Many people start out the new year with big fitness goals — they have plans to join the local gym or finally buy that state-of-the-art fitness equipment they’ve been dreaming about. And then… reality hits. Household bills or unexpected expenses get in the way of reaching fitness goals before you’ve even stepped foot on the path to getting fit! If you find yourself in a situation where fitness lands on the bottom of the priority list due to budget, you should know that you’re not alone. That’s why I’m here to tell you about some free fitness options so that you can get in shape this year, even while on a tight budget.Find out what’s available
Often, people are unaware of the free fitness opportunities in their neighborhood. With a little investigation, you’ll find fitness freebies that are a little more exciting than a jog around the park – not that there’s anything wrong with a simple jog! You shouldn’t let a lack of budget get in the way of your fitness resolutions in 2014. With a little creativity, there are many ways to get a low-budget or free workout. All you need to do is keep your eye on the prize and make it happen!Top places to find free fitness Free fitness at work
Many workplaces are investing in employee well-being and now offer wellness programs. After all, it’s better to have a staff that stays happy and healthy year-round. If you’re unsure about what your workplace offers in terms of a wellness program, contact your human resources department – you may be pleasantly surprised as many companies offer to reimburse some or all of local gym membership costs. Alternatively, if you can round up a group of like-minded colleagues, then you can probably negotiate a bulk discount at a local gym – try reaching out to your HR team for help.
Some companies even offer a gym on the company premises. If you are lucky enough to work for a company that offers a fitness facility at the workplace, then there is your key to free fitness! Some common excuses for not using a company gym are not wanting to sweat in the office, not wanting to exercise in front of colleagues, and lack of time.
Though I admit that there are times when I hate messing up my hair from workouts, I believe my health goals must come before vanity. In addition, using the gym at work is convenient, saves time and most of all, saves money!Free fitness in your community
There are many places in local communities that offer low-budget or free fitness activities. You just have to take the time to search for these activities. Check out local websites, community colleges, or your local park and you may be pleasantly surprised to find free or low-cost fitness classes, boot-camps and dance classes.
Many local parks now have free outdoor fitness equipment for the public to use. These can be a great way to break up a walk or jog, and add in some strength and toning exercises. I recommend finding a fitness buddy who can accompany you on a daily outing. And, remember that catching up with friends over a nice long walk is a healthier and cheaper alternative to catching up over coffee and cake!
With a little investigation, you can easily find a few free fitness options in order to reach your fitness goals while on a budget. I’m very excited to save some money and give some of my local fitness options a try this year.Free fitness with technology
If you want to work out in the comfort of your own home, you’re in luck because current technology is amazing! Long gone are the days when you had to collect numerous VHS tapes or DVDs that get boring after only a few plays. Now you can simply log on to your computer or use your smartphone and work out for free. There are lots of options to choose from with mobile apps and websites where you can track your calorie count, plan your meals and monitor your exercise minutes. Or you may visit my YouTube playlist for one of my FREE workouts:
It’s a new year and if you’re ready to commit to being healthy and active, don’t let a tight budget stand in the way of making your goals a reality. I understand that when money gets tight, we tend to cut the things we feel are not essential expenses. But before you stray from your fitness goals, keep in mind that you can get fit for free. All you need is motivation and the desire to improve your health.
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.