7 Ways to Exercise Without Paying For a Gym Membership

Spring is here and most places are warming up quite nicely. Too nicely here – we’ve had temperatures in the 90s some days. It’s too early for that! Of course, I’m in southern California, and we didn’t even have what we’d call a winter here, and even a wet winter here is mild by what other places get.

Spring is a great time to start working on your exercise routine. The weather is nice enough that you can work on it without a lot of excuses in the way. But a gym membership doesn’t fit into all budgets. Fortunately, you can get some great exercise without buying a membership.

1. Walking/running in your neighborhood.

My neighborhood is pretty nice for walking. We have sidewalks, and we’re surrounded by hills, so walking just about anywhere includes a lot of uphill and downhill, including some pretty tough hills, depending on which way you go.

All you need to walk for exercise is a good pair of shoes and a place to walk. Nice weather helps, but the determined can keep it up in less than ideal weather, so long as it’s not actually dangerous weather.

It can be kind of hard to keep motivated, which is why many people find a friend to walk with. You both get exercise, and it’s harder to come up with excuses to not do it. Push each other to keep going.

2. Bicycling.

Riding your bike is another good way to go for exercise. It’s also a nice way to run the occasional quick errand.

3. YouTube videos.

There are a lot of people who have put up exercise videos on YouTube for free. The challenge here is figuring out who’s putting up good quality instructions, and who has no idea what they’re doing. Take a look at the comments and number of subscribers for a first estimate of quality, but also look at how things progress on that channel. Is it easy to tell which are the more challenging workouts as you progress?

Remember, pretty much anyone can put up a video on YouTube. Not every exercise video will be a good choice to follow.

4. Workout DVDs and Blu-Ray.

Workout DVDs have quite a range in price, depending on how comprehensive a resource you’re looking for. You can pay a couple hundred dollars for some sets, or less than $10. It depends on the kind of workout you’re looking for. Once again, be careful and take your own physical limitations into consideration, and do your best to keep proper form so you don’t injure yourself.

5. Community/recreation center fitness classes.

Many community centers offer fitness classes at a reasonable price. Check in your area to see what’s available. Some even have pools and offer swimming classes or water exercise classes.

6. Join a community team.

Many communities have sports teams for adults. I know of soccer and baseball teams in my area for adults, although I’ve never joined them.

7. Home exercise equipment.

You can get all kinds of exercise equipment for your home if you like, from simple hand weights all the way to treadmills and elliptical machines for those who want something a little more like working out at the gym. Buying your own equipment can run from a few dollars into the thousands of dollars, and so may not save money over going to the gym for a very long time. But the nice part is that you don’t have to go anywhere to work out, and it’s all on your own schedule.