Home > Diet & Fitness > No Cost Exercise

No Cost Exercise

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 30 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Exercise Free No Cost Walking Running

Many times people think the only way they can get fit is to buy expensive work out clothes and join a gym. While this route may work for some, it is hardly the only way to begin exercising. There are a myriad of no cost options for getting in shape, including walking and running, using the stairs, engaging in calisthenics, swimming, using exercise DVDs and taking advantage of your student status to get freebies. With so many activities to chose from there’s no excuse not to get fit!

Walking and Running

Walking and running is perhaps the original no cost exercise option. Many people do invest in a walking or running shoe to make sure they have the proper support in their new endeavour, but this is a purchase you may want to put off until you are certain you enjoy the activity and will keep going with it. If you decide to walk or run, remember to:
  • Map out a safe route which will keep you away from excessive traffic.
  • Look for walking paths, hiking or running trails to provide you with safe options.
  • Avoid working out with loud music on, it can distract you from your surroundings.
  • Try to up your exercise time by about five minutes per week.
  • Try to walk or run for at least 30 minutes several times per week.
  • Incorporate a few hills into your walk or run if you are feeling ambitious.
  • Try to walk or run at a speed that leaves you a little out of breath, but still able to talk.
  • Enlist the aid of a walking or running buddy who will meet you and keep you motivated.
  • Look for easy ways to get in more steps, for example getting off the bus a stop or two early.

Using the Stairs

Another excellent exercise option which has no cost is to simply use the stairs more often. This may mean taking the stairs instead of the lift, or adding in some stair climbing to a current exercise routine. Running stairs can be a great cardiovascular workout, which means it gets your blood pumping and engages your lungs, so few people need o run stairs for very long to see results. Starting out with 2 minutes, then increasing to 5, then 10 then 15 minutes should provide your current workout with a great, free boost.


Calisthenics are the type of rhythmic exercises you often performed in primary school. They focus on strength and/or flexibility, don’t require much in the way of equipment and can be performed in your room, the back garden or even the park. A typical calisthenics workout might include:
  • Star jumps, usually enough to make you a little winded.
  • Push ups. Set a daily goal and increase it slightly every few days.
  • Lunges. Bring one leg forward and sink the back leg to almost kneeling. Hold.
  • Sit ups. Lie on your back with bent knees and use your abdominals to curl up.
  • Squats. Keep feet shoulder with apart and squat a low as possible. Hold.


While swimming is almost never a no cost option in the winter, in warmer weather you may able to access a pool, pond, lake or ocean for free. If you don’t know how to swim well then even playing in the water or treading water may help you increase your heart rate. If you can swim, then doing a certain number of lengths or just moving for a certain time period can be great exercise. Not only does swimming offer a good cardiovascular workout but it also is low-impact meaning you can often do it even if you have an injury from another sport.

Exercise DVDs

If you choose to purchase an exercise DVD then you will need to make a one time investment on something that will help you work out for years to come, but you may also be able to borrow DVDs from your school or public library for no cost. Common exercise DVD categories include:
  • Yoga (stretching, strengthening, toning)
  • Pilates (stretching, strengthening, toning)
  • Aerobics (cardiovascular)
  • Dance (cardiovascular, strengthening)
  • Weight routines (strengthening)

Taking Advantage of Your Student Status

Being a student might also reap you some free rewards when it comes to exercise. Check in at local sporting goods stores and gyms to find out if there are any discounts for students, and ask if there are any free introductory sessions or evaluations with proof of student status. The worst anyone can tell you is no!

There are many options for people who want to get fit without spending money. Walking and running, using the stairs, engaging in calisthenics, swimming and borrowing exercise DVDs are all viable options even when you are low on cash. Taking advantage of your student status might also net you some free or discounted exercise items or experiences.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • mawoo
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    im currently in 11th. ive most of the time scored well in maths and my own dream is accounting. ive gone to a…
    2 April 2020
  • Jt_.ly
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    Hi, my name is Jas. I’m in 6th grade and I’m 11 years old. Just about 3 weeks ago, I started cutting. I’ve been wanting to do so…
    26 March 2020
  • idk
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    I’m 14 my dad is really strict he doesn’t like me going out because he thinks I’ll get raped or assaulted by someone. he doesn’t like…
    23 March 2020
  • Abby
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    My parents are way too strict and its so embarrassