I really dislike the thought of paying for a workout, especially when life itself can be a workout. Spending money to go to the gym and hit the treadmill, pump some reps on the weights, crank out some shoulder presses or fire out some squats when I can find all kinds of regular everyday type activities to provide just such exercises seems ridiculous to me. While I have no problem with other people making use of the gym, there’s no way I’m going to pay for the privilege of exercise since I’ve been able to get it for free through the following activities.
Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of paying to head to the local gym or an exercise or yoga class where you exercise for the sheer purpose of exercising. There is a variety of ways to get a great workout that not only burn calories and tone muscle but that accomplish something as well.
Personally, I’d rather spend my time swinging and ax and cutting wood rather than swinging a dumbbell. I’d rather be climbing the stairs to our third floor condo several times a day than working on a stepper machine. I’d rather be mowing the grass than jogging. I’d rather be painting the house or removing old wallpaper than doing yoga. Many such things I could be paying someone else to do, but by doing them myself, I get a great workout, don’t have to pay for a gym membership, and I cut costs as well.
Selecting a living environment that’s conducive to activity
Not too long ago we downsized from a single-family home to a small condo. In the process, we relocated from an area without much to do to a much more active area with plenty of walking routes and a lot to do all within walking distance. Rather than driving where we need to go, now we can walk to places like the library, the post office, walk our kids to school, or just amble around town taking in the sights and sounds while getting our exercise for free and saving on transportation costs.
Finding ways to workout at work
In the past, I was lucky enough work in the hotel business in which there were a variety of ways to get exercise for free. From throwing in a few pull-ups or dips while inspecting the exercise room for cleanliness to cleaning a carpet, polishing some marble or waxing a floor, I could fit some activities to get the old blood pumping into my management role.
Now I’m a work-at-home parent. You wouldn’t think that this would provide much time for low-cost exercise, but there are plenty of activities to keep me fit for free if I look for them. From just carrying the baby around in my arms and walking our older child to school each day, to doing dishes, folding laundry, vacuuming and sweeping the floors, and a variety of other productive activities, I can keep in shape simply by being the happy house husband.
For me, vacation doesn’t mean no exercise…rather, it means fun exercise. We tend to choose vacation areas like the beach or the mountains that have more physical things to do like swimming, hiking, canoeing, and camping. Such locales not only make for tons of fun for us, but they provide great exercise options and are often lower cost activities.
So just because you might be looking for ways to workout and get fit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to cost money. Sometimes the best ways to exercise are all around us, we just have to look for them and cut our costs in the process.
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The author is not a licensed financial or health professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.