Energy Capital Credit Union

Jump to Top Navigation Jump to Main Navigation Jump to Online Banking Jump to Featured Content Jump to Content Jump to Footer
Better banking starts here (tagline)
menu icon

8 Free or Low-Cost Ways to Get in Shape

Posted on: January 14, 2019

Every year, the most common New Year’s resolutions are related to improving your health.


Exercising more, losing weight and eating healthier/dieting are consistently the top three things worldwide that people resolve to do every January. However, gyms and trendy fitness clubs can be pricey, some over $200 a month and many find themselves wondering if there are options out there to get in shape without breaking the bank.

Indeed there are! Here are 8 free or low-cost ways to help you stick to your resolution this year.

Workout DVDs/YouTube

At home exercise tapes have improved leaps and bounds from the Jane Fonda days. From yoga and pilates to HIIT (high intensity interval training) and cardio workouts of all types, there are DVDs to meet everyone’s exercise preferences. Check a used bookstore or Amazon for really good deals. You can even find loads of free workouts via YouTube with a simple keyword search.

There’s an App for that!

It’s 2019 and there’s a mobile app for pretty much everything- including working out. Get free workouts on apps like Skimble’s Workout Trainer and  7 Minute Workout which is great for days when you just have a few minutes and apps like Map My Fitness eliminate the need for a fancy fitness armband.

Other notable workout apps to try:

Get Outside

Going for a walk, jog or run is 100% free and is a great way to get some fresh air and Vitamin D. Download an app like Map My Run, turn on some tunes and hit the pavement. Or, hit up the local park for a change of scenery. If you’re not up for a run, grab a friend and your hiking boots and take a hike. Bonus points if it has hills or inclines because those burn even more calories!

Join a Club Team

Club teams, like The Houston Sports and Social Club, are a wonderful way to get in shape and meet people at the same time. They offer club sports for dodgeball, soccer, kickball, softball and much more! If you’ve got several friends that want to play with you, you can start your own team or just sign up as a free agent. League fees vary based on the sport but are still nominal compared to monthly gym memberships.

Create a Home Gym

You don’t need fancy exercise equipment to get in shape. Purchase some dumbbells, an exercise ball, resistance bands and a kettle bell and you’ve got the makings of a great workout with very little investment. YouTube and Google are full of videos and articles detailing how to make the most of these training items.

Drink More Water

We know, you hear this one all the time, but it really does ring true. Proper water intake is crucial for your body as a whole since we are continuously losing fluids that need to be replenished daily for good health. Drinking enough water will help with proper digestion, circulation, kidney function, weight control/ loss (particularly if you’re replacing high calorie drinks with it) and it keeps your skin looking its best (bye, bye wrinkles)! Water also helps energize muscles as dehydrated muscles are more likely to become fatigued.

What’s even better? It’s completely free! Try to get in the habit of carrying a bottle of it wherever you go. Don’t like drinking plain water? Try adding slices of lime, lemon or orange to give it a little zing!

Leave the Car at Home

There are lots of options for getting around that don’t involve driving yourself. Not only can you save money, but you can get your blood pumping by seeking out alternate forms of transportation. Hop on the METRO, take a bus, ride your bike or even walk if you live close enough to where you’re going. All of these options will increase your overall amount of walking thus helping you burn calories and get in shape. If you do have to drive, opt for a parking space farther away and add a few extra steps that way.

Change Your Eating Habits

Fitness is about a lot more than just exercise. Have you ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”? It’s true! Eating a proper diet is crucial to losing weight and getting healthy. First and foremost, eat out less. By cooking meals yourself, you can control what goes into your food and what doesn’t, making it much easier to control salt and fat content. Plus, you’ll save a ton of money! When grocery shopping, stick to the outside perimeter of the store as much as possible ie: fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy. The inner aisles tend to be full of processed, artificial food that isn’t going to take you anywhere but backwards in your fitness journey. Whenever possible, purchase seasonal produce as it’s much cheaper that way. Also, stock up on items like carrots, broccoli, bananas and apples which are inexpensive and easy to eat on the go.

If all else fails and you simply just have to join a gym to reach your goals, some are much cheaper than others. The most affordable we’ve found? Planet Fitness is just $10 a month!