Because one of my main goals for this year is to save money to buy a cute little house here in Memphis, I’m cutting back on my expenses. Having a gym membership is unfortunately one of the little luxuries that I decided to trim from my expenditure list because it’s totally possible to live a healthy lifestyle without a gym membership.
Since it’s been a while since I’ve gone without a gym membership, I had to remind myself of all the ways I could workout without a gym.
Here’s the list I came up with of free ways to exercise with a gym membership. Please chime in to the comments if I missed any good ideas!
Go For A Walk
You don’t need a gym to do the most basic of all exercise: walking! Simply put on your clothes and tennis shoes and hit the pavement. Bonus points if you have a dog to walk because you will both benefit greatly from all the exercise. JuJu and I like to go on one or two good walks a day to make sure we’ve both got the exercise we need.
Take A Hike
No matter where you live there are places nearby to go hiking. I consider my area a very flat place but there are areas of rolling hills and forest that are great for hiking for a couple hours. If you live in a mountainous area then you will have even better places to go hiking for free. Google hiking trails near your area and head off for a couple hours of fun exercise in nature.
Jog With A Group
In most major cities you can find running groups that meet several nights of the week. These groups are free to join and you can often go at your own pace. It’s a great way to still be social while exercising but not spend any more or set foot in the gym. Check out your local running store to find out what groups exist since many are sponsored by and leave from running stores.
Play A Game With Friends
Round up a bunch of your active or want-to-be-active friends to play a game together. You could play softball, flag football, soccer, kickball, or really any game you can think of playing! As long as someone already has a ball or equipment you can usually play for free at a local park. It’s a fun way to be social and exercise without a gym membership.
Ride Your Bike
If you have a bike laying around or know someone that will let you borrow their bike, go take a bike ride. It’s my favorite way to get in exercise while enjoying the scenery. Memphis is a great biking city and we have several trails that are wonderful for biking along the city. I love to go complete the Greenline on my bike on a beautiful day.
Jump, Jump, Jump
A jump rope is an essential item to have in any home gym so if you need a free way to exercise, grab your jump rump and have at it. If you want it do be completely free then just jump or do jumping jacks. You can alternate and through in jump squats and other jumping exercises that will leave your legs feeling like jello while torching calories.
Use Your Bodyweight
You can get a really good workout in at home using just your own bodyweight to do strength training exercises. Find a workout online or create your own if you have the knowledge. Once you’ve got a plan for what exercises to do then work what you’ve got. A good body weight circuit is a free way to exercise and get in shape without a gym membership.
Dance Your Butt Off
Dancing is a free and fun way to get in shape. You don’t need a gym membership for this activity, just put on your favorite dance music and start moving! You can also use any dance games you might have from video game consoles like Dance Dance Revolution. This free exercise is also one that is fun and easy to convince others to do with you!
Workout With YouTube Videos
There are several great trainers who put full workout videos on YouTube. You can use YouTube to do workouts from yoga to pilates to cross fit style workouts. There are tons of different workout ideas on there that can be really fun to do at home! One of my favorite YouTubers is Blogilates who does great pilates and ab workouts.
Get A Workout DVD
Do you have a free library card? Many libraries will let you check out DVDs from their collection for free and chances are your local library has a selection of workout DVDs. My local library had the Biggest Loser Workout DVDs which are all a great workout. Even if you decide to purchase a couple of workout DVDs, they will pay off in the long run when you use them over and over again to workout at home. It’s a very inexpensive way to get in a workout!
While chores aren’t very fun, they are a great way to be active during your day. Cleaning floors and doing laundry and similar activities can burn calories while you are accomplishing other tasks. You can add in little things like squats and lunges while you work to make it a legitimate workout.
Work The Stairs
Use the stairs in your house or somewhere nearby like a mall or office building to break a sweat in a short amount of time. You can climb up and down for several repetitions and get in some great exercise for free. You can also do the same thing at a local high school stadium on their bleachers. There is no need for those fancy stairclimber machines at the gym!
Count Your Steps
Challenge yourself to a steps challenge and do little movement throughout the day to see it all add up! You can combine any activity you want to increase your steps count. It’s a great way to stay active and get in the exercise you need without a gym membership.
Working Out Without A Gym: You’ve Got Options
While a gym membership is a nice luxury, you don’t need one to get your heart rate up and gain all the benefits of exercise. If you don’t have money for the gym or don’t like going, try some of these free ways to exercise instead! There are definitely a lot of options available and if you are creative then it’s pretty easy to get variety and even have fun while doing it. You can workout anywhere you are and on the cheap too!