It’s a new year and that means many of us are eyeing fitness goals. With so many working from home these days, it’s easy to get complacent and forget to stretch our legs.

Unfortunately, the pandemic closed many fitness centers and gyms. Those eager to get their fit lifestyle started are left to figure out working out from home instead.

While you’re planning your fitness goals, your personal finances are likely close behind. Knowing what to spend your money on to get fit can be tricky. Especially when gym memberships aren’t much use in some parts of the country.

Here are some ways to stay on track with your fitness goals without sacrificing your budget.

Online Fitness Communities

If you’re like us, you probably signed up for a gym membership because you like the accountability. Being around other people while you work out can make it easier to stay motivated. A sense of accountability comes from working out in a class.

But with the pandemic starting in 2020, many gym-goers lost their option to even visit a gym.

As a result, online fitness classes and communities stepped in to take their place.

The benefit of online classes is that they’re often much cheaper than a gym membership. You can do similar workouts without having to pay for the upkeep of a full gym and staff.

Working Out With Friends and Communities

What’s a workout if you don’t have someone there with you to cheer you on? It could be a friend or an online fitness buddy.

The Internet has made it incredibly easy to connect with like-minded people doing similar workouts to you. You’ve probably seen companies like Peloton skyrocket in popularity during the pandemic—allowing you to join fitness classes and communities with ease.

Strava also made a name for themselves over the last few years as a fitness tracker for social athletes. It lets you compare run times, achievements and more with your friends and strangers.

There are countless social fitness apps that scratch different itches. If you’re eager to workout with a friend at a distance, these apps may help.

You can also try digging into fitness communities on Reddit. Additionally, check out these fitness class reviews to find one to connect with people.

While some of these apps are paid, they can complement your fitness routine to make it feel like you’re maximizing your workout time.

Fitness Classes for Every Discipline

Fitness classes aren’t just for cycling or Zumba anymore. Fitness classes have grown to include everything from ballet to pilates—and they’re all online!

Fitness classes tend to come in two primary flavors.

First, there are online classes hosted by larger national gym chains or groups.

Memberships to these sites, including those for Crunch Gym, include access to dozens of classes across many styles. They’re like the classes offered in-person at their gym facilities.

By contrast, some companies have doubled down on their niche. Sculpt Society is a premier place for dance-cardio workouts. Here, Megan Roup dedicates all her energy to one style of workout that works for her and her fans.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different subscription models to find classes that work  for you.

Influencer Communities

Finally, fitness influencers have also started to carve out their own space in the broader fitness space.

Instagram posts aside, influencers have started their own online communities. You probably followed an influencer because you liked their message and style. So joining a community of like-minded people makes sense!

Check out an influencer’s page or website to see where they’re partnered to get personalized classes and products.

Cheaper Than a Gym

Working out at home can be much cheaper than paying for a gym membership. Period.

Gym memberships often prey on unknowing customers and attractive up-front offers. Signing bonuses or discounted first months may bring you through the door.

But there are likely hidden fees and costs that will come up. Annual fees, higher monthly costs after your introductory offer wears off, and extra coaching costs. Gyms know that people want to reinvent themselves and make it easy to sign up.

Terminating your contract early or not being able to pay your bill later may mean you’re on the hook for hundreds of dollars in a year.

The average cost of a gym membership is about $600 to $700 per year in the United States.

Easier Commute

One of the biggest reasons people cite for not going to the gym is the commute. After a long day at work or on a chilly morning, getting to the gym is an exercise itself. And once you’re there, you may be strapped for time to commute back home again.

Despite there being nearly 40,000 gym clubs around the country, they can still be a few miles from home.

Working out from home though? You’re already there!

Separating your gym workouts into a separate room or somewhere other than your office helps too. It can compartmentalize your workouts mentally.

Having a dedicated room to work in for remote workers boosts productivity. Moving your workout somewhere than your normal work and play spaces can keep your inspiration for working out strong.

Used Workout Equipment

Without a gym membership, you may need to still buy gym equipment for your home. However, gym equipment doesn’t have to be expensive.

Every year, throngs of inspired Americans make resolutions to start working out. Treadmill and dumbbell sales go through the roof. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm often wanes. And then used gym equipment gets strewn about the house.

This means you can regularly find gym equipment in great condition on your local Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Picking up a set of basic weights and exercise mats to get started won’t set you back much money at all.

You can also search your area for used gym equipment and sporting good stores.

Working Out in Public Parks

COVID-19 showed us the beauty of our public parks! Close to 75% of Americans live within 10 minutes of a public park or space.

Working out in public parks is a great way to start your fitness journey. Buying fitness equipment and taking classes means commitment. But visiting your local public park for a walk or a jog costs nothing.

Public parks aren’t just for walking though. Many fitness trails have popped up around the country. They include free-to-use fitness equipment built into the park landscape.

You can do pull-ups, stretches, and more while you’re at the park. Here, you can see how New York City offers fitness equipment across the city for its residents free of charge.

Your fitness adventure may lead you back to a gym in the future. But being aware of how much a gym membership actually costs may have you reevaluating your choices!

Working out from home doesn’t have to be boring. You can attend classes or find online communities to help you achieve your goals. 

Save money in your budget and don’t be afraid to try out new classes or strategies to keep you motivated!