies have shown how much more effective some outdoor exercises can be. For instance, an article published on Miracle Recreation revealed that outdoor exercises are associated with greater feelings of being revitalized, positively engaged, and energized.

Another study published on Flipbelt found that outdoor runners tend to flex their ankles more and expend more energy when compared to treadmill runners. Cyclists also burn more calories when riding outdoors.

Find suitable outdoor activities for you, such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, etc., and customize it to suit your workout goals. 

2. Use Workout Apps and YouTube Tutorials

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Instead of paying expensive personal trainers to take you through workouts, you can use gym instructors who make videos for YouTube. Many instructors create videos focusing on different workout niches, such as losing weight, muscle building, or event preparation. 

While you may have to go through some videos to find the best instructor, you will save money when you find the right one. 

You could also use workout apps that will suggest exercises depending on your goals. A good number of them will help you keep records and track your progress, which is an essential part of any fitness journey. 

3. Buy Budget-friendly Exercise Equipment

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There are a lot of budget-friendly home workout equipment that can help you achieve your workout goals. The good thing about this equipment is that you can have it for ages once you get one. 

You could even borrow or share with your neighbors if you do not work out daily. 

Some of the best options include skipping ropes, steppers, tummy trimmers, dumbbell sets, exercise kettlebells, resistance bands, and sit-up bars. 

You do not want to go out and buy every other home workout equipment. Get just one or a few that align perfectly with your workout goals. This is why you must write down what you are trying to achieve in your fitness goals and then find the best equipment to help you get there. 

4. Create a Home Workout Space

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Just like a dedicated home office has been found to enhance the productivity of people who work from home office, a dedicated workout space will enhance your dedication and efficiency towards your goals. 

Personalize it to make an inviting space for your workout sessions. 

 You could transform the spare bedroom, the idle space in your living room, part of your basement, or your balcony into your home workout space. 

 All you need is creativity to add the right personality to your home gym. 

5. Opt for Community or Low-cost Fitness Classes

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There is always someone offering a free fitness class. It could be that the yoga teacher is looking to give back to the community.

Or that passionate gym rat is looking to start a personal training business.

Maybe the local gym is looking to open a new branch.  Or the PE teacher looking to start a fitness side hustle.

Whatever it is, whenever you hear of free or low-cost fitness classes, take advantage and sign up. They may last for a short period, but they would have helped you make some little progress towards your goals. And even more importantly, you may leave with information that will sustain your journey for ages. 

6. Share a Gym Membership With a Friend

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Gym memberships were designed for people who work out daily or frequently. Unfortunately, many people who take it work out once or twice a week. 

A study published on Statista revealed that only 21.2% of active American men use their gym memberships daily, while 19.1% of women do. 

It goes without saying that people do not fully exploit the expensive gym memberships they pay for. 

 If you work out two or three days a week, consider sharing the membership with a friend with the same workout plan. 

There are a lot of gym membership options that could save you money. For instance, go for family, couples, or friends memberships instead of getting a standalone membership. 

7. Participate in Charity Walks or Runs

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Look out for charity walks and marathons in your area and register to participate. 

You will not participate in a good course in your community, but you will get to keep your body fit, be out there in nature, and interact with other people and possibly other fitness enthusiasts. 

Charity walks are also suitable for people looking to slowly ease into a more intense workout plan. For instance, start by getting your body ready through charity walks and runs instead of jumping straight into moderate hiking trails. It not only gets you on the move, but the typical crowd of people on the move will motivate you to keep going. 

8. Find Affordable Ways To Stay Active During Winter

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In winter, many people have no option but to go to the gym to keep fit because the weather typically rules out outdoor exercises. 

However, if you are on a budget, you can still find ways to keep fit instead of going to the gym. 

For instance, you can join dance classes, take laps in the mall, layer up and go for runs, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do your housekeeping, take up planking, and sign up for online workout classes you can do from your house. 

