Getting fit is possible on a limited budget

Getting Fit

by Julie Cazier

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All of us are working with a budget, but some budgets are just a lot bigger than others. Don't let limited finances be an excuse for putting off a fitness program. There are a lot of things you can do today to get started getting fit, without spending a dime!

  1. Workout in your pajamas, your shorts, or your swimsuit. Anything you can move freely in is fine. Cute exercise outfits are fun, but not necessary for getting fit.

  2. Borrow exercise videos from the library. If you have Internet access at home, many sites such as YouTube have workouts that you can do for free.

  3. Join God's gym. In other words, get outside and enjoy nature while taking a brisk walk or jog. Doesn't cost a thing and really clears your head.

  4. Soup cans make great weights and so do books. Use a towel for an exercise mat. Your belt can substitute for a yoga strap. Be creative and use what you have.

  5. Learn to recognize portion sizes by sight. Although food scales are convenient, you can do a pretty good job estimating portions by sight if necessary. Many dieting websites have information about comparing a food serving size to a familiar object, like a baseball or a deck of cards, making it a cinch to estimate.

  6. Let your friends know what you want. Many people have dusty exercise equipment cluttering up their garages and attics. Tell people about your fitness plans. You might end up borrowing or even owning some great exercise equipment for free!

  7. Take advantage of free gym days. Many workout clubs and gyms have promotions that include a free trial membership. Check it out. Don't spend the money to join until you know it is something you like.

  8. Cook from scratch. Those pretty, frozen diet meals are tempting and expensive. Find a couple of great recipes that meet your dietary goals. Spend a couple of hours cooking, and then freeze your bounty in serving-sized portions. You will save so much money and have complete control over ingredients!

  9. Play with your kids. Walk the dog. Don't be a spectator anymore. Your kids (or dog!) will love that you are so fun and active, and you burn calories at the same time.

  10. Shop second hand, at least until you are near your goal weight. Don't worry about replacing your entire wardrobe yet, just have a few things to see you through. I changed a size every 10 pounds. Thrift stores helped me fund my wardrobe while I was on my way to my goal weight. Many thrift stores have "free" bins that you can sift through. Don't let the cost of new clothes stop you from getting in shape!

Don't let a lack of funds get in your way of getting fit and reaching your goals. The feeling of accomplishment as you get fit and healthy is priceless!

Julie Cazier is a happily married, busy mom of seven. She's keeping the weight off while balancing a large family, a frugal lifestyle, and a hobby farm. Follow her blog at

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