Top 10 Cheapest Ways To Exercise

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-10-1176

We all want to be fit and trim and to keep fit and stay healthy, but there are a few things that keep us from looking and feeling our best: inertia, laziness, a hectic schedule, and maybe even a limited budget. As for me, I’ve invested in a stationary bike that I use almost daily while I catch the news on television to relax the brain while I work the body. I did spend a pretty penny on that bike but at least it is well used. I’m not alone about spending on exercise though, since the workout of choice by many of my colleagues involves a gym membership or a mountain bike or an exercise system of some kind or other.

The truth is, you can use any excuse to get out of exercise except perhaps that it is “expensive”, since it doesn’t really take much to get yourself into better shape. Here are some absolutely free ways to move your body! You can even make a bit of money on a few of these activities.

No Excuses! Ways To Exercise For Free

#1 Go jogging.
You can jog almost everywhere — parks, streets and even in place. When nobody’s looking, I lightly jog at my own space at work. That and I perform some stretching exercises… it’s good for ergonomics and helps keep the energy up throughout the day.

#2 Take a hike.
Those who live in the city have everything at their fingertips. You don’t even have to have the requisite two cars a household to be mobile. Just by walking to wherever you need to go, you’re a healthier leg up over everyone else! Those who live in the country can find a trail or two and incorporate hikes in their schedule. And wherever you go, take the stairs.

#3 Rent exercise videos….from the library.
The library is a treasure trove for a lot of cool stuff. With the variety it offers, you can borrow quite a few exercise videos and books to help you pin down your workout of choice.

#4 Check out free television and internet exercises.
Even more encouraging are the free workouts you can get from various forms of media these days. There are internet sites that can provide you with step-by-step instructions and videos for routines you can regularly use. Television programs devoted to workouts have been around since time immemorial and cheesy or not, they do the job (if you’re shy about following along with the show, just watch it in private).

#5 Babysit.
If you have your own kids, then you’ll probably agree that handling kids can help keep you fit. If you don’t, you can experience the wonderful world of toddlerhood by volunteering or signing up for a babysitting job. The best ages to babysit for the purpose of getting yourself moving are those toddler years (2 through 5) because you’re compelled to carry, lift, run, chase and follow these little people around all day. Here are also some suggestions for incorporating your baby into your exercise routine.

#6 Maintain your yard.
Be your own gardener. Work on your yard all year long and you’ll have more than your heart going — best exercise of all is to push that lawnmower around especially if you have a large lawn. Or even better, install your own drainage. All that digging should be great for upper body strength and endurance.

#7 Clean out or organize your house.
Have you checked your attic, basement and closets lately? Well, from first-hand experience, I can say that hauling all the clutter from their previous storage areas and turning them into an organized system of boxes for sale, donation pick ups or just further storage will get your blood pumping. Even just pushing around a several pound vacuum cleaner instead of relying on a Roomba, or sweeping your garage floor should oil your joints. But make sure your back isn’t too vulnerable.

#8 Use someone else’s sports or exercise equipment.
Have you checked under your bed lately? All around the nation, there is a glut of unused exercise equipment sitting around in garages and hiding in spare rooms and basements. You could have these things right under your very nose — if not at your own home, they could be sitting somewhere in a friend’s or relative’s home, sadly unused. It may be a good idea to resurrect these neglected items for active use once more.

#9 Volunteer or get active work (full or part-time).
If you have a desk job, then doing some volunteer work for the community that may involve a little activity may not only be good for your conscience but also for your health. And if you’re able to, maybe that choice to apply a little bit of your own muscle into your work schedule by choosing a more active job could actually serve as the backbone (pun intended) of your healthy lifestyle.

and last but definitely not least….

#10 Have sex.
According to a fellow blogger, sex can be pretty financially rewarding (ummm… not in the way you think of course). Many studies show that it’s pretty good exercise:

This activity performed at least three times a week can cut the risk of a heart attack in half. Researchers started out studying the benefits of vigorous exercise, looking at an activity lasting 20 minutes or longer and making the exerciser sweaty or out of breath. Most of the men they questioned thought that sex fit this description just as well as soccer.

How To Exercise and How Not To!

And now for a little fun.

This is the way to exercise once you have kids.

Jog with baby


While this is what you call cheating!

Baby Stroller

Image Credit: Thanks to

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

david October 11, 2007 at 8:50 am

Sex to keep fit! Now that’s something everyone will want to do, hehe.

