When the economy takes a downturn, the first things people give up are the luxuries in their lives. For many that means an expensive gym membership has to go. That doesn't have to be the end of exercising though. There are many options for the budget exerciser so you definitely can keep up with your workout without a gym membership.
Try out local gyms for free
If you really love working out at a gym but can't afford to be a member right now, then you could get your gym fix by taking advantage of the free trial that many gyms offer prospective members. This works best, of course, if you live in an area with lots of different gyms and health clubs. Some clubs even have up to a three-day free trial offer. The down side to this is you can really only do it once at each club but it's possible to work out a couple of times a month this way. It's also a great way of getting to know the different health clubs in your area and you can store up the information about your preferences for when and if you decide to become a member of a gym.
Swap exercise videos and DVDs among friends
Exercising at home can be fun especially with the wide range of health and fitness DVDs available now. You can take a Pilates, yoga or dance class in your own living room. Using the same routine over and over again can get a bit boring though and variety is a key to motivation in any exercise. This is an expensive option if you have to buy all the DVDs yourself but there are a couple of ways of doing this more cheaply. Firstly if you already have a subscription to Netflix then you can try a huge variety of workout videos there. Another option is to get together with a group of friends and swap DVDs between you. Most people have at least one exercise DVD in their house and if you're lucky everyone in your group will have a different one.
Walk - 10,000 steps a day
It's a classic but effective. You're already probably walking a couple of thousand steps just going to work, doing housework, going shopping etc. For a few dollars you can get a pedometer to measure your steps - a simple small piece of equipment which clips unnoticed on your belt. You'll probably be surprised at how easy it is to work up to 10,000 steps which is recommended for health and fitness.
Take advantage of the natural environment around you
If you live near the mountains, hike. If you live near the sea, swim. Why lock yourself away inside to exercise when the outdoors offers so many interesting challenges for free. Even if you live in a city there are usually parks for walking, steps for climbing and streets to explore. It is important to remember to stay safe when exercising outside. Research the hazards in your local area and don't put yourself in dangerous situations.
Get a workout buddy
If you are exercising for the first time without the help of a personal trainer or the discipline of a regular trip to the gym it can be hard to stay motivated. Team up with a friend of colleague who also wants to work out and keep each other on track.