How to exercise on a budget in 2024

Man performs push-up.

Three of the top five new year’s resolutions for 2024 are related to fitness, weight loss, and diet.

But getting into shape can be costly, with many gyms charging upwards of $100 a month these days.

So, we found some of the best ways to exercise on a budget.

Start with looking at January gym deals.

Shawn Wilson says this is a great time to start a fitness program.

“You can work out, get your mind right, get your life right, stay focused,” he said while using a leg press machine at the Cincinnati YMCA.

The YMCA, like many gyms, is rolling out New Year’s deals at most locations.

Jeff Saunders, vice president of the Cincinnati YMCA, says while the Y may be a bit pricier than some other gyms, their membership is more flexible. They also offer free childcare and classes in many locations, as well as the ability to end your membership at any time

“There are no contracts at all for our members,” Saunders said.

Free Resources for Working Out

If you’re wondering if getting in shape is worth the effort, personal trainer Katie Gallagher says it is.

“It has been absolutely life-changing,” she said. “I have more energy now at 32 than I did at 25.”

She says before you pull out your wallet, though, look for resources online.

“Whether it be Instagram or YouTube, there’s so much free content available,” she said.

Next, she says, get creative and look at things you have available in your own home.

“You can grab a backpack, fill that with some heavy books, and lift weights for free,” she said.

You can also download free apps to help you train.

From Nike Run Club and Daily Yoga, to Swimio and PumpX, there are free programs available no matter what you’re interested in.

Look for Free Trials

Interested in joining a health club?

Whether it is the Y, a national chain or your local gym, ask about a free trial. Many will give you a free week, or at least a free trial day.

That gives you a chance to test things out and form a routine before you have to pay.

“A lot of workout classes allow you to go and take one for free” to make sure you like it, Gallagher says.

When comparing gyms, Jeff Saunders suggests asking if classes and childcare are included. Many gyms that advertise prices like $19 or $29 a month do not include those extras.

Do your research first, that way you don’t waste your money.

By John Matarese, WCPO

About the Author

John Matarese

John's goal is to help as many TV viewers as possible save money, avoid bad deals, know a rip-off when one comes their way, and be educated consumers. His informative weekly consumer segment "Don't Waste Your Money" now airs on 45 TV stations from San Diego to Tampa to Houston and Cincinnati. More.

More to explore