Six Affordable Fitness Alternatives to Expensive Gym and Fitness Equipment

by Dan Petraglia

In today’s modern society there are many temptations for questionable things to buy. There are countless products, programs, and services that can assist us in a healthier, more active lifestyle. But one must ask them self, do I really need this product or service for fitness and weight loss? Should I really be spending my hard earned money with a lingering uncertainty to boot? To further investigate this, let’s examine seven strategies that better budget the fitness side of one’s lifestyle.

Ixnay on Cardiovascular Equipment

This is a major don’t in the fitness world. Some of this equipment can run you up not just hundreds, but not uncommonly thousands of dollars. Understandably some have a gym phobia where all the fanciest of equipment is at your disposal so they buy one unit for their home. This is reasonable to a certain degree, but not a necessity when it comes to working out at home on a cardiovascular level.

Something as simple as unhinging a bike chain can give you an in home workout machine. There are also a vast number of floor exercises that can really get your heart pumping too. So try to stay away from these machines. Alternatively, even a gym membership could potentially cost less if you look locally for special rates moving with the coming seasons. The cost benefit ratio here is simply too high.

Questioning Gym Memberships

This question has probably been asked over a million times over the internet via fitness forums, blogs, social media, and all other types of online communities. And I have the answer for you right here. The answer to should I get a gym membership or not is that it’s firstly dependent on your needs, and then your expectations. If you think you need fancy equipment and machines to get the body you desire then the answer is yes.

On the contrary, if you believe you can achieve just as much outside of a gym as inside of one, then the answer is no. There even are outdoor gyms that exist today where they are free to use by the public. These gyms are usually affiliated or near a park if this is something that sparks your curiosity.

fitness equipment

Running it All Away

The number one way to save money and staying as fit as possible is by running. The runner up I would say is swimming in terms of cost benefit ratio. And the only reason why running beats swimming is because nine times out of ten its free where as swimming usually puts you in a position to spend money.

Swimming is a full body workout targeting nearly every type of muscle group, but still is less cost effective than jogging. You can jog anywhere anytime without ever having to pay a single cent. Outdoor jogging also differs greatly from treadmill running because of the surface area differentiation. Today they have fancy treadmills that can even mimic (in an unrealistic way) natural surface areas.

Again these machines cost money and the fancier of a machine like this found in a gym, chances are the more expensive the membership is of that gym (in order to afford such technology). But real natural surfaces provide increased resistance versus an artificial one. So running truly is the top route to take in a tightly budgeted fitness schedule.

Home Fitness Center

I know everyone has heard of them so I figured I’d bring them to your attention briefly. A “total gym” is an interesting concept that is probably making someone a lot of money somewhere. Being an overly obsessed fitness enthusiast that I am, one day I went to a local retailer and tried one out.

That’s right; I exercised in public in a large retail store for a quick workout. Most of these total gyms are all designed almost exactly the same. There are a series of flexible resistance bars and you decide how many you want to work against your own body movements.

Long story short, after my highly inappropriate 20 minute workout, I came to a conclusion. You can do this at home without this huge and unsightly machine. You can buy resistance bands (they’d cost exponentially less than a total gym) and harness up a system that can literally do the same thing.

In addition, you can buy just a few other small things like a door pull up wedge, small weight set, stability ball, fitness mats, and a few other cheap additions that can give you a home fitness center all your own. This could be for you an alternative that is far cheaper than any gym, or total gym for that matter.

Fun with Friends

Your friends can not only be a great help to cheaper fitness, but can also provide great inspiration, motivation, and positive reinforcement time and time again. Just get out there with them and do whatever you all can agree on as an activity that is fun and also physically demanding.

Whether it’s shooting hoops, playing fútbol, or just jogging around together, it’s always a good idea to be fit around others (especially the ones closest to you).

Rehydrating Conservatively

This goes back to the point about getting into the habit of buying things that we don’t need. One of the key components to a successful workout is regular rehydration of the body. You do not need fancy electrolyte restoring drinks, sugar based drinks, caffeinated drinks, protein powders, or anything like this.

The only thing you need is water, and lots of it. Stay away from bottled water as this can expensive. Instead, purchase a filtration device that you can run tap water through. This way, you’ll have clean fresh water that will last you a long time from only one single purchase. This has proven to be very cost effective overtime.

(Dan Petraglia runs a weight loss and fitness information blog. Unique exercise, dieting, and nutrition information, products, programs, and services are provided. For more information, please visit Fitness and Weight Loss Central. You can also follow him in twitter @danpetraglia.)

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About Health on a Budget

We provide resources to eat and live healthy on a budget.

One Response to “Six Affordable Fitness Alternatives to Expensive Gym and Fitness Equipment”

  1. I agree that most fitness equipment can be costly with minimum benefits. But gym memberships can be nice especially when it is winter and it is too cold to run or work out outside in subzero temperature.