With the holidays fast approaching, what better way to save money than to ditch the gym membership and create your own, frugal, at-home workout space?! It’s a great way save up for Christmas gift-giving without neglecting your health. I’m excited to have contributing writer, Josh Anderson (M.S., Personal Trainer) from Always Active Athletics, join us today to share some great tips on how to create a money-saving at-home gym!
What’s your go-to excuse for ditching the gym? If you are like the majority of us, it’s that you simply don’t have time! I totally get this – we live very hectic, always on-the-go lives. Coming in at a close second on the list of “most used excuses for skipping the gym” is that people don’t want to spend their cash on a membership. I don’t blame you – some of these memberships can easily be over $50 per month and that’s a very conservative estimate. On top of that if you were to hire a trainer (like me) you will add $40+ per hour! Yeah…bye bye paycheck!
What if there was way to help save you time without spending a huge amount of money on a ton of exercise equipment? That sounds like an efficient more frugal way, right? Why not set up a cheap, yet effective, at-home gym? Let’s do it – here’s how:
The Frugal At-Home Gym:
Let’s face it, when on a budget you aren’t going to be able to afford a huge squat rack with hundreds of pounds of weights. Anyways, that much equipment requires its own room and if you are like me, your living space is at a premium (to non-existent). But trust me you don’t need all that fancy, expensive equipment to really get a great workout! It’s more about how effectively you use what you have!
An exercise mat is a must. While you can exercise on your bare floor there is something psychologically motivating about using an exercise mat. It gets you in the mindset that says, “It’s time to get my sweat on.” An exercise mat is helpful because it can be used for a number of exercises from pushups to crunches to a number of floor or kneeling exercises! It keeps you from getting dirty (that reminds me I need to vacuum), provides cushioning and can prevent floor burns. The best part is that you can easily find an exercise mat for under $12.
Frugal At-Home Tip: No extra cash but still want an exercise mat? Try a beach towel. While not as comfy, it’s still effective.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m all about strength training. It can do so many amazing things for you especially when performed at a high-intensity including improving your strength, blasting calories, improving your heart health…etc. For your frugal gym all you need is two 5 pound dumbbells – that’s it. You can get a killer workout with just that! It’s all about pushing yourself to the limit! Check out your local sporting goods store – you can get a pair for under $14 and even cheaper if you buy used.
Frugal At-Home Tip: Ready to exercise but don’t have dumbbells? Grab two cans of food or even bottles of detergent. These can temporarily act as dumbbells – just make sure they are the same weight!
Everyone thinks they need an incredibly complicated workout because that seems to be what you always see on the infomercials and things such as P90X, but that might not necessarily be true. While you can cough up the dough to purchase a massive DVD set, you can also create your own workout!
From YouTube to our Exercise Archives, you can find tons of free content on the internet that will enable you to get results at home or on-the-go! One good option is to find 6-8 exercises that you can perform that in total work your whole body. Then perform these exercises for 3 sets each as a timed exercise of 30 seconds. Perform as many reps as you can (with proper form) with little to no rest! This will set you up for a high-intensity, effective, quick workout!
[Note: Make sure you are cleared by your physician before beginning ANY exercise program!]
Fitness doesn’t have to be incredibly hard, confusing or expensive. For under $26 you can set yourself up with the tools you need to create a highly effective at-home gym. Sorry, but “no time and expense” can no longer be your go-to excuses that hold you back from taking control of your health. Grab the tools you need, implement a highly effective program and start improving your health today!
Josh (M.S., Personal Trainer) is the founder and editor of DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life.” He strives to combine the latest science with fitness to help everyone exercise smarter from the comforts of their own homes!