If you’re looking to lose weight and get fit, your first instinct might be to hit the gym and find a personal trainer. Unfortunately, these facilities often charge hefty prices to go along with the free water bottles and towels. In the long run, you might end up losing a pound or two only to see the contents of your wallet disappear as well.
The good news is that there are ways to lose weight and get fit without spending a fortune on gym fees. From loading up the latest apps on your phone to visiting the Great Outdoors for some fresh air and exercise, here are our tips for cutting weight and costs.
Whether you’re new to the fitness game or have been working out for years, you might be looking for some ways to shake up your routine. That’s where apps can help. From step-counting apps to apps that measure calories and macros, the options are virtually endless. We recommend checking out the Nike Training Club app, which features a wide array of exercise routines ranging from 15 to 45 minutes. Some of them are even based on Nike pro athletes’ personal workouts.
If you already belong to a gym, you can still use an app to supercharge your workout efforts. For example, GymPact rewards you with cash every time you meet your goal in weekly gym visits. However, failing to hit the gym means paying a fine. The company then redistributes the wealth to those who met their workout goals. With the App Store offering thousands of free fitness apps, you can start taking advantage with the click of a button.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of using tech to lose weight, consider watching some fitness videos. Of course, exercise tapes and DVDs are nothing new (anyone remember Richard Simmons?). However, these days, you don’t have to pay to watch fitness trainers crunch and punch in the privacy of your living room. Sites like Fitness Blender, for example, offer a huge selection of free videos to help you lose weight and get fit. Search by training type or hunt for workouts to target different parts of your body. You can even look for routines that make use of particular training equipment, like dumbells, medicine balls, or kettlebells.
Of course, you don’t have to park your body in front of a screen to lose weight. If you want to get fit on a budget, consider venturing outside for some outdoor exercise. If you love the beach and are lucky enough to live near one, take a morning jog along the sand. More for the mountains? Find a woodsy setting for a run. The point is, you don’t need a treadmill or elliptical machine to get your miles in. Even a walk around the neighborhood or stroll to the park can be enough to get your heart pumping and help you on the path to fitness.
People pay hundreds of dollars a year to use equipment many of us have in our homes. Take the Stairmaster, for example. Rather than shelling out to climb stairs in a swanky gym, opt to make a few trips up and down your own home staircase. Or if you’re stuck at work all day, make an effort to take the stairs rather than the elevator. You can even climb a few extra flights on your lunch or coffee break. This simple exercise is proven to shape legs, butts, and cores, so don’t overlook it as a useful tool on the journey to fitness.
Just because you have kids at home doesn’t mean fitness is a forgone dream. With a little creativity, you can get in shape while keeping the kids entertained. Simply head over to your local playground. These days, many town and city parks boast pull-up bars and other exercise equipment in addition to the traditional swings and slides. If your neighborhood playground doesn’t have any extras, you can always jog in place, do some crunches, or plank while the kids play. You can even get the kids in on the fun, teaching them valuable fitness lessons at a young age.
Whether you opt to work out at the gym or in the park, it’s easy to grow tired of the same exercises and routines. After all, you can only take that spin class so many times or spend so many hours on the treadmill before you’re desperate for a break. If you find yourself chilling on the couch instead of working out, the problem might be a lack of variety. Shake things up by joining an adult sports league. Many towns offer free or low-price options for adults who enjoy playing competitive sports with others. If the season has already started, consider signing up as an alternate. There’s a good chance another player will drop out or that someone will miss a game due to work or illness. Not only do sports like soccer and Ultimate Frisbee burn calories, but they also give you the chance to meet potential pals in your neighborhood.
Speaking of meeting people, sites like Meetup.com let fitness fanatics learn new exercises and get in shape alongside members of their own communities. By searching in your specific city or town, you can find groups offering free workouts. Options range from self-defense classes to yoga. With so many free fitness choices out there, the odds are good you can find one you love.