Healthy on a Budget: Frugal Fitness

I can’t believe I almost forgot about my weekly Healthy on a Budget series!  I created a new recipe yesterday, but I guess you’ll just have to wait for that.  I know, I know… the anticipation’s killing you, right?


In case you missed it, here are previous Healthy on a Budget posts:

This week I’m focusing on Frugal Fitness.  We’re all trying to burn off that pie, but we’re still feeling broke after buying huge turkeys and hitting Black Friday sales too.  Just me?  Oh come on – I’m not the only one.   Here are tips to stay fit without breaking the bank.

1.  Run for the love of running, not the sweet gear.  GPS watches, sport gloves, fancy headphones, compression gear, etc. are all pretty friggin’ cool.  However, for a runner on a budget, a couple decent sports bras, some well-fitting shorts, and a good pair of shoes will suit you just fine.  If you must have awesome gear, run for it.  Rewarding yourself with moisture-wicking socks will be more beneficial than a cupcake.


Race Bling’s Perfectly Okay

2.  Ditch the cardio machines.  If you’re considering the purchase of a new treadmill, elliptical, or bike for your home, consider other options first.  Check out cardio DVDs from your library, or scoop up cheap ones online, like from Collage Video.  You can also find great circuit workouts on blogs and websites, like Body Rock.  Supplement these with plenty of runs/walks outdoors.  If things don’t work out and your $9 video collects dust, you’ll still be better off than having a $900 rowing machine collecting dust instead.


Collage Video

3.  Ditch the gym.  I go to the gym.  I love it.  It’s worth it to me, and I have a fabulous rate.  BUT – before I scored my awesome rate, I worked out at home for about 7 months.  *Note, this was before I started running again; I stayed fit with minimal equipment and lots of power walking.  I already owned a pair of 8-lb dumbbells and a stability ball, so I added to that with a Women’s Health kit.

Men's Health Kit

Same idea, but the  Women’s Health kit was better

4.  Burn Calories, Not Dollars.  Anyone can buy fitness equipment, but it takes motivation, willpower, and a plan to actually use the equipment.  Don’t waste your money on goofy fitness fads; instead, stick to tried-and-true products that might actually give you results.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  •  Jump Rope – seriously cheap, seriously effective
  • Stability Ball – if you have room to store it
  • Resistance Bands – a must!
  • Dumbbells – if you have the space and money

Links!  Here are a few links for frugal fitness.  I will be adding a new home-friendly workout soon, so be sure to check back for that.


  • How do you stay fit on a budget?

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22 Responses to Healthy on a Budget: Frugal Fitness

  1. We definitely negotiated down the gym rate before actually signing up, too. You can do it… it just takes patience!

    Also, I’m a big fan of workout videos from Amazon. Every Jillian video I own costed maybe $6. 🙂

  2. MizFit says:

    DITCHING the GYM for the most part saved me money and sanity 🙂

  3. Great post!! If you workout around your home, you can also use stuff you already have as equipment. I have done arm curls with my 17 pound cat before — haha — but I know other people use food items like cans of soup, milk gallons filled with water, etc. to do a quick (and cheap) workout.

  4. Love this series! I ditched my gym membership after I realized I was only using it for the dreadmill (winter!) and 2-3 group circuit training classes each week. I switched to a Gaiam tv membership & love doing Jillian Michaels workouts. All I need is dumbbells and a yoga mat. With the savings, I put it towards organic food – or a lululemon purchase here & there. 😀 Lululemon gear is always worth the investment – but I shop the sale racks.

  5. I wanna ditch the gym, but I have to run at the gym in the winter because I refuse to run in the dark outside!

  6. These are great ideas! I really love them since I tend to spend a lot of time on the road and in hotels without great equipment.

    • Tiff says:

      I always get excited to try equipment & get a change of scenery at hotel fitness centers, but I’m let down about 95% of the time.

  7. Running is definitely one of the most cost efficient workouts you can find. I love the idea of rewarding yourself with new gear when you accomplish a goal. It keeps you moving because you’re excited to show off your new stuff! Great tips! I think we are blessed with all the free access to at-home workouts due to blogs and the internet.

  8. Nichole says:

    GREAT tips. And ditching the gym was so hard for me, but now I am really happy with my new routines. It’s about challenging yourself.

  9. I agree with finding online resources for workouts. There’s a lot of really great stuff out there! There are even some bloggers that post some great ideas, that are easy to print up and do on your own at home or at the gym.

  10. While I love the gym, I haven’t had a membership in over 2 years. I also think I’m in better shape than when I did have it. There’s so many options for good quality workouts at home that don’t require any equipment. There’s great workouts on Pinterest, YouTube, etc that are free and don’t require anything except your sweat! 🙂

  11. Great post and I couldn’t agree with you more! =)

  12. Lorie Hesby says:

    I have been trying to get abs for a while but I didn’t really know where to start. Thanks for great post, I learned a lot from it.

  13. Pingback: Don’t Fail Me Now | Peanut Butter Fingers

  14. Ali says:

    Great tips! Will post on FB soon!

  15. Great tips. Especially for the treadmill. Everyone can run outside. I know safety can be a consideration along with child care, but if you can, outside is the best place to run.

  16. I run outside for FREE! I don;t have a gym membership and I don’t need one.

  17. Lynette says:

    Great tips! I’ve ditched the gym for running already but sometimes splurge on some nice gear. And free workout videos online are staple!

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