How to Start a Frugal Exercise Routine This Year


You don't need to shell out a hundred bucks on a FitBit or join a gym to get some exercise. Here's how to start a frugal exercise routine on the cheap.If you’re into making resolutions for the new year, odds are you’ve decided to lose a little weight or start an exercise routine to stay healthy. That’s a great goal to have!

The problem is, many people don’t have the spare money or space at home to install a home gym. It’s also pretty expensive to get a gym membership, and that idea may be unsavory to you anyway if it feels like a meat market every time you walk in the door.

I’m not fond of exercising around so many other people, and I don’t want to worry about people watching me. So what are you to do if you don’t have the space for a home gym or the money (or desire) to join a gym?

Here are my tips on how to start a frugal exercise routine for 2016.

You Tube Workout Videos

Now that it’s winter, it can be a little harder to get outside to exercise. The cold wind and snow aren’t very good incentives to keep up with New Year’s resolution to stay active.

Luckily, no matter what kind of workout you want to do, there’s a YouTube video for that! You can try yoga, tai chi, dancing, kickboxing, Zumba, and even Jazzercise if that’s what you’re into.

I even know of a popular personal finance blogger who lost over 100 pounds by watching You Tube workout videos and eating well. His story was so inspiring to me, and it’s proof that it’s a great way to work out and that it works!

Another great resource for workout videos is your local library. I use mine often to try out new videos that I’m not sure I’m ready to purchase.

Get Active With Your Kids

How often do you tell your kids that you don’t have time to play basketball or run outside with them when they ask you to join? I know I’m guilty of doing that numerous times.

This year, start a resolution to go outside to play with them anytime they ask, or at least few times a week.

This option has a twofold bonus: you get to easily fit your workout into your day while spending some quality time with your kids at the same time. And you’ll probably have fun with it, too.

Ride bikes, build ramps for scooters or walk/run through the neighborhood with them. Dust off those old rollerblades you had in the 90s and show off your skills to your kids. (They’ll be so impressed!)

Take them to the park and jump on the swings and slides with them (just don’t take out any toddlers while you’re there). Bike around a nature trail for fun with the family or take a hike if it’s warm out.

Play kickball, soccer, or badminton. For little ones, swing them around and if they ask you to, carry them around as they pretend to play Superman, and play a game of hopscotch. If it gets your heart rate up, it counts as exercise.

Looking for ways to stay active this year? Try chasing your kids around or cleaning! Click To Tweet

Two Birds, One Stone – Clean Like Crazy

I don’t know about you, but one of my least favorite things to do is clean. I keep a pretty decent house, but it’s not because I love to clean.

Between picking up after myself, a preschooler, a husband, and two dogs, I got so tired of it that at one point, I hired a housecleaner a couple of years ago while I was still working at my full-time job…and I’m a frugal person! That’s how much I hate cleaning.

You know what else I’m not exactly crazy about? Exercising. That’s why this option is my favorite workout of choice, because I get to kill two birds with one stone — workout and clean at the same time. May as well get them both over with together!

When I clean, I try to do it quickly so that I can move onto something a little more fun. When I’m vacuuming, mopping, or scrubbing my grimy tubs or baseboards, my heart rate goes up and I start sweating because I’m actually working hard. It’s a legitimate cardio workout.

Coach a Sport

Another great way to get in a little exercise is to coach a sport for kids. If your kids are into the same sports you love, volunteer to be the coach.

As you’re teaching them new skills, you’ll become active right alongside them as you run around the field, catch a ball, swing a bat, or dribble a basketball.

It’s also a great way to encourage your children to pursue their hobbies and instill confidence in them, encourage team work, give back to your community, and meet other like-minded active families, all of which are added bonuses.

If you don’t have kids, you can still get involved. My brother, for instance, doesn’t have kids, but he enjoyed playing baseball so much when he was younger that he now coaches a Little League team in his spare time.

Get active this year by becoming a coach for a kid's team or finding a workout buddy! Click To Tweet

You Don’t Need a FitBit

Since this is an article about frugality, I think it’s worth mentioning that you don’t actually need to purchase a FitBit like everyone else in America to get a decent workout.

While it may help you track your heart rate and steps, it’s not going to actually push your butt up off the couch or force you to put down that bag of Oreos.

I don’t own a FitBit myself because they’re expensive, and I’ve never been one to follow fads. I know my body, and I can tell when I need to get up and exercise a little more or when my heart rate is up.

There’s no reason to spend upwards of $100 on a fancy piece of workout gear that wasn’t even necessary a couple of years ago (and one that will eventually go out of style when the next workout fad comes along).

Don’t follow workout fads. They’re expensive and only designed to get you to part with your money.

Don’t Forget to Find a Workout Buddy

Sticking with your workout routine won’t be so hard once it becomes a habit. After working out continually for a few weeks, your body will feel better, and you’ll notice when you miss a few workout sessions.

A great way to stay on track is to find a buddy who can work out with you, which is what I did with a neighbor of mine. When you have someone who expects you to show up to workout day in and day out, you’re more likely to stick with your routine so you don’t let someone else down.

You do the same for them. It’s kind of like peer pressure, but in a good way. Find a workout buddy, pick your favorite frugal workout regimen, and enjoy the healthier feeling of your body…and your wallet in the new year. Good luck!

What’s your favorite frugal workout routine? Do you enjoy doing cardio while cleaning or chasing after your kids? Am I the only one left who doesn’t own a FitBit?