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15 Ways to Save Money and Exercise Frugally

1. Skip the gym.

One of the biggest costs for many people is the cost of a gym membership. It's not always worth the cost, especially since many gyms are a complete rip off and overcharge their customers, but it will motivate you to work out if you get into the routine of going to the gym daily. If you don't lack for motivation then you can work out by yourself at home, or at a community pool, or on a track or trail, you don't need to pay the monthly gym fee. Cancel your membership and use one of the options below. (Just remember to MAKE SURE it is actually cancelled. Many gyms keep charging people for months after the cancellation and its very difficult to get your money back once they've stolen it from your credit card / bank account.)

2. Cheap home equipment.

Do you really need an expensive home workout machine? No! The possibilities are endless, but some favourites include getting a barbell or a couple of dumbbells. With either of these, you can do a very complete, full-body workout. Or try jumping rope, or using a medicine ball, or a stability ball, or stretchable bands, or a chin-up bar that you can install in a doorway.

3. Walk.

Walking is free. You don't even need shoes (although you will probably want comfortable shoes) or fancy workout clothes (again, find some comfortable clothes already in your closet). Find a school track or a nice park, and you're all set to walk, jog or run to your heart's content.

4. Run.

Running can be expensive if you buy a lot of gadgets such as a heart rate monitor and other similar items. But really all you need is a good pair of shoes. Other than that, you can run anywhere anywhere near your home and get a good workout.

5. Swim.

If you have to pay to use a swimming pool, this isn't a frugal option. But you might live near a beach or a lake, where you can swim for free, or there might be a community pool near you for very cheap. And swimming is one of the best workouts there is. (Note: The YMCA is also available, but you'd be surprised how expensive it is.)

6. Even cheaper home equipment.

Don't have the cash for some dumbbells or medicine ball? Use stuff you already have. A stairway can give you a free step workout. Old paint cans can be weights. A sturdy tree limb can be a chin-up bar. Be creative. Or, alternatively, you probably know 10 people who have exercise equipment they're not using (it's extremely common) — ask them if they'd let you borrow them for free.

Failing that, go on Craigslist and shop for barely used bargains.

7. Sports.

Play basketball with some friends, or go outside and play soccer with your kids, or join a local league. The key is to get active. Archery is more expensive to get into, as is boxing (and not recommended with a boxing instructor) and tennis. But street hockey is relatively cheap, as is many other amateur sports which require almost no equipment.

8. Free fitness info.

Instead of buying a bunch of books and picking up a magazine every time you go to the store, visit the library or surf the web for some free exercise info. You are reading some right now.

9. Cheap workout fuel.

Instead of buying expensive workout supplements, you can just use what you normally have in the house. A great post-workout drink, for example, is chocolate milk: it has protein and carbs, which is really what you want after a workout. Other good sources of protein include eggs, low-fat yogurt, soy protein, and nuts. Check out Vegan websites for high protein recipes.

10. Bodyweight exercises and pliometrics.

Another great free workout that doesn't require any equipment is bodyweight exercises: pushups, chair dips, crunches, Hindu squats, Hindu pushups, lunges, squats and many more. Also try pliometrics, which can help you burn tons of calories.

11. Use the stairs.

If you work in a tall building, use the stairs every day instead of the elevator. Over the course of a month, you could burn a few pounds of calories.

12. Converse or contemplate.

Instead of buying an MP3 player to keep your mind company while walking or running, try free alternatives: conversation with a partner or contemplation while you're alone. They're actually very calming and worth giving a try.

13. Get an exercise partner.

Look for exercise buddies on Craigslist so you can go jogging and do other exercise activities together. Its cheaper than a personal trainer and well worth having a new friend with similar interests.

14. Invent your own exercise routine.

Write it down, post it on the wall near your TV / computer and on your fridge as a reminder to exercise while watching TV. Do jumping jacks while the water for your coffee boils.

Example: 5 x 20 PUSH UPS, 5 X 100 JUMPING JACKS, 100 BICEP CURLS (USING AN OBJECT AS A WEIGHT), 2 X 100 SITUPS.

Do this daily and it will make a difference.

15. Have sex more often.

Nothing gets the heart pumping more than a rigorous workout in the bedroom. Try some of the more difficult positions and tire yourself out. Huzzah!

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