There’s no denying that physical activity is good for your health, and there are likely hundreds, or even thousands, of sources that will support that claim. According to the CDC, you will find both immediate and long-term benefits1 from physical activity. Some of the immediate benefits you’ll see are in your mental health. Physical activity has been shown to improve thinking, learning, and decision-making skills, as well as decrease the risk for depression and anxiety. When it comes to long-term benefits there are almost too many to count, but they include things such as weight management, reduced health risk for several diseases, and an increased chance of a longer life span.
When making efforts to increase physical activity many choose to start at the good old trusty gym, but you may run into a couple issues when choosing this option. First, considering the COVID-19 pandemic you may not want to surround yourself with more people than necessary, nor share gym equipment with them. Secondly, the cost of a gym membership can get expensive. Money Crashers reports the average cost of a monthly gym membership2 in the U.S as $58, but this could be much higher depending on where you live as in NYC the average cost increases to $134.50. If you’re interested in working out but don’t want to break the bank, read on for some budget friendly work out ideas that will also allow you to maintain social distancing.
With smartphones we have the entire world right at our fingertips. A quick search in your phone’s app store for workout programs will be sure to pull up countless apps for you to choose from, for any type of workout you can imagine. This can include workouts for cardio, strength building, yoga, Pilates and so much more. As for the cost? A lot of these apps are free to use, allowing you to get your workout in and meet fitness goals while also remaining easy on your wallet. Some apps may offer an upgraded, or premium version you can pay for, but the cost is often a fraction that of gym membership. If you’re interested in work out apps but aren’t sure where to start, or are feeling overwhelmed from all the available options, Clark.com has a list of recommended workout apps3 along with a description of what you can expect with each app.
Another great option for finding workouts that will fit within your budget is through YouTube. Just as you can find countless apps through your phone’s app store, YouTube has an endless number of videos available to view. Simply enter the type of workout you would like to do in the search bar and you’re almost certain to find a video to match. A lot of workout videos on YouTube will also indicate the intensity level of the workout, experience level that is needed, and any needed equipment, if any at all. This will make it super easy to find a workout that will work for you and your comfort level. You will also be able to find workout videos based on your fitness goals, like building muscle or losing weight, giving you plenty of options for meeting your goals. If you need help getting started, Harpers Bazaar has a list of some great workout videos you can find on YouTube.4
A quick search on Google, or on any search engine, for any subject will yield thousands upon thousands of search results. By searching on Google for workouts you’ll not only be able to find apps or YouTube videos as suggested above, but you’ll also find blogs or other fitness and health related websites. You should easily be able to find free workout programs, healthy recipes, and other health related advice with a simple internet search. To give you a start, Muscle and Strength is a fitness site that hosts over 1,000 free workout plans in 20 different categories, and also provides free diet plans and recipes.
While gym memberships are often the go-to when seeking a workout, they can be quite costly. By using the options listed above you should be able to easily find programs that will work for you while staying within your budget.
1Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, Jun 16). Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm
2Freeman, Amy. (2022, Feb 8). Retrieved from: https://www.moneycrashers.com/how-much-should-you-pay-for-a-gym-membership/
3Cox, Dallas. (2023, Mar 21). Retrieved from: https://clark.com/health-health-care/best-free-workout-apps/
4Noble, Audrey. (2020, Dec 30). Retrieved from: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/diet-fitness/g34981003/best-youtube-workouts/