Life Health

Stay in shape while staying on budget

By Warren Reed, Camrose Canadian Lifestyles Contributor

There are many budget-friendly ways to work out, including the outdoor gym at Jubilee Park in Camrose. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian

There are many budget-friendly ways to work out, including the outdoor gym at Jubilee Park in Camrose. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian

Personal trainers can be expensive. Gyms can get crowded and will suck money out of your account until you die. Exercise programs only progress if you keep paying for the next series.  

Finding something to advance you on your fitness journey that doesn’t continually drain your bank account can sometimes be challenging. So then, what options are there to still have an effective exercise program while not breaking the bank?

Here are some options you can explore that can help you get the job done. 

Group fitness classes are a great option for a number of reasons. They can provide a community setting that is a great support system; perfect for the novice exerciser. The variation that you can find with group classes is also a huge plus. There’s outdoor boot camps, spin, aerobics, running clubs or even group strength training classes that can fit a multitude of different fitness needs. It’s also quite common that most of these classes are either supplied as part of a gym membership or can be attended on a drop in basis.

As well, on the money side of things, group classes are usually much more friendly on the wallet. On average, group fitness classes or boot camps can run between $10-12 per session. The commitment level isn’t huge when you’re looking at group classes as well; the typical group class will run between four to eight weeks and that is usually enough to get someone started on their own. However, you’re typically going to be limited as to the individual progress you can make because the programming is designed for group success, not personal growth. 

Another option is an outdoor gym. In Camrose, we’ve been lucky to have one of these installed in Jubilee Park. It costs nothing to use and it’s available at any time. Gyms like these are excellent for when the weather is cooperative, such as through the summer, and add a lot of value to our community.

All the machines are set up to use your own body weight as resistance and can be adjusted as your abilities dictate. They also have a sampling of most of the major machines that a person would find in a conventional gym. That means that you can work out virtually every major muscle group with relatively simple equipment.

For people on a real tight budget, this is going to be a prime option. A fully supplied area that costs nothing? There’s not much more you can ask for when looking to exercise on a slim budget. Though the resistance is limited by your own body weight. 

If you’re not so hot on exercising in public, there are a couple options for equipment you can buy to get those workouts in at home. 

Resistance band sets are a good way to start. A set of three bands that range between 15 to 50 pounds of resistance cost around $20-$40. Resistance bands are great because they’re highly customizable. You have total control over how challenging the exercises and resistance can be. They can also be put in any position to facilitate a large variety of exercises. You can do any array of push, pull, hinge or squatting motions you can think up with a resistance band. Your only limitation is your imagination. 

Kettlebells are another option for inexpensive home equipment. Depending on the weight and materials, you can find these between $15-$80 for a single Kettlebell. With the unique design of a Kettlebell, you can use them in many different orientations to accomplish just as many different motions. They provide a consistent load that resistant bands do not; and with their design they can be held more comfortably in more positions than a traditional dumbbell weight. But that design can also create situations where you’re put into awkward or potentially injury inducing positions if you aren’t sure of what you’re doing. 

Whatever your budget may be, you can find a fitness lifestyle to match. Take some time to figure out what you need and find out what options are best suited for you. It might be just one of the options I’ve mentioned, a combination, or something else that isn’t in this list. 

Warren is an ACE Certified Fitness Trainer working out of a studio in downtown Camrose. He’s had experience with personal fitness and coaching for almost 10 years. 


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