May 17, 2024

Can’t afford to workout? Can you afford not to? By Hope Epton

Can’t afford to workout? Can you afford not to?

The cost of working out depends on the level of luxury one requires in order to actually work out. It seems to be a likely excuse, “I can’t afford a gym membership,” is really no excuse at all.

Granted, in today’s economy we are all cutting back, trimming the fat so to speak, so why not our waist lines as well as our wallets? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a gym to work your body.  There are a lot of different exercises you can participate in for free or little cost.

Walking for one is an excellent start to any program. It is free; you can do it inside or outside, and requires little equipment besides a comfortable pair of shoes. If you are feeling impatient, you can run or if you are adventurous, take to the trails for a hike.

Swimming is another great way to get a full body workout done without breaking the bank. If you don’t have access to a pool, perhaps a lake or pond will get the job done.

Bike for your workout. Biking, now it doesn’t require a super sleek road bike, but a modest bicycle with a tolerable seat {this varies depending on the individual} and some safety lighting if you are going to be out during the early dawn or dusk times.

Cardiovascular exercise is important, as is strength training. Why not put your own weight to use and do squats, lunges, push-ups and planks. For an added bonus, find objects around the house to assist in adding additional weight or creating a challenge, such as a kitchen chair for dips, or elevated push-ups. 

For a small investment, look into purchasing small items that can add to your workout such as a jump rope, a stability ball, resistance bands, dumbbells or kettle bells. Often in your local retail store you can find coordinating workout videos to assist you if you are new to the workout scene.

If possible, find a friend who will work out with you. Having an accountability partner will not only help you stay on track, but provide motivation, and you can push each other through the times you may want to no-show or quit.

Don’t let the cost of gym membership keep you from exercising. You can workout from home, and you can’t put a price on your health. You can invest in your physical health and well being now, or pay a much higher price later.

This article is written by Hope Epton. ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist. Follow Hope on her blog at Or via her facebook page, twitter, or pinterest,


Being Healthy Outdoors:Get Out of that Gym! By Steve W. Weiss

When people fail to reach their fitness goals, they always blame themselves when maybe what they should be blaming is their definition of  “workout.”  Being flexible with your definition of what a “workout” means, allows new experiences to enter your health and fitness world. Consider adding a non-workout, workout every once in awhile! Mixing up your approach to fitness will keep motivation fresh and your healthy living inspired!

I have never been more motivated in my life to be active.  There are reasons for this:

I don’t have any “fitness” goals.
Goal setting is crucial for anyone to succeed but let’s be honest; some goals are much more fun to reach than others. Instead of pushing my body to bench 255lbs, squatting 400lbs, run a mile in a certain amount of time on a treadmill or stay at a certain weight for example, I now set goals that sound more like, trying to finish a 5.12 rated rock climb (easiest is a 5.1 hardest is a 5.15a), V8 boulder problem (easiest is a V0 hardest is V15), hike in the backcountry & snowboard difficult chutes, or push through difficult road biking or mountain biking climbs. 

My goals have a physical purpose.
Having the general goal of staying healthy is challenging to reach because health is determined by perspective. Whereas, a hiking goal to hike every 14’er (a peak that is 14000ft) has a definitive beginning and end and being healthy, does not. Specific goals serve a purpose, they’re measurable.

It’s not just physical, it’s mental too.
Being healthy is not just about the physical. Being mentally healthy is just as important. How often do you see someone working out in a gym who looks like they’re in almost a brain-dead state, zoned out and just mind-numbingly bored? Instead of pushing your body but not your mind, why not do both! For example, rock climbing is a great way to push both your physical and mental limits. Rock climbing takes lots of physical strength and endurance, but it takes just as much mental strength to figure out the problems/routes. Think of the rock or climbing wall as a big puzzle.

Travel is my #1 motivator.
Travel is a great motivator to expanding your fitness. Because I climb, snowboard, bike, hike, etc I always am looking ahead to the next trip to do those things. I want to stay in shape so I can perform my best when traveling. Also, travel and new experiences brighten our lives, and gives us a good story to brag about to our friends.

So get active outside of the gym every once in awhile, get dirty, and get ready to be motivated and inspired!

Steve W. Weiss is an avid road tripper, adrenaline sport junkie, and social media nut based out of Utah. When he is not out climbing or snowboarding, he is blogging on his websites:,, and He also co-runs a twitter chat specifically for rock climbing called #ClimbChat every Tuesday at 7pm(MST). His main goals in life revolve around traveling the world for rock climbing and snowboarding, while doing other outdoor sports as well. It might just be easier to connect with him on twitter at @SteveWWeiss.

Ask A Pro by Tera Busker

Question: What exercises can I do while my kids are playing at the park? –Bonnie in OH.

Do a circuit-style workout consisting of six exercises. Each exercise should be done for 30 seconds or 15 reps each. After completing one exercise, move right into the next exercise without rest. After all six exercises are complete, take a 60 second rest. Beginners should stop the workout after one circuit and move right into the cool down. Progress to performing three circuits of all six exercises for a 30 Minute Park Workout.

Start warming up your muscles by taking a 5 minute walk or light jog around the park.

Platform Pushups
Find a platform that is about waist high, for example a step on the jungle gym. Place your hands about shoulder width apart on the platform. Keeping the back flat, core tight and hips down, perform a pushup.

Bench Step Ups
Using a bleacher or a bench, step up on to it with your left foot. Use and up, up, down, down cadence. After 30 seconds, switch and step up starting with your right leg.

To get into the plank position, start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart. Face the ground, being careful not to arch your back or lift your hips.

Walking Lunges
With your right leg, lunge forward about three feet until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your left knee is nearly touching the ground. Pause momentarily and then repeat the forward motion with your left leg. Lunge forward for 30 seconds and turn around and lunge back the way you came. To make this exercise harder, try doing the walking lunges up a hill.

Bench Dips
To do the bench dip, go back to your bleacher or park bench and have a seat. Grab the edge of the bench keeping your hands close to your hips. Walk your feet forward slightly until your hips are off of the platform and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Bending your shoulders and elbows, drop your hips straight down towards the floor about six inches. Push yourself back up.

Hanging Abs
Hang from the high monkey bars, arms bent or straight. Pull your knees up towards your chest and then lower them back to your starting position. Be sure to keep the movement slow and controlled. Remember – this is an ab exercise, so your abs should be doing the work, not the legs. Try not to use the momentum and swing the legs.

Walk around the park for 5 minutes at a slow pace to cool down. Finish off the workout by stretching the muscles you just worked.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI.