Low Cost Workout Options

It seems that one major barrier to working out is price.  It's sad, but true.  Working out can actually be expensive these days.  Depending on what you like to do you might need to buy a bunch of equipment, pay membership fees at a gym or club or pay for classes.  It can be a real crunch.   But there are options that don't cost a lot of money.  Here are five low cost, easily adopted workouts.

Running

Running will find it's way to the top of just about any low cost workout list.  The only extra item it takes is a pair of running shoes (though that's debatable).  After that, you're ready to get started.  If you're new to running, start with shorter distances such as one or two miles, or walk that distance and throw in spurts of jogging until you work your way up to a continuous jog.  

The great thing about running is that you can get some really varied workouts by switching up your pace and distance.  Try short sprints for speed workouts and long jogs for endurance and recovery type of workouts.

Body Weight Workouts

Some people would rather be able to do resistance type of workouts and for these you can always do some time tested body weight workouts such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, dips, squats and walking lunges.  You'll need to find something strong to hang on for pull-ups, but that could be as simple as a tree branch, it helps to have a chair for dips and if you'd like to add weight for squats you can buy a 60lb bag of sand for about $20.    Beyond that, you can create a really tough full body workout out of these simple exercises.  

Try doing push-ups; dips and squats one day, and pull-ups; sit ups and walking lunges for your next workout.  You could do this three times for week, doing pushups, pull ups and dips in sets of 10 reps.  Try to get up to 100 reps.  If you get tired from the pull ups, try switching in chin ups.  Try to do 50 squats at one time, if you are using body weight (less if using weights), and 200 meters of walking lunges, doing at least four sets of each.  For sit ups, do as many as you can in one minute.  Try to hit this number each time.  

Basketball

Basketball has a very low barrier-to-entry.  You need a ball, a hoop and some friends (preferably).  If you live anywhere near a school or somewhere in the city this should be no problem.  Many schools have hoops set up outside for people to use and courts are often set up around cities for general purpose use.  This has the added benefit of being a team sport (most of the time), so it's a great way to get some exercise and hang out with your friends.  

Soccer

Similarly, soccer pretty much only requires a ball, and it's best with some friends.  You can improvise a net any way you want.  It could be a trash can, two shoes, a tree that you have to hit or a chalk drawing on the side of a building.  You don't even really need a net.  You could play that you get a point for every five passes in a row that your team gets.  Like basketball, it'll get you running hard, it's a fun game and you can get some exercise while hanging out with friends.  

Dog Walking

This may sound a little rediculous, but walking is a great way for people to exercise.  It will get you out and moving similar to running, but is not quite as strenuous on your body.  What better way to walk than to get out with a dog.  Of course, that means you need a dog.  I'm not saying get a dog just so you can walk it.  Owning a dog is a big decision.  But you do have options outside of adopting a new family member.  Some friends might love it if you wanted to walk their dog a few times a week.  If not, then you can check with a local animal shelter.  If they have a lot of dogs, they probably look for volunteers to walk them every now and then.  And, for the enterprising types, you could even make some money off of this by starting your own dog walking business.