I cannot afford a gym. Should I even bother to workout?

Absolutely! We encourage a minimum of 30 minutes of activity 5 days per week. Walking/jogging is great activity and you can do it anywhere. Some of my favorite exercises are bodyweight exercises! You can make a circuit of a few exercises to perform and get in a great workout!  Here is an example:

Plank, Bridge, push-up, lunge to balance, mountain climbers, rest and repeat! 

Also, you can invest in things like a stability ball and a couple different resistance bands to increases the exercises you can do. 

As a mother of a toddler, I have even used him as resistance. So for example, I can do a squat to shoulder press with him. I will hold him facing me under his armpits squat and when I stand up I press him up! He thinks it is great and always wants to do more! And let me tell you at 35 lbs it can be a great workout. We make daily trips to the park also…one of our favorite activities is running the bases on the baseball field. So you absolutely do not need a gym to work out! Good luck!

Yes! It is imperative to be physically active. There are many ways to be active including house work, yard work, walking the dog (or someone else’s that may need a hand), washing the car, biking, or just walking around a nice park or your neighborhood. The problem for most people is that they eat too much and move very little at all. This is a recipe for health disaster. Find something you can do every day to challenge yourself. You can use your body weight for calisthenics, push-ups, dips, lunges, and squats, or use cheap tubing in place of complicated cable machines. Get creative. The key is to do something, anything. Also keep in mind that accumulated activity counts. If you have a hard time committing to a 30-minute exercise bout, three 10-minute mini sessions are as productive.
Darren Treasure, PhD
Sports Medicine

You don't have to join a gym to get moving and active. Review your current schedule and find ways and times when you can increase your activity levels.  For example, hit the stairs at work, power walk when you are at the mall, park 2 minutes walk away from your office or the mall. 

Remember that your children need to be active too – get them out of the house and moving with you. 

Perhaps the single most important act to help you become active is to find time for yourself. If you are a stay at home Mom get your spouse or partner to look after the kids when he home so you can go for a walk. Look to workout at home while your smaller children are napping, i.e., exercise bike, fitness DVD

Create your own at home workout routine. Jumping jacks, pushups, sit-ups, leg lifts, squats, and running in place are all exercises that can be completed at home at no cost. Throw in some light lifting using cans of peas or bottles of washing detergent and you are well on your way to creating a great whole body workout.

In these hard times people are always cutting back and the gym membership is no exception.  However, you don't need a gym membership to stay healthy.  There are many things you can do around the house or even at your local park to stay active and still see healthy results for your body.  Running, walking or even swimming can give you get cardiovascular results for your heart and lungs.  There are many things you can do for weight training without a gym.  There are many bodyweight you can do at your home or even at the local park.  You can go far as using your can food products or water jugs to use as weights to get a great workout in.  As time goes on and if money is available you can get some great home equipment for around $100 for your whole body.  As the saying goes around here "Move it and Lose it".

Ironically most people, particularly new to exercise don't even like what's offered in a gym environment. Strength machines and treadmills are not that appealing to a majority of the population. What's even more ironic is that even though a majority of the population does not like what's offered in a gym environment they feel they must go to a gym in order to lose weight and get healthy; which is one reason many of those people drop out and struggle with an exercise routine. 

The key is to find something you do like. For example, in a conversation with a client she remembered that she loved dancing but didn't think of dancing as exercise. Dancing is a form of exercise, this client didn't need to go to a gym to dance and dancing provided her fun and socialization. 


You don't need a gym membership to workout so you should definitely consider finding fitness a routine that works for you. While a gym may offer an assortment of equipment to aid in your workout, there are many activities you can do that require little to no equipment and cost very little or are free. Walking is probably one of the easiest fitness activities you can do without spending any money and can be a great boost to your cardiovascular health. Fitness DVDs are another way to get a great cardio workout and you can do them at home. DVDs can be purchased at a variety of stores or your local library may even have fitness titles available to borrow. A pair of hand weights or a set of resistance bands are other relatively inexpensive items that can really help you with the strength training portion of your routine. Many cities have used sporting good stores which can be a huge help if you feel like you need exercise equipment to workout but are on a tight budget.

You do not need to be a gym member to be fit. Aside from affordability, some people simply are not comfortable in a gym environment. Gyms may offer multiple pieces of equipment, but you really don't need fancy equipment to build muscle, increase cardiovascular endurance, or get lean and strong. Here are just a few suggestions for getting active outside the gym.

Get moving! Some of the best workouts are the activities that you enjoy the most; dancing, hiking, jogging, walking, biking, playing Frisbee, etc. A good pair of shoes is all you need.

Use your own body weight to workout. Squats, lunges, planks, dips, and calve raises are just a few of the multitude of exercises you can do without any equipment at all. Pushups aren't just to build a big chest; they are a perfect total body exercise to work your core, arms, chest and all-over strength. There is no shame in doing pushups on your knees either!

Invest in a simple but inexpensive 'home gym' and keep it simple! The equipment I recommend most to my clients are a stability ball, a set of resistance bands and a foam roller. The total cost of these three items may set you back about the cost of one month at a gym, but the exercises you can do with these three pieces of equipment are limitless and extremely effective. If resistance bands aren't your style and you are able to invest a little more, add a set of light, medium and heavy dumbbells.

Virtual personal training through Sharecare is an affordable and beneficial option. Personal training is important whether you were a high school track star, or if you are new to the world of fitness. Certified Personal Trainers have the expertise to help you with proper form, to create fitness programs for your needs and goals, and to be an accountability partner to keep you motivated and help you stick with it. While personal training at a gym can be a significant investment, virtual personal training provides you with an online coach at an affordable rate, while you work out in your own home.

Remember, you don't need a gym membership to get fit, just be active, do what you love, keep it simple and get moving!

Of course!  Walking, hiking, bike riding, or recreational sports can provide a great workout.  If being outdoors isn't your thing, walk the stairs at work, do pushups and wall sits at home, or create your own aerobics workout with jumping jacks.  So many options and so many benefits!

If you could not afford to eat at Red Lobsters everyday, would you not bother to eat? Just because you can't get to the gym does not mean there are not other options. I tell people all the time that the lack of being able to go to the gym is no excuse for not working out because if you have a body, you have a gym. There are several different body weight exercises both beginner and advanced that can be done.

These can be done at home or on the go. With body weight exercises, wherever you go, your gym goes with you!  That is the good thing about it.

You can do things such as walk, run, hike, swim or play any type of sport just for the fun of it. Body weight exercises such as push ups, sit ups, squats, lunges and pull ups all work wonders for strengthening the body. Don't give up on your body just because your pockets can't handle it.

Sue Hitzmann

You don't need to go to a gym to exercise. The answer is yes, you should workout even if you can’t afford gym fees. You should exercise or move in some way every day for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. The benefits for your overall health are tangible. The basic rule of thumb is get your heart rate up to a place where you physically feel a difference in your breathing. You don't have to get out of breath, just sense the work and try to continue that for 30 minutes. It's a great place to start your fitness routine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.