Shape Up for Less

Fitness, News and Advice
on May 1, 2009
Media Bakery

You don't need to spend a lot of money to get fit (so toss that excuse out the window). Getting a good workout is simple with these insider tips.

Assemble a home gym on the cheap. Save on health club fees, which average about $435 annually, with these essentials: dumbbells (5, 8 and 10 lbs), an inflatable fitness ball (the 55 cm size is recommended for most women) and a good pair of walking or running shoes. "This will allow you to get a full-body workout without spending much money," says Spry Support Team trainer Tony Molina. You can do strength moves with your weights and slip on your sneakers for a walk or run.

Tap into free classes. No need to shell out $20 for fitness DVDs. Borrow them from your local library or check out your cable provider's free on-demand fitness channel. Plus, if you're a Netflix subscriber, you can get instant online access to workouts at no additional cost. These options allow you to work out with top personal trainers any time of day (or night).

Share a trainer. Personal trainers are pricey-up to $100 or more per hour-but their advice is often invaluable. To trim your budget, share training sessions with one or more friends. Or buy a few sessions to get a customized routine, then do it on your own for a few months. Follow up with another training session or two until you have a new routine down pat.

Run from high-priced sneakers.
Studies show there may not be much difference between the highest- and lowest-priced fitness shoes. When researchers compared models from various brands in prices ranging from $80 to $152, they found that the low- and mid-range shoes offered the same-if not better-cushioning than those with the highest price tags.