Lazy Man October 11, 2007 at 10:08 am

Though I’m extremely lazy 5, 6, 7, and 10 make the most sense to me. Babysitting can actually earn you money. Ditto for yard work.

Organizing your home has it own benefits.

And sex… oh my, you should have just started and ended with that one.

Moneymonk October 11, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I agree sex is good exercise !

Girl, you seem to get the perfect pics for your blog titles, love it.

Mrs. Micah October 11, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Um…so if one doesn’t get in 20 full minutes of intercourse, does wild making out count? Or does it have to be thrusts? No reason.

Silicon Valley Blogger October 11, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Wow, this conversation is getting hot in here. What other way than to spice up the money talk with some sex talk. πŸ˜‰

Lazy: seems you’re the type who enjoys exercise as incorporated into daily living. That should be the easiest way to do it — doing chores ourselves instead of outsourcing it should work up the sweat. This is actually a great strategy for those who aren’t eager about focused exercise (like the digerati spouse who prefers to get his exercise from walking and playing with kids).

Mrs. Micah: you’re making me turn beet red here. I suppose anything that makes you ultra excited should get the circulation going. What about those people who aren’t into the wild sort of stuff, then whatever they’re doing may not count for much exercise…? πŸ˜‰

The Financial Blogger October 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Besides #10 (I committed to become my wife’s personal trainer πŸ˜‰ ), we bought a stroller made for jogging (3 wheels) and it works perfectly fine! on top of that, for those of you that live in a winter country like me, it’s the perfect stroller to go on a walk when there is 12 inches of snow (I guess you don’t have this problem in Silicon Valley!)

Mrs. Micah October 11, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Yeah, I was a bit red when I wrote it. I hear “sex” talked about as exercise…but sex can be so many different things. Someone needs to come up with one of those nifty calories-per-hour charts for the different….er….techniques. πŸ˜‰

Money Blue Book October 11, 2007 at 10:32 pm

So I guess right pedal – left pedal – right pedal doesn’t count as exercise? πŸ™‚

Silicon Valley Blogger October 11, 2007 at 11:58 pm

The Financial Blogger: That concept of stroller on snow is something totally foreign to me. I am so far and away the antithesis of a “snow bunny” as you can imagine. I don’t think I can live in a place that is cold and snowy as I don’t have the constitution for it unfortunately! πŸ™ But if you live in a place with a cold climate, all the more reason you can get your exercise in and warm up when all else is freezing around you!

Mrs. Micah / Money Blue Book: What a great idea on that calories-per-counter thing! Well I actually found a few! Here are a couple for your enjoyment:

Sex calorie counter 1
Sex calorie counter 2


Brip Blap October 12, 2007 at 4:18 am

In #10, I assume it’s more effective if it’s WITH someone?

Heh. I wonder how many times the word ‘thrusts’ comes up in personal finance blogging in that context. Probably not often enough πŸ™‚

Good list. I’m trying to add “never take the elevator” to mine… which is a challenge, I work on the 7th floor of a high-rise building, not to mention up-and-down the NYC subway system stairs twice a day. But it’s surprisingly good exercise, too.

60 in 3 October 12, 2007 at 11:39 am

Sex is not actually that good of an exercise (which shouldn’t discourage you from having sex! πŸ™‚ ) Most people don’t get very energetic while having sex, nor do they use positions that are… er… muscularly challenging.

The rest of your suggestions are great, but I do have one more. Buy a set of weights. They cost around 10 to 30 dollars and you can use them to get a complete workout every single day.

I run a health and exercise blogs and this is one of the most common issues I hear about from readers. Too many people think that exercise is just about moving around. While that’s great, you also need some more structured routines and weights are the best way to do those. You don’t need a gym membership or a thousand dollar home exercise machine. Just a $20 set of dumbbells and around 10 minutes a day.


SavingDiva October 12, 2007 at 1:57 pm

I agree with bripp blap. Taking the stairs is a great way to sneak exercise in…and is free!

Super Saver October 13, 2007 at 11:05 am


Fully agree on #5. I must be getting stronger from lifting, carrying and playing with my daughter:-)

Israel October 14, 2007 at 7:54 pm

cool list. i think that lady in the pic pushing the baby from the 2 wheel machine is stupid. thats looks so dangerous.

Vixen October 16, 2007 at 6:25 am

Now this has to be one of the most interesting comment dialogues I’ve ever read on a PF blog.


Anne October 30, 2007 at 11:54 am

Also, here’s a site that has a new one hour yoga video session each day (for FREE!):

BMI Calculator December 14, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Wow that second pic has to be the funniest thing i ever seen and then ppl wonder why there getting so fat. I mean… my god..

FitnessChapter February 23, 2008 at 11:41 pm

I can’t believe things like the 2nd pic still exist. And yes, sex is definitely a good exercise that reaps healthy benefits! Sadly, people do them not for the benefits though.. haha.

Joint Pain April 30, 2008 at 5:46 am

I agree that the sex is the best exercise!

Joseph Mercola July 11, 2008 at 1:27 am

I would add taking the stairs when going to work. Get off the elevator 2-3 floors short and then walk the rest.

annakat August 30, 2008 at 12:41 pm

I have two small dogs, and believe me getting up and taking both of them for a walk 5-6 times a day will keep you on your feet, whether you want to walk or not. Especially when they want to chase a squirrel through the woods. I’ve never had dogs or cats in the house, but knew I’d be a couch potato when I retired so I bought one and loved it and bought another. Best thing I ever did for myself.

DP October 27, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Dancing is a free and fun way to burn calories.

HF October 30, 2008 at 11:31 pm

I do almost all of the above tips, but having triplets, it has doubled the time I spend on my exercise routine πŸ˜›

FE December 10, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Another option is to swap your exercise machine with someone else for say 3 months. Many times, people grow tired of the same old routine and look forward to novel exercise routines to jazz things up.

Jason March 29, 2009 at 7:56 am

Thanks for sharing this wonderful resource about losing weight. It has been a great read!

baby daddy April 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm

The segway/stroller thing looks pretty sketchy. Another great (and free) option is to play with your pets. There is nothing more that your dog would love than some 1 on 1 time with their pack leader. Run around the yard & act silly; have fun with it. Your pup will thank you.

Paul from WeightFitness April 28, 2009 at 12:35 am

SEX – I really like this one. I’m going to enjoy exercising now more than ever! But seriously, Tip #10 is also good for your mind and reduces tension and fatigue.

I’d also like to add parking your car further away and walking into the store. Of course, the more places you go, the better benefits you get.

martha kings June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I used to go jogging with my Best friend and my Dog..
Our favorite spot for Jogging.. ROTUNDA HILLS….
all my belly fats were all gone..
After the jogging i drink fresh lemon juice. i dont know if its safe, but my father told me it causes ulcer problem? I dont know, i just keep drinking it every after jogging.
Hiking will do burn fat but i guess not really as heavy exercise does
hmmmp.. i dont know, i haven’t experience it yet. Promise..

How to get taller June 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Wow Thank’s for the tips they are realy creative. It sure is hard to stay fit when you work full time and have lots of house work to do.

Harry Johnson Jr. June 23, 2009 at 5:07 am

There are really different cheap ways to exercise for as long as you enjoy doing it and has the time to do it. You can even exercise while watching TV. Just be creative and enjoy while doing it.

Chris July 5, 2009 at 1:14 am

Yes there are always many ways to exercise without it costing money. Walking and jogging are very effective.

Burnsville Personal Trainer July 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm

it’s good to know that losing weight and staying physically fit can be at it’s cheapest rate. working and doing some ordinary chores at home are at a great help staying fit.

charlie July 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Really liked this. Yeah sex is very good for raising your heart and using your key muscles. A good healthy sex life not only provides you with exercise it also helps you feel better within yourself, making you more active in general.

There are loads of ways around the house in which you can exercise and sometimes people just forget this or just don’t how to get started, but just like the sex, once you start you can’t stop.

Ashley Lekov July 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I thought I was the only person who rented work-out videos from the library! Well I think I am, in my city, I literally have to blow the dust off the cover! Great list!

John August 1, 2009 at 11:45 am

Great idea for a inexpensive list of workouts.

There are a lot of free workout videos on YouTube and Yahoo Videos. Look for workouts that don’t require any or minimal equipment. Most exercises can be done just with your own body weight such as squats or lunges.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive option to individual personal training, check out a local fitness boot camp. These group workouts tend to be much cheaper per workout due to the larger group, but the fun of having other people there as you all “suffer” can help keep you on track with your fitness goals (and ultimately, much cheaper than what you’d pay for doctor appointments and medications for all the medical conditions related to being overweight)

Coastal Boot Camps
San Diego, CA

Beltmann August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am

Wouldn’t babysitting possibly make you less fit due to stress? All accounts I have heard say that the stress of having kids should outweigh any health benefits.

