Low-Cost Ways to Stay Fit During Quarantine

man exercising at home and using a laptop

As we’re deep into the second month of sheltering-in-place, you’re probably feeling cooped up, listless, antsy, bored, or some combination of all those. Beyond staying socially healthy, you’ll also want to make moves to keep your physical well-being in tip-top shape.

Heading to the gym or local pool to lift some weights or get your cardio on isn’t an option for the time being, so what can you do to get moving and release some endorphins? If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few low-cost ways to stay healthy while in quarantine:

Check Out Free Virtual Classes

As a lot of fitness studios are pivoting to digital platforms, poke around to see which studios offer free or donation-based, pay-what-you-can workouts. Here are a few of our favorites:

Ryan Heffington’s Sweatfest

There’s a reason why the L.A.-based choreographer and dance studio owner has attracted a lot of buzz and thousands of attendees per workout. His hugely popular one-hour dance workout session on IG Live, Sweatfest, is donation-based. And there’s no obligation to contribute if you’re not able to.

Offered several times a week, these workouts provide a cathartic vessel to release stress, boredom, and anxiety. What’s more, his central message is to simply focus on love and peace and helping others.

If you’re looking to learn new dance routines, Heffington’s staff of seasoned dance teachers are offering weekly virtual classes via IG Live. This is through Heffington’s dance studio, The Sweat Spot, and is also donation-based payments.

Yoga With Adriene

There are scads of free workout videos on YouTube. If you’re itching to get your yoga on, check out Yoga With Adriene, who boasts over 7 million subscribers and hundreds of videos. Not sure where to start? Try one of her 30-day yoga challenges, which are centered around themes like “Yoga for Your Back,” “30 Days of Yoga,” or if you’re keen on a more introspective bent, “Dedicate.”

The equipment you need varies, but you can probably do most yoga workouts with a yoga mat, blanket, and a pair of foam blocks.

BeFiT

The BeFiT YouTube channel features a litany of vids from top trainers. These workouts range from cardio and strength to rebalancing and pilates. You can think of the BeFit channel as a catch-all of fitness workouts.

Orangetheory at home

A handful of fitness studios and gyms are offering free virtual workouts. Orangetheory recently released free daily online exercises that focus on everything from strengthening and toning different parts of your body to high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Freeletics

If you’re hopping on the calisthenics train, which is a popular type of workout that consists of exercises that primarily rely on your own bodyweight, check out the Freeletics app. There’s a handful of free workouts and one-off runs and drills.

If you want to tap into a guided training route, you’ll need to upgrade to its premium version Depending on the plan, it costs anywhere from $1.44 a week, or $73 a year, to $3.85 a week, or $200 a year.

CorePower Yoga

You can access its daily free streaming live classes or a weekly collection of online courses.

Use What’s Around the House

Chances are you might already have some forgotten exercise equipment nestled in your storage closets and underneath your bed. Before you commit to any exercise program, take stock of what you already own and build a workout around that.

For instance, I have a pair of five-pound weights and a yoga mat. Because I’m trying not to spend too much money on exercise gear, I’ve been doing mainly bodyweight exercises — think planks, pushups, and squats — and yoga routines.

Invest Only in Inexpensive Exercise Gear

No need to purchase a costly elliptical machine or a pilates reformer contraption. Those types of exercise equipment are not only expensive, but they take up a lot of space and can be a pain to get rid of once you’re done using them.

If you want to spend money on exercise gear, start with low-cost essentials such as a yoga mat, a set of weights, or resistance bands. You can probably find them on sale online. And if you’re going to spend money on more costly gear, make sure it’s worth the spend.

For instance, thinking of throwing down $50 on a set of resistance bands? Commit to using them in your workout several times a week for the next few months. Otherwise, you might find them tossed out alongside your partner’s neglected sparring gear.

Strike Up a Deal

If you already have a gym membership, your gym might offer some virtual classes or online workouts that you can download from your desktop or app.

If you’re squeezed financially and would like to keep your gym membership to tap into the virtual offerings, reach out to your gym to see if they have any current discounts or promotions. 

Tagged in Health care and medications, Self care, Coronavirus, Financial technology

Jackie Lam - author photo

Jackie Lam is an L.A.-based personal finance writer who is passionate about helping creatives with their finances. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Mental Floss, Business Insider, and GOOD. She blogs at heyfreelancer.com.

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