9. Swap Costly Supplements for Natural Options

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Instead of shelling out money for expensive supplements, consider choosing natural alternatives that provide similar benefits.

For example, instead of buying protein powder, incorporate lean meats, eggs, and plant-based sources like beans and lentils into your diet. These whole foods not only save you money but also provide essential nutrients.

Similarly, rather than investing in pre-workout supplements, a cup of black coffee can boost energy before your workout. By making these switches, you can maintain your fitness routine while keeping your wallet in check and ensuring your body gets nourished with wholesome, cost-effective options.

10. Prioritize Bodyweight Exercises

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One of the most budget-friendly and effective ways to stay in shape without an expensive gym membership is to prioritize bodyweight exercises. These exercises require no equipment and use your body weight for resistance.

They can be done virtually anywhere, making them highly convenient.

They push-ups, squats, planks, and burpees engage multiple muscle groups, promote functional strength, and improve flexibility. Plus, they are easily adaptable to different fitness levels.

By making bodyweight exercises a central part of your fitness routine, you can achieve your fitness goals without spending a dime on costly gym memberships or equipment.

11. Engage in Group Fitness Challenges

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One thing about personal trainers is that they will hold you accountable for your fitness and keep pushing you to achieve your goals. Unfortunately, they can be expensive and out of budget for any frugal person. 

 If you are frugal, you can get and engage in different fitness challenges with your friends, colleagues, and family. 

The group members will serve as motivation to keep you going and accountability partners to ensure you do not sway from your original objective. 

 Find or create fitness challenge groups with other like-minded people; it will go a long way in your pursuit of a fit body.  

12. Utilize Local Parks and Trails

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Many local parks, trails, and even beaches have fitness equipment installed that you could use to pursue your goals. 

Other than being free, using them sets you up to meet new fitness buddies who could guide and hold your hand in your journey. 

 Besides, working out in nature has been known to offer more benefits, as it involves connecting with nature and being out in fresh air. 

Additionally, while still using these community resources, you could cycle, hike, or even play beach volleyball. These are fun activities that will keep your body fitness in check.

13. Invest in Versatile Workout Gear

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A lot of workout gear could help you work out the entire body, while some will focus on just one body part. 

 If you are on a budget, you want to go for equipment that will let you do different exercises and help you work out different body parts.  Look for items such as resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.

These pieces of equipment provide a wide range of options for strength training and can be a cost-effective alternative to an expensive gym membership.

14.  Set Fitness Goals To Stay Motivated

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Working out without goals may help you achieve something short-term. For instance, starting your day with a gym session will help you start your day in high spirits.  It, however, may not help you lose weight. 

If you want to achieve long-term goals such as losing weight, building muscle mass, staying fit for your old age, and maintaining a great posture or lean body, then you must set clear goals and a pathway to achieve them. 

Goals will keep you motivated to keep working out from home. The steps within the goal will help you monitor your progress, which is a crucial aspect of a workout.

15. Maintain a Balanced Diet on a Budget

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Working out without watching what you eat often results in unsuccessful fitness journeys. Your diet is an essential part of the journey, whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscles, or maintain a lean physique. 

 The good thing about a healthy, balanced diet is that you do not have to spend so much on it. 

You could replace red meat with plant proteins and create a balanced diet suitable for your fitness journey. You could stop eating fast food and cook healthy meals at home, and it will surely accelerate your weight loss and keep your pockets happy. Alternatively, you could make fresh juices at home and stop buying soda. There are so many options; you have to find cheaper and healthier alternatives that suit your budget and fitness objectives. 

Staying in Shape on a Budget

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Staying in shape without breaking the bank is possible and empowering. By adopting a frugal fitness mindset and making smart choices, you can achieve your fitness goals without needing an expensive gym membership.

If you are on a budget, drop that expensive gym membership and personal training fees and adopt these frugal fitness tips. You will stay in shape, and your body, mind, and pocket will be grateful you took this direction.

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