Jairo October 3, 2009 at 9:13 am

agree with you; people are often unwilling to put in the effort because of their β€œI want it done yesterday” mentality. In order to be successful, we need to understand that it takes commitment and a great deal of effort to achieve results.
Great tips!

pedro October 17, 2009 at 7:59 pm

agree with you; people are often unwilling to put in the effort because of their β€œI want it done yesterday” mentality. In order to be successful, we need to understand that it takes commitment and a great deal of effort to achieve results.
Great tips!

As Seen on TV Exercise Equipment October 28, 2009 at 6:34 pm

I think the biggest thing to remember is that you have to get up and do SOMETHING. I think many people get overwhelmed from the start because they think they have to be a marathon runner or Olympian.

Any activity is better than no activity πŸ™‚

Better Fruit November 25, 2009 at 7:43 am

I want it done yesterday mentality. In order to be successful, we need to understand that it takes commitment and a great deal of effort to achieve results.

Fitness Network November 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm

That is to funny watching that lady push the baby with that scooter thing, that is soo lazy, she should walk it looks like it could be dangerous for the baby too.

A New Yoga Mom December 15, 2009 at 7:07 pm

The main problem I have with getting fit after the pregnancy is time. I am helping start this new website and dealing with a young infant. Sometimes it seems too much. What I try to do is to incorporate baby in my exercises.

One, I use the baby as resistance in some exercises (like a really pudgy fifteen pound weight). Two, I usually perform yoga looking directly at her. I find it calming and we seem to connect.

sarah smith December 25, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I think number 10 is the only one that sounds like fun. you should try and come up with more fun ways to lose weight.

Bargain Blogger January 5, 2010 at 5:18 am

Awesome post. This is particularly useful for people, like me, who are combining resolutions this new year… I want to lose weight, get healthier AND save money. And while that might seem like an impossible task for many, posts like this just go to show it’s possible.

I’m a particular fan of number ten!! January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

It may not be a good source of exercise but jumping on the segway and throwing the kid in the stroller sounds like a bunch of fun! Having sex doesn’t sound like a terrible way to burn calories though πŸ˜‰

George January 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

Love the pic of the woman riding the Segway, it seems kind of dangerous to me. Lots of great tips to include renting a tape from the library… a very much under used resource for sure.

Joe Richard April 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Deep breathing is a great way to exercise your internal organs.

Steve from Stretching Taller August 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I always recommend that people looking to gain height with stretching taller do other exercises as well, and some of the stretching/other stuff you’re talking about is great for those looking to get a bit taller. So what you’re describing has multiple benefits here!

Montel HealthMaster October 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm

#5. Babysit – Probably the most draining workout there is.

keke November 20, 2010 at 11:57 am

I hate sex.

Silicon Valley Blogger November 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Sorry to hear that!

Stephen Hellauer February 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm

This is a really great article! Especially the part about no excuses for working out. I always tell my fiance the same thing — I made a site about some of the best leg exercises that I know of. I tried to include exercises that do not involve gyms or weights to help people that cannot get to the gym themselves.

reigna September 18, 2011 at 7:08 am

Hahahaha, I love the pictures. It’s just laziness that’s stops us exercising and lack of self-discipline.

Michelle February 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm

How about taking the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator – and parking in the back of the store parking lot rather than the front. Every little bit helps.

Oven Thermometer Chef March 21, 2012 at 3:14 am


I am also a certified personal trainer and have never heard of babysitting before! Something is better than nothing, and exercising as much as 20 minutes a day can go a long way for many people. I would suggest anyone looking into exercising, get themselves a good set of professional bands and you can basically have your own home gym, if you know what you are doing.

Just like my partner says to me… “Sexercise is good for you” lol. It is true but in theory for many people, they will not burn enough calories for that to work out.

Holly X

astigxx April 20, 2012 at 12:56 am

I like # 10. Sometimes I go to gym to burn my fat; it’s effective but I always love to eat too much…

GW October 18, 2012 at 6:53 am

Not sure that you know what ergonomics means!

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