Fitness should be accessible to everyone and in recent years free (or inexpensive) at-home fitness has been on the uptick. When gyms and fitness studios shut their doors due to the pandemic, many trainers and fitness experts pivoted to sharing their expertise online.
Affordable fitness means finding at-home workouts that won’t break the bank — and luckily, there are plenty of workouts for you to try. You can also find low-cost ways to track your fitness, like using a calendar, spreadsheet, or even making a one-time investment in a ZOZOSUIT.
Most of the exercises listed below can be done with no equipment or minimal equipment. If you do need equipment, then you can often substitute things like dumbbells or yoga blocks for common household items.
Running and Walking
Running and walking are the most affordable workouts. If you have a pair of sneakers, you can run and walk! Go outside and enjoy your neighborhood, the hustle and bustle of your city, or the rolling pastures of the country.
Running and walking are great cardio and can be done anywhere. This is an incredibly low-cost option and often a great starting point for people who are just getting into fitness. It’s also easy to scale up running — just go longer distances!
If you need some assistance with your training consider creating a personalized training plan or search for couch-to-5k type programs. Your plans may also help you stay focused and motivated.
You really don’t need any equipment for yoga except a mat (or a mat substitute). Yoga became an exercise choice for many during the pandemic because it’s inexpensive and there is also a wealth of resources available online for free.
If you’re looking to build lean muscle while also working on balance and flexibility, as well as improve your mental health, then yoga is a great option. There are also a wealth of yoga resources online if you’re new to the practice or just want some guidance.
If you’re looking to build muscle in your arms, legs, abs (and everywhere in between), then weight training might be for you! This type of exercise — like the others — can improve your mental health, and also help increase bone density.
When you start out, bodyweight exercises on a beach towel or old yoga mat will help you build a base of strength and get to know your body better. There exists a wealth of resources online for bodyweight exercises — just do a quick search to find one that works for you.
Looking to increase weight, but not ready to buy a gym membership or invest in home workout equipment? You can easily improvise using what you have around the house. Take a look at our list of equipment substitutions for home workouts.
Increasing your fitness will be a breeze if you pick up cycling. You don’t need a fancy $1000 (or more) bike — just something with two working wheels!
Like running, you can just start with cycling. Begin with rides around the neighborhood and then increase your distances. Like with running, create a workout plan that works for you and supplement your cycling with some light jogging or weight training.
If you don’t have a bike or would like a new one, you can find used bikes from brands like Trek and Specialized for great prices on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Many bike stores also sell used bikes for a fraction of the cost as their new counterparts.
Equipment Substitutions for Your Home Workouts
Working out does not have to be expensive — and it shouldn’t especially if you’re just starting out. Before you get started, look around your house for common items and see if you have any substitutions.
Exercise Mat or Yoga Mat
An important thing you’ll learn when doing at home workouts is that you’ll want to protect your body from the itchy carpet and hard floors. The best way to do this is purchase an exercise mat. You can find inexpensive ones (think $20) on Amazon and stores like Target.
Not ready to purchase an exercise mat? Consider using an old yoga mat (it may not have as much cushion but it will do the job) or even a beach towel to lay down on the floor.
For yoga, if you’re ready to buy a mat, you can find them at a similar price point to an exercise mat (about $20) or use an old beach towel. Be cautious when using an exercise mat for yoga; they’re often too cushy and can make it difficult to balance in certain yoga poses.
Yoga blocks can be useful for many things — not just yoga. In yoga and strength workouts, they can “bring the floor to you” allowing you to be more comfortable when exercising.
If you don’t have yoga blocks, using large hardback books is a popular alternative. You might also try blocks of finished wood (though make sure they are smooth so you won’t get splinters)!
Resistance Bands and Exercise Straps
Resistance bands are a very useful tool.
If you’ve ever had to go to physical therapy, it’s likely you have a few laying around your house. Otherwise, you can purchase them for under $20.
Exercise straps are also relatively cheap, but if you want to save money, you can use a towel (rolled up long) or a belt!
Don’t have dumbbells? No problem!
Instead of dumbbells try using bottles or gallon containers filled with water, heavy books, or canned food items. Another alternative is to focus on body weight exercises and then purchase cheap dumbbells (under $20) when you’re ready to scale up.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Regardless of how you choose to keep fit at home, it’s important to track your progress.
Order your ZOZOSUIT and then with the ZOZOFIT app you can track your body measurements and body fat percentage. Keep up with your fitness and you’ll be sure to see results.