If you’d love to get fit but don’t have any funds just now to join a gym or buy the latest fitness equipment, don’t despair – you can still get fit without spending money at all.


  1. Socialize over exercise. Although not exactly free, it’s often cheaper (and therefore free in a way) than meeting a friend for a coffee or a meal. Why not meet up and go swimming or ice skating instead? Or take a class together such as belly dancing or tai-chi?
  2. Student Gyms. Many schools have excellent recreation facilities, and since these types of gyms are typically funded by student fees, you may have an automatic membership once you enroll and pay these fees. Take advantage of this!
  3. Ask around. Some local authorities offer free classes and program to help promote health in the local community. Try one!
  4. Take advantage of open days at local gyms – as long as you’re strong willed enough (or poor enough) to avoid signing up for membership.
  5. Scour the web. You will often get a free selection of exercises of every type at membership sites which provide online fitness guidance. You could build up a whole routine with a little searching. Also check out government advice.[1] Though the information is generally targeted at beginners, you might find a suitable routine.
  6. Watch TV. You’ll find many exercise programs on TV these days – find a few that suit your schedule in the listings – or record for later use. If you can't find any exercise programs, learn How to Exercise While Watching TV!
  7. Exercise for a good cause. Charities often use fun activities (and sometimes really tough ones) as fund-raisers. Although it normally costs money to join, you may be able persuade a whole lot of people to sponsor you and cover your entry fee for a good cause. Plus, there's added motivation, since you don't want to let down the people or cause that you're helping.
  8. Freecycle. If you ask or keep an eye out, you may find exercise equipment or a set of weights that someone is glad to get rid of on Freecycle.org – they are the kind of things which people buy with high hopes and then the the equipment lies around gathering dust, ready for you to happily take it off their hands.
  9. Become an Opportunist. Find opportunities for exercise throughout your day. Use the stairs instead of the elevator Park a little further away than you normally would. Stretch at your desk. Hold your tummy in when waiting in line. It all counts. Do whatever you can to be more active wherever you are. It costs nothing.

Cardio Fitness

  1. Walk everywhere within a reasonable distance. You save money on gas, and also save wear and tear on your vehicle. And you might save parking charges and/or cab, bus or subway fares. All you need are comfortable shoes (take your dressier shoes with you if necessary) and walk, walk, walk. Pick up the pace as you get fitter to make those short journeys even quicker and smile at all the traffic traveling bumper to bumper in the rush hour. If there’s nowhere suitable to walk in your area try mall walking (but don’t get tempted to buy stuff!)
    • Make use of what you can find locally and save travel costs too. You can walk in local beauty spots such as hills and beaches – you’ll often find nature trails already marked out for you.
  2. Cycle. If you have a little further to go and access to a bike, try cycling – it’s a great way to get about – just make sure you have all the safety gear you need and take care on the road. Of course, if you have to buy a bike and safety gear, this one isn’t free for you, but how many of us have these things at home and rarely use them? If you use a bike instead of forking out for transport costs, then you might find this way of getting fit actually works out as better than free – it will save you money.
  3. Run. If you already have good running shoes you can start a running program, train for a race or marathon. If you don’t have (or can’t afford) good shoes, give this one a miss as you’ll damage your joints running without them.
  4. Play. Take the kids to run around in the park (or a game of football or baseball) and JOIN IN instead of watching them. If you don’t have any kids, then you probably know a parent or two who would welcome a break while you take their kids to run off steam. Flying a kite is great fun too and good exercise especially if you climb a hill to reach the best spot. Then there are obstacle courses, den building, apple bobbing, leap frog, puddle jumping, treasure hunts and welly wanging.
  5. Hang out with man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Take the dog out for exercise twice a day and run about too, instead of just throwing a ball to fetch. If you don’t have a dog, offer to walk your neighbor’s dog for free. Who knew Fido could offer all these opportunities for exercise?
  6. Step it up. Use the bottom stair of a flight of stairs in your house as a step and step up and down to music. Or run up and down the whole flight. You can try this in an apartment or office building too (as long as your neighbors/coworkers don’t mind).
  7. Borrow a selection of fitness DVDs from you local library or a friend and follow them at home (or get out those you have lurking in the closet, basement or garage from the days when leg warmers were in fashion for the first time). If you’re already a member of a subscription DVD club, you can always choose a fitness DVD as one of your selections and change it each month when you get bored with it.
  8. Jump rope in your garage, living room or back yard using an old piece of rope or clothesline (if you don't already have a jump rope).
  9. Dance. Play music and dance the night (or day) away. You can try out your best moves with nobody watching and pretend you’re Madonna. Look up instructional videos on the web for various, upbeat ballroom dances like salsa and swing.
  10. Clean up. Clean your place from top to bottom once a week for a vigorous workout. In fact, you can burn 50,000 calories a year (that’s 14lbs of fat) just from cleaning up![2]
  11. Dig for victory. If you have a yard, get your garden in shape while you get in shape yourself.
  12. Get fit while making a contribution – you’ll feel great in more ways than one. Join a conservation project where there are usually plenty of activities to get involved in such as cleaning beaches, clearing overgrown beauty spots, planting trees, building walls, etc. Or join a volunteer project for a disadvantaged group where there’s always something to be done. It's a great way of making friends, too.
  13. Exercise in the bedroom. Sex burns about 4 calories a minute and promotes health[3] if you do it safely.

Strength Training

  1. Isometric Exercises. You can tone up and build strength without any equipment at all – just using the weight of your body. Isometrics exercises involve contracting your muscles without actually moving. For example, you can stand right in front of a wall with your back against it and with your arms straight. Push your arms against the wall behind you.[4] You'll feel your muscles contracting, but your arm itself won't have actually moved because the wall is in the way.
  2. Callanetics. Callanetics has been around a long time though it is not that well known. It tones up your muscles at a very deep level using tiny ultra-slow motion pulsing movements without using equipment (other than a chair or makeshift barre).[5] Look Callenetics videos online or see if you can borrow a Callanetics book or DVD from your local library.
  3. Pilates is another great exercise system which you can do without equipment to tone and strengthen your muscles and which is highly respected.
  4. Look for free weights in your kitchen. Use the equipment you already have at home as small hand-weights. You can use soup cans (still with contents intact!) or water bottles (filled with water or sand). You can use these for any exercises where you would usually use small hand weights. If you use water bottles, start with water and then as you get stronger, you can progress to sand and then maybe to small pebbles or coins. Another alternative for kitchen hand-weights are those plastic milk or orange juice jugs filled with water. They are great because they have a handle to hold.
  5. Do push-ups. It'll help you build muscles in your arms and chest when done properly.
  6. Improve your grip. Don’t buy an expensive hand grip trainer – squeeze a rubber ball or tennis ball as hard as you can instead.


  1. Yoga. Borrow a yoga DVD from your library or use information available for free online and practice the movements every day. You’ll build strength along with becoming more flexible.
  2. Simple stretching. Stretching correctly will increase your flexibility, and reduce the risk of injuries caused by lesions of the connective tissues (such as the periosteum) and other nasty things.

James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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