Ways to Get Fit that Cost Very Little Money

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Written by Bernie Carr

Now more than ever, we need a strong immune system to help our bodies resist viruses and maintain overall health. One thing we can all improve is our fitness level. During the pandemic, prices of fitness equipment such as weights and home gyms sky-rocketed as more people started home workouts. For several months, hand weights were out of stock on Amazon and other retailers. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get fit. Here are some easy ways to get fit with very little money:

Body weight exercises

Use your own body weight to get fit by doing squats, push-ups, leg lifts, lunges, dips, etc.

Make your own weights

If you are just starting out, use a soup can or water bottle in each hand as dumbbells. As you get stronger, make heavier weights. Clean out half gallon or gallon milk bottles (choose the ones with a tight fitting cap) and fill with water or sand.

You can also make weights with inexpensive PVC pipes by filling them with sand as illustrated here.

10,000 steps

I used to think doing 10,000 steps would be too hard to do. But when my nephew came to visit, we started walking around the neighborhood and managed to complete 10,000 steps in about an hour and twenty minutes. On rainy days, he has even tried just walking in place or walking around the living room while watching TV.

Try walking along different parks and trails in your neighborhood. Just be sure to stay safe and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

You can use a pedometer, or app to count your steps. If you visit a regional or national park, be mindful of mask rules at visitor centers and busy trails.


If you know someone who is skilled at marshal arts, yoga, Zumba or any other fitness pursuit, why not barter your time and teach each other. They may need help at something you’re skilled at such as cooking or website design-it’s a win-win trade.


There are lots of fun workouts on YouTube for every fitness level. Here are links to some of my favorites:

Try a different workout each day and you won’t get bored.

Free fitness apps

Make use of your phone and download a free fitness app to help you achieve your fitness goals. One example is the 7 minute workout. My Fitness Pal can help you track calories consumed or burned; it also includes a pedometer if you are counting steps.

Workout DVDs

Buy a used workout DVD at Goodwill or other thrift stores at a fraction of their original price. Local libraries also offer free rentals or downloads of exercise DVDs.

Streaming services

If you have Amazon Prime or Netflix, you can find exercise routines for your specific fitness level.

Buy used equipment

If you are determined to buy a weight set or exercise bike, buy it used. Check out Facebook groups, Craiglist, Freecycle or estate sales in your area. Just make sure you observe safety precautions when dealing with private sellers. Always meet in during the day at a public place such as a coffee shop,or police department parking lot.

We are an affiliate of Amazon.com, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.

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  1. I have worked out at home for decades. I have not had to pay gym membership fees or pay for the gas to and from a gym. Those money savings are substantial, and do not even account for less wear and tear on my car or the time saved not going to and from the gym.

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