The Broke Girl’s Guide to Exercising

Read on to see all the creative ways you can stay fit while maintaining the budget you have set for yourself.


*Courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness

When you’re on a budget you have to get creative with your spending habits, and signing up for a pricey gym or class membership is definitely not on your list of splurges. For those who still want to exercise, however, there are inexpensive ways to try that new cycling class you’ve been obsessing over or that CrossFit workout everyone’s talking about. And yes, you can definitely work toward that Beyoncé body without spending an insane amount of money on a personal trainer. Read on to see all the creative ways you can stay fit while maintaining the budget you have set for yourself.

1. Search for studios that offer a free first class. Often small studios will let guests take the first class for free. Interested in cycling classes? Do a quick search in your neighborhood and you’ll come across places like Peloton, where riders ride for free their first time. If you’re a yogi, check out Yoga to the People. With various locations in cities like San Francisco and New York, this spot is great for those who want to pop in for a quick class. The suggested donation method lets yoga-lovers pay anywhere from $1 to $10, which is a steal (and practically free).

2. Start a running or hiking club. As the weather gets warmer, opt for a run or hike with a friend. You can go at your own pace, and sweating it out with a BFF is always more fun than working out alone.

3. Go swimming at the beach or outdoor pool. Summer is the perfect time to do outdoor activities like swimming. Take a dip in a friend’s pool or head to the nearest beach for a swim. You won’t even feel like you’re exercising.

4. Sign up for free gym passes. Crunch, David Barton, Equinox, and Gold’s Gym all offer three- to seven-day free passes to guests. If you don’t want to commit to one gym spot, these free passes are your jackpot. You can also strategically plan which gyms to visit using the free passes, which adds up to almost a free month of exercising.

5. Try ClassPass. Can’t decide whether you want to do Pilates, yoga, strength training, or cycling? ClassPass is your go-to for trying out thousands of classes for a monthly fee ($79-$99). Instead of signing up for classes or gyms you dread going to, sign up for ClassPass for a variety of exercise options.

6. Search for fitness videos on YouTube. YouTube channels let you work out in the comfort of your own home. Without spending any money, you can exercise alongside top-notch trainers Jillian Michaels, Kym Johnson, and Denise Austin on BeFit. If you crave a more scenic workout, Tone It Up will make you feel like you’re at the beach. Invite friends over for a group workout, and then reward yourselves with sweet post-workout snacks that replenish energy and rebuild muscles.

7. Check out fitness websites with free trials. Pilatesology and YogaGlo offer free 10- to 15-day free trials. You can stream the classes online, which is perfect for those who are always on the go or hate the gym. The virtual classes allow you to work out anywhere, anytime.

8. Attend local free fitness events. Facebook is surprisingly a great place to find free fitness events — outdoor yoga, anyone? — in your area. Go to your events tab and scroll down to Events Popular in Your Network and Popular Events Nearby. You can even check out which events your friends will be attending.

9. Search Groupon and LivingSocial for gym deals. No need to splurge on an expensive gym membership. Groupon and LivingSocial offer the most comprehensive discounts for all your fitness needs, from CrossFit to Zumba to personal trainers.

10. Play sports at public courts. Take advantage of free outdoor basketball or tennis courts in the summertime. Organize a game among a group of friends, or head to the courts yourself to meet new people.

11. Walk dogs for adoption shelters. It’s not even exercise if you get to play with a fluffy puppy, right? Most shelters are in need of volunteers to walk their dogs, and places like the ASPCA only require eight hours per month as a time commitment.