The bad news: aside from a few moderately priced, big box gyms out there, fitness services like boutique studio classes, monthly gym memberships and personal training sessions can be quite costly.
The good news: you don't have to pay for any of those things to maintain an effective exercise routine and get great workouts on a regular basis.
Whether you simply just don't have room in your budget to pay for fitness services on a regular basis or you'd rather save up that money for something else, exercise can remain a top priority in your life without ever having to shell out a dime.
Before you sign a year-long contract at the gym or fork over a few hundred bucks for a small handful of classes at that new trendy studio, consider the following ways you can workout (just as effectively) for free.
If you’re all about getting your sweat on at home, then a great group-fitness type workout is as easy as opening up YouTube and hitting play. Fitness professionals upload new follow-along workouts to their profiles every day, so you can search for and find all types of different workouts that work for you and your goals. Not to mention, many YouTube workouts focus mostly on bodyweight exercises, which means you may not even need to invest in any at-home equipment.
2. The November Project
This free fitness movement is popping up in new places all across the nation. Brothers Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric began running the stairs in Harvard Stadium as a way to stay fit through the harsh Boston winter. Through word of mouth their weekly workout quickly expanded into a group of 300 exercise enthusiasts who now congregate at various outdoor locations for early morning workouts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 a.m. In just three years November Project has spread to 16 U.S. cities and there’s even one chapter in Edmonton, Canada. Click here to find out if the program has a location near you.
3. Explore Online
If you’re into at-home type workouts but not so much a fan of following along with videos, you might find more success in downloading pre-made workouts and exercise programs from personal trainers and fitness professionals who share some their services for free online through blogs and personal websites. Find free workouts and training programs from a few of the blogs and websites below.
4. Embrace the Outdoors
Don’t forget that exercise comes in many different forms. Sometimes we forget that our favorite sports like running, walking, biking, skating, swimming and all activities in between are perfectly effective forms of exercise. Turn exercising outside into a sustainable workout routine by scheduling your weekly workouts and using resources from sport specific websites and blogs that offer different types of workouts (like interval or endurance programs) for free.
5. Get App Happy
The iTunes store is home to a handful of free health and fitness apps that offer plenty of different workout programs and exercise demos. Try Nike Training Club, Workout Trainer, or Daily Yoga.
Related: 12 Free Running Apps for iPhone