In today’s economy, we are all looking for ways to save a little. However, staying fit is crucial to our health so this may not be the best place to skimp. Is there a way in which you can be both frugal and stay fit?
Since moving to my new apartment I’ve been working out with less equipment than ever before. This was not so easy for me because for the greater part of the past 13 years, I’ve been a member of a gym. I used to train there a few times a week and I made heavy use of the variety of equipment which gyms offer.
In a way, I was a gym addict until I moved to a new country (the Netherlands). I just couldn’t find a gym here that I liked. At least not one which has a normal membership price, so I had to start doing home workouts with a lot less equipment than what I was used to.
At first, I feared that my workouts would suffer dramatically. Then, I decided I wasn’t going to wallow in my misery and set out to see what I could do about training properly in these new conditions.
Once I put my mind to it, I found that I could do fantastic home workouts and that I don’t need the gym to stay in shape. I may not be able to build huge muscles, but I can certainly burn calories and lose weight right here at home.
And the added benefit is that I’m actually saving money each month that I don’t go to a gym. I save the money on the monthly membership and on traveling expenses. This can build up to a nice chunk of change.
It’s All a Matter of Mindset
This whole idea of training at home with little equipment is often referred to as Frugal Fitness. It’s a way in which people train with minimal expense. This can be easier than you think. It’s really a matter of mindset.
We’ve all been brainwashed by ads and infomercials for fitness products that claim to be the one true way to get a great body. These are usually sold with exaggerated promises like “get flat abs in minutes a day” or “lose 10 pounds in a week“. We’ve been trained to think that money is the solution to our weight and fitness issues. As if some fancy fitness gadget is all we need to get a runway ready physique.
The first step to developing a frugal fitness mindset is to let go of the assumption that money will somehow buy you a better looking body. This may be true for plastic surgery, but it is not true for fitness and weight loss.
You don’t need a lot of fancy and expensive equipment to get lean and fit. The real solution lies in what you’re willing to do in order to lose fat and get fit, not in the devices you use.
Some gear can help, but you can make do with very affordable fitness equipment. You don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on any machine in order to see results.
You Already Own The Greatest Fitness Machine Alive
You may not realize it, but you already own the best and finest fitness machine alive: YOU.
It’s true. Just think of all the ways you can use your body to get fit:
1. You can do a variety of cardio workouts like running, walking, jumping, etc. And you don’t need any fitness product to do that.
2. You can use your body as a weight and do many bodyweight exercises. Come to think of it, when you work with your body as a weight, you’re actually conditioning yourself to be more efficient with your body and your everyday activities. You really don’t need anything more if you want to stay fit.
(If you’re looking for more information about bodyweight training I recommend the Shapeshifter Body Redesign plan.)
Once you realize that you don’t need anything to get in shape, you can adopt frugal fitness mindset patterns.
Simple Equipment Is All I Have and All You Need
I have 4 pieces of equipment at home:
- Yoga mat – For ab exercises, stretches, and meditation.
- Jump rope – The best at home cardio workout accessory.
- Two dumbbells – With weight plates to add and adjust the resistance.
- Stability ball – Which also serves as a bench for chest presses.
That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive. This is how a frugal fitness home workout gym looks. I could train with nothing but I chose to spend a little to give me more options.
I am thinking about getting a doorway pull up bar and some workout bands. I don’t have to get either. I can do a good workout without them. However, I miss doing pull ups and workout bands can be used to do elaborate exercises.
The fact is that I haven’t gained weight nor lost muscle mass since I started working out this way and it has been a over a year since I began. In the past, I would have ridiculed people who trained with so little. I would have said they were cheap.
Now I appreciate this simpler path to fitness. I realize how much you can do with so little. Frugal fitness has opened my mind to a whole new way of training and today I do exercises that I never would have done if I had stayed in a gym. In a way, I’m fitter than I’ve been in a long time.
Don’t try to get fit by spending money. You can be frugal and be lean and fit at the same time. Stick to simple and cheap equipment and learn how to do bodyweight exercises correctly. This is all you need.