by Karen Hoxmeier (Guest Contributor)

Losing weight, getting in shape or ramping up your exercise routine doesn’t have to be a drain on your bank account or require an expensive gym membership. In fact, some of the best ways to get fit are absolutely free!

  1. YouTube fitness channels are free and can be accessed anywhere you have an Internet connection. Whether you’re into yoga, Pilates, aerobics, or kickboxing, you’re sure to find something on YouTube to help you get moving.
  1. Amazon Prime members can access to over 1,000 exercise videos that are included with their membership.
  1. Get outside! Walk, jog, run, hike, bike. Take your dog, take your kids, take your spouse, or take a friend. In addition to some getting some cardio, being outdoors helps ward off depression, can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost your energy, just to name a few of the perks.
  1. We all know the recipe for success is to move more and eat less, but it can be hard to stay motivated if you’re going it alone. Use Meetup to find an exercise group near you. Sometimes all we need is a little companionship and accountability to stay the course.
  1. If you’re digitally motivated, a free fitness app might be right for you. Runtastic by adidas offers easy run tracking in real time with built-in GPS and progress tracking. 7 Minute Workout is available for Apple devices and offers a free workout plan that gives you a full-body challenge aimed at improving fitness and weight loss.
  1. Seek out free fitness events in your city at Eventbrite. I did a quick search and found over 150 in my area alone!
  1. Exercise on your commute. If you live close enough, consider walking or biking to work. In addition to getting a workout, you’ll also save money on gas or public transportation.
  1. Take on the 30-day Gym-Free Fitness Challenge at Thrillist. It consists of an initial assessment and 30 equipment-free workouts designed to hit all the strength, cardio, and flexibility guidelines suggested by the American College of Sports Medicine. Best of all, it’s totally free!
  1. Household chores can provide some of the best workouts. I found that out quickly when I moved to Colorado and had to start shoveling snow! Gardening, cleaning windows, painting, and even vacuuming can help you burn calories. 
  1.  Volunteer to coach kids sports. Love playing softball or soccer as a kid? Get back in the game! Youth sports leagues are usually understaffed and in need of coaches. Share your love of the game with the next generation and get fit running drills with the kiddos.
  1.  Over 65? Silver Sneakers is a health and fitness program designed for adults 65+ that’s included with many Medicare Plans. From national gyms to local community centers, there are more participating fitness locations available in the U.S. to SilverSneakers members than there are Starbucks!
  1.  If you have space in your home for exercise equipment, join your local Freecycle group or scope out Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or Letgo for free or cheap fitness gear.

With some creativity, you can find lots of ways to exercise for little or no money. This is one of the few things in life where “you get what you pay for” simply does not apply.

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Karen Hoxmeier is a mom of three and an avid bargain hunter. She runs the blog, MyBargainBuddy.com, which features deals, coupons, and freebies, as well as hacks on getting the most for your money.