I have been incorporating regular exercise into my weekly routine since I was in my late 20's.
Before that, I wasn't fit at all and told myself that I didn't have time to exercise. I now realize that you make time for what you value. Thankfully my metabolism in my early and mid-20's was on speed so I didn't gain much weight. Not only do I exercise to feel good, it also helps to clear out those arteries and maintain them, right? I think the pivotal moment was when I signed up for a half marathon. It was a great way to add more discipline to my day and my routine. Since training for the half marathon, I have been incorporating regular cardio, a regular 10km run every week, and strength training (not with weights, but just my own body weight). I think that personal finance is just as important as physical fitness, and there are lots of commonalities between the two of them.
I have never subscribed to a gym membership because I never was a fan of working out with other people watching you, but did have a 10 class pass or so to a yoga studio regularly at one time. I found yoga to be great but time consuming and a bit contrived (everyone looks and behaves the same and wears Lulu-lemon gear to these yoga classes) here in Vancouver. I blame it on my introversion. I am so happy just hanging out at home and working out!
Here are some Frugal ways to work out without paying an arm and a leg to sweat it out and to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle:
YouTube is a Frugal Fitness Individual's Best Friend
I am a big fan of watching Youtube videos and running it via Bluetooth on my television. All you need is a mat and Internet and maybe a Bluetooth player and you're good to go! One of my recent favourite YouTube videos is Fitness Blender, a couple from the Seattle area who started this Youtube channel in their garage and were jobless. Now they are a million dollar company and their Youtube videos are mainly spread via word of mouth. Forget the Personal Trainer when you have your own personal trainer on the screen. What a great idea.
There are tons of other videos on YouTube too that might appeal to you. All you got to do is find the video that works for you and then you can forget about it, for the most part.
The other great thing about using Youtube for exercising is that you can follow along with the progress that the ‘instructors' do as well. .
Meet Up is Your Next Best Friend
In addition to working out at home, if you want to meet other people or go outside, there are plenty of Meet Up groups available for people interested in social activities and physical activity at the same time. There are Meet up groups for many different interests. I have joined the local running group or run clubs for group runs that they start every Sunday. It was a great way to get out there and out of the house and socialize.
There are hiking groups, probably Cross Fit groups (though that's probably not that frugal since it probably involves a monthly membership), and other types of physical activity groups.
The sky is your limit!
Running is Pretty Frugal Too
Finally, another option is getting stuff done is to keep your toes on the move. Basically running is a pretty frugal hobby in my opinion.
All you need to spend money on is a pair of new running shoes and and your smart phone to record your runs, that's it. The Nike Run App is a great one for that. It even has some encouragement too after you complete your workout to let you know how proud they are of you: “Great Job for getting out today”. I've been using it for a few years and it has recorded my hundreds of runs.
Upkeep for running just includes buying a good pair of shoes, which can be over $100 but they last a while.
Readers, do you have a gym membership? How do you save money on your health and wellness?