Don't let a lack of money keep you from getting fit!

5 Fitness Strategies for the Extremely Tight Budget

by Sarah Jean Russell


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Getting fit doesn't have to break the bank. Here are five ways to stick to a tight budget and awaken the athlete within!

1. Sponsorships

If you are dedicated to self-growth, you may not realize it, but you could be an invaluable publicity asset for a local gym.

Map out some of the local, smaller fitness centers in your area; find an area of specialization that interests you, whether it's crossfit, Zumba, or martial arts.

Get in touch with a manager/owner at the gym. Let them know that you're looking for sponsorship from a local gym to spread the word about their services.

While you may not be able to get a whole fitness center to sponsor you, you may be able to get sponsorship from a specific trainer looking to be known as the name behind your transformation.

You may need to talk details and sort out some specifics; don't be afraid to be creative! Asking for a six-month free trial in exchange for publicity could be a great start (be prepared to volunteer for before and after photos). Come into the conversation with a variety of ideas, speak openly and honestly about your goals, and you might be surprised by who's willing to give you some support!

2. Volunteer work

If you're interested in a local 5k, a bike race, or attending classes, volunteering can not only be a ticket to free fitness, but giving back to your community will be an equally fulfilling experience.

In my area, there is a racing team that helps wheelchair bound community members participate in local races. They are always looking for volunteers to push for races and even have a training team you can get involved with to prepare. This is an amazing opportunity and offers inclusive racing to those who may otherwise not be able to participate.

You may also find fitness classes offered at a local community center nearby. Although it's not often advertised, many times you are able to exchange volunteer hours for classes.

Search the websites of your local community centers or of a group you'd like to get involved with. Many pages have contact information listed to help get the conversation started!

3. Put your search engine to work

Whether you use a meet up website, Craigslist, or social media, getting sweaty with a group of motivated people can give you the accountability to stay with a workout program!

In my area, when I search my city name and "workout group" on Facebook, I find a 6am meet up group that does outdoor circuit workouts, three evening jogging groups, and several other free fitness groups. Don't be nervous to show up for the first time! Everyone else who is there had a "first time" too, and it's a great way to meet other like-minded individuals in your local area.

Also, don't be afraid to try something new. Craigslist is full of people seeking activity partners for tennis, kayaking, dog jogging, and more!

4. Negotiate

Just like your cable service or your phone bill, gyms often run introductory offers for new members. Often with services, people negotiate a great rate after a three, six, or twelve-month introductory rate, and this can apply to your fitness membership too!

If a gym brought you in on a six-month, $9.99/month deal to start and you're approaching your six-month term, ask if you can talk about your options. Often you'll be presented with standard pricing following your intro rate, but that rate can often be negotiable.

In order to keep membership statistics high and to feed corporate demands, membership salespeople are often able to tweak the sign-on deal, especially if it's for a longer contract. What may have rolled over into a $20/month plan might be able to stay at that $9.99 rate if you're able to sign a one-year contract.



5. Help a student

If you have a nearby university or high school, odds are you have students of athletic programs in your community. If you're interested in working with a personal trainer for a great price, hanging a flyer at a local university or school weight room seeking a trainer could help a young student gain some experience! Definitely be open to offering feedback that the trainers can use for quotes on their website, social media shout-outs, and more. This can be an invaluable asset to a new trainer starting out, and it can be mutually rewarding to watch them grow.

In summary, one of the best tools you have to advocate for your own health is your voice. Don't be afraid to ask, be creative in your endeavors, and go out and get sweaty!


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