Cheap ways to get fit
Get buff on a budget
You might think you need to spend lots on fancy gym clothes and
memberships but there are many free or inexpensive ways to get
Free ways to work out
Here are some great ways to exercise which are absolutely
Laps around your local oval
Walking or jogging around your local sports oval is an easy way
to add some cardio to your exercise routine. Use a stop watch to
help track your progress and beat your personal best.
To help you stay motivated try taking a friend with you when you
exercise. It will make the time pass quicker and you'll have
someone to share the pain and the gain with.
Walk your dog
Give yourself and your dog some exercise by taking a walk around
the neighbourhood. To keep things exciting, try taking your dog to
a new location each week. Only take your dog to animal friendly
Enjoy a bushwalk
Bushwalks are a fun and different way to exercise and walking on
an incline is a great way to increase your fitness level. The paths
are usually free and easy to access.
Swim laps at your local beach
With each stroke you will engage most of the muscles in your
body. It's a refreshing way to work out outdoors. Only swim in
areas which are patrolled by lifeguards.
Fitness apps and videos
There are lots of free apps you can download using your
smartphone which explain a range of exercises you can do at home,
often without equipment. You can also watch YouTube to physically
see how to complete each exercise in practice.
Exercise with the kids
It's a great idea to set kids a regular exercise routine. To
keep things fun, grab a ball and kick it around in the backyard
with the children after school. Or consider walking to the local
shops instead of driving. Think about the area where you live and
ways to engage your kids in simple physical activities.
Getting the best gym deals
Some gyms can be expensive but if you like the environment and
go often enough they can be cost effective. It will take some
shopping around to find a gym that suits you. Start by deciding
what services you want from a gym.
Gym features to check
- Services - Child minding, showers or group
- Opening hours - Are they convenient or would
you prefer a 24 hour gym?
- Gender specific - Is it important that it is a
women's only gym?
- Contract length - How long is the contract
period and are you locked in?
- Equipment - Is the equipment what you use and
is it usually available?
How to get the best price for gym memberships
When you are shopping around for a gym don't get pressured to
sign up on the spot. Visit each gym to get an understanding of the
services they offer and if their environment is right for you. When
searching for a cost effective gym you should look out for:
- New gym opening offers
- Cheaper rates if you pay cash upfront or each time you visit
rather than direct debit
- No joining fee, or introductory offers such as getting the
first month free
- Student/senior discounts
Once you decide which gym to join always take the time to read
the contract carefully before you sign it. There are often
cancellation fees if you decide to end your membership early. You
should also always check if there is a cooling off period.
Saving money on
gym clothes and accessories
Gym clothes and accessories such as running shoes can be
expensive. Here are a few tips to help you save:
- Look for generic clothes and accessories rather than brand
- If you are after a brand name, wait until the end of each
season as prices usually drop
- Search for deals online or in-store sales
Group exercise can be cost
Exercising in a group environment can increase motivation. You
may feel inclined to exercise harder because of the supportive
Outdoor boot camps or group personal training
You can train with friends and family to make it more enjoyable
and the times and prices are often flexible. Generally you are not
locked into a contract and are able to pay per session.
Joining a sporting team can make exercise fun and players feel
valued. Most local indoor sports centres and sport clubs are keen
to get new members. Participation costs are often paid outright at
the beginning of the season and can be much cheaper than a 6 month
Case study: Taylah starts a running group
Taylah works full time and has to commute 3 hours a day to get
to and from
work. By the time she arrives home she is too tired to go to a
Because she is so busy, Taylah decided to ask her friends to
start a running club with her. This way she could stay fit and
spend time with her friends. They all agreed and now run each
Saturday and are enjoying a healthier, fitter lifestyle.
Cheap fitness tips
We asked our Facebook community
for their tips on how to stay fit on a budget. Here are some of
- Instead of meeting friends for drinks, meet at the local park
for a game of soccer
- Leave the car at home and walk or ride a bike to work
- Watch YouTube videos of group fitness classes instead of going
to the gym
- Buy a decent pair of running shoes as an investment in
- When catching the bus, get off a stop earlier
- If you're joining a gym pick one that offers equipment, classes
and access to pools, etc in the weekly fee to get a wide range of
activities and the best value for your money
Getting fit need not cost you a fortune. Finding
a free or cheap exercise option will mean a win for you as well as
Last updated: 02 Feb 2018