Money Saving Workout Routines for a Fit Recession-ista

by Sean Bryant on May 11, 2012

Do you want personal trainer rewards without the steep price? Do you want gym effects without the pricey membership fee? Don’t worry. Just because your wallet may be tight, doesn’t means your abs can’t be either.

With today’s trendiest fitness offerings, it’s easy to be deterred from working out altogether because of the dollars and cents.

Here are some money saving workout routines for the fit recession-ista on a budget. Now that makes “cents”.

Climbing to Fit

Look outside. Look down the street. Look everywhere. You will see them. Stairs are everywhere and guess what, it offers the perfect workout. Start with a warm up with five minutes of stair climbing at an easy pace. Then pick up the pace. Add a set of 5 to 10 pound weights for the ultimate workout. Try to find a set of stairs with at least 16 steps. Having trouble finding stairs? Often local school facilities have a plethora of steps, just enough for you to climb to your fitness goal. Also, next time skip the escalator and elevator. Take the stairs.

Fit Buddy

Everyone needs an extra push now and then to strap those sneakers on. Most turn to a personal trainer for inspiration and a reason to hit the gym. There’s good news. If you don’t have hundreds of dollars, but friends instead, you are in luck. Ask a friend to work out with you. That way if you know someone else is waiting on you to hit up a yoga class or a jog around the neighborhood, you are more likely to feel inspired.

Community Core Work

If you look closely enough, you’ll find complimentary community workout classes everywhere. For example, Lululemon frequently offers yoga classes on Saturday or Sunday mornings with their brand ambassadors. If you are lucky, you’ll find area businesses that offer a variety of fitness offerings. There’s a bar in my neighborhood that has a running group that gathers to run around a local park and socialize afterwards. Check your local newspaper for fitness happenings in the fitness section.

Fitness Networking

In today’s world of social media, from Facebook to Twitter, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it to your advantage in the world of fitness. There are various networks, including my favorites and These programs allow you to track your workouts and even rate how each workout went, so you can view your progress each week. They also allow you to set a fitness goal. You can also connect with your friends and give each other motivation.

There’s an App for that..

Just as social media helps, there’s an app for basically anything you can dream of, especially in terms of fitness. is a great resource, since it not only allows for you to track your fitness activity. It allows you to track your caloric intake and progress to reach your ultimate goal. The best part is it is a free app. For those who don’t particularly care for their smart phones, try going the route of a journal and pen to track your calorie intake.

Fit Discounts Galore

With resources like,, and more, there’s a great way to try out a variety of fitness classes and gyms at a discounted price. From fitness pole dancing, Bikram yoga to trapeze workouts, each site has it all.

Get to Cleaning

Just walking into a gym doesn’t make you fit, it takes work. Hit two birds with one stone. You can get fit just around your house and make it spic and span. Do you know how many calories you burn while deep cleaning your home? Burn 73 calories alone while doing laundry. Get rid of those dust bunnies for 80 calories. Mop those floors for 153 calories. Break out the Windex and wash the windows for 105 calories.

Samantha Bryant is a Denver Public Relations Consultant at Samantha Bryant PR. In her free time she enjoys writing for, snowboarding, biking and playing with her St. Bernard, Charlie.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
  • From Shopping to Saving

    Great post! I love my gym but sometimes I get tired of it so I have to resort to other things that are free, because I don’t want to add another fitness expense to my gym membership. I like all of these ideas but I’d also say check out YouTube for workout vids, and workout trainer apps too that show workout routines in detail. They time it for you and show a visual. It’s awesome. I also like and I print out some circuit workouts.

    • Sean @ One Smart Dollar is another good one. She is always showing me stuff from the website so I’m surprised she didn’t include it.

  • Daisy @

    These are all great points – I find the gym really helps me focus on working out. But I do love being outside and hiking and things like that. Cleaning provides a pretty crazy workout if you’re scrubbing walls and floors!

    • Sean @ One Smart Dollar

      Deep cleaning can be as tiring as going for a long run sometimes. Both are equally as boring :-)

  • Marissa

    I kinda dislike the gym. I play soccer 2-3 times a week, and I like running and yoga.

  • Miss T

    These are all great options. I like to use the outdoors as much as possible. Go for a walk, run, a swim. All of these are free at parks.

    I have also used the coupon sites before for things like yoga classes. They save a ton.

    I also have a fit buddy who I run with. It really helps keep me motivated.

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  • Lauren Bee

    Gyms are the best way to work out I think, but sometimes it’s just not feasible…like right now while I am unemployed. I appreciate your tips!

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