Whether your goal is to get swole or simply shed that muffin top, there are more affordable options than ever when it comes to living a healthy, active lifestyle. And while running, hiking or exercising on your own doesn’t cost a dime, many of us need some extra motivation, instruction and equipment to get the workouts we want. But, if you’re not careful, the cost of such things can add up faster than Michael Phelps swims freestyle. To help you get in shape without going broke, here are 15 ways to stay fit on a budget.
Crunch Fitness – Affordable Nationwide Gyms
With more than 100 locations from coast to coast, these judgement-free gyms offer inexpensive plans that let you pump iron on your own or sweat it out with a group. Fees vary by location, but monthly memberships can run as low as $10 at the Crunch “Essential” locations.
ClassPass – One Pass to Rule Them All
ClassPass grants you access to tons of fitness centers in your area, for one low cost. Visit gyms, health spas and yoga studios around town up to three times each per month. With plans starting at $50 per month, it’s not the most affordable option on this list, but if you frequently attend classes, you’ll get more than your money’s worth.
Kettlebell Workouts – All You Need
Believed by many fitness gurus to be the only piece of exercise equipment you’ll ever need, kettlebells are enjoying a renaissance in recent years. Depending on their weight, these cast-iron cannonballs with handles start a just a few bucks apiece, will last forever, and there are dozens of exercises to do with them. There’s no shortage of apps or YouTube videos demonstrating perfect techniques, and personal trainer Greg Brookes has compiled some of the best free exercises for those just getting started.
Resistance Band Training – Ideal for Travelers
Perfect for fitness fanatics on the go, and for those who don’t want bulky weights taking up space if their living room, resistance bands are an excellent way to get exercise without breaking the bank. A decent set of bands will only set you back about $50, and you can view free workouts on YouTube, or download some to your device from ResistanceBandTraining.com.
Physique 57 – Expert-Level Classes
Just because this high-end studio only has locations in prestigious cities such as Dubai, Bangkok and Beverly Hills, doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from their world-class instructors who specialize in the Lotte Berk method. Available for a fraction of the cost of an actual Physique 57 membership, streamable, no-equipment-needed workouts can be mixed and matched to your liking. These classes aren’t for the faint of heart, so bring your A-game.
Daily Burn – Ease into Exercise
Great for fitness first-timers, this multi-platform service invites users to remotely attend daily live workouts, or catch up from any screen at whatever time works best. Daily Burn classes are 30 minutes long, free for the first 30 days and only cost about $15 per month after that.
Sworkit– Strengthening and Conditioning
If you seek to strengthen a single area of your physique, Sworkit’s personalized workouts can help you achieve your goals in record time. This Android and iOS app offers free cardio, yoga, stretching and Pilates programs, none of which require any special equipment. Upgrade to a premium account to skip the ads and get more perks.
Fitocracy – One-on-One Workouts
In the market for something even more individualized? The cross-platform Fitocracy app lets you interact with your very own personal trainer for as little as $1 per day. Choose the program and coach you want, then start benefiting from daily, one-on-one sessions. Plans include a professional assessment, tailored workouts, advice on nutrition and ongoing motivation to help you hit your milestones.
Charity Miles – Help a Charity with Every Step
If you’re happiest when helping others, this is the app for you. Every time you going running, walking or biking, a donation from one of Charity Miles’ corporate sponsors will go to your choice of the nearly 40 available partner charities. More than half a million dollars has already made its way to those in need, and by downloading this free app, you can start contributing.
Pact – Get Paid to Work Out
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Pact actually pays you for accomplishing your training goals…but the app also punishes you for missing them. Commit to weekly agreements that you’ll eat better and exercise more, and bet real money on your ability to follow through. Keep track of your efforts in the Pact app, and, at the end of the week, collect your cash…or pay it out to other Pact users who’ve kept their word.
MyFitnessPal – Motivation
Owned by Under Armour, this calorie-counting website and app acts serves as a food diary to help you track your diet and hit benchmarks based on your lifestyle. The MyFitnessPal software calculates caloric intake based on a database of more than 5 million foods and even suggests meals with ingredients you prefer.
Nutrino – Based on Your Body Chemistry
This advanced meal-planning service tracks your exercise, sleep and stress levels to devise the ideal meals for you. Nutrino combines details about your biochemical composition with data from wearable devices to help you connect the dots between what you eat and how you feel. The app is free to download, and subscriptions start at a few bucks a month.
Getting the physique you seek doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. These free and affordable options can help you get in great shape, without setting back your bank balance. And when it comes to the fitness of your finances, count on Mint to keep you happy and healthy.