It’s no secret that gym memberships are expensive. It’s also no secret that many people join gyms with good intentions, but end up not going and wasting the monthly fee. You don’t have to break the bank to workout. Here are four easy and accessible ways to get a great workout on a budget.

1. Take a class

Many independent workout studios now offer pay-as-you-go classes for as little as $10 (or less) per class on the low end and as high as $25 (prices will vary by studio). You are free to drop in and try out a new class without those pesky gym memberships that require long-term commitments. Popular classes range from high-energy cardio workouts like Zumba, spinning and kickboxing to strength training classes like barre and body sculpt.

The advantage to paying as you go is that you are only paying for the class that you actually attend. Be sure to shop around in your city for the best deals and take into account the studio’s proximity to your home or work location. And be sure to try out many different types of classes in order to find one that fits you.

2. Join a community center or college/employee fitness center

Many community centers have basic gym equipment and machines and are a fraction of the price to join than traditional gyms.

Another inexpensive option is your local community college. Many have a fitness center for students, faculty and staff. You may have to enroll in a credit class and complete a certain number of workout hours to access.

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Finally, if you happen to work at a hospital, many have employee workout rooms or gyms. See what your employer offers and compare to other community options.

3. Take a walk/run

Now that spring is here, getting out of the house for a power walk or run is a winner for many who have battled a long and snowy winter. Lace up your sneakers and hit a trail or go for a hike – free of charge.

4. Get online

YouTube has a vibrant fitness community. You can find free workout videos featuring your favorite fitness gurus like Denise Austin or Jillian Michaels (try the BeFiT channel) or many everyday people start fitness channels and have workout videos that you can follow (try Sarah Fit for workout routines and healthy eating tips). There’s no need to buy DVDs – you can workout for free online!


Denene Brox is a freelance writer specializing in health, personal finance and strategies for earning extra income. Visit her Earn More. Live Well blog at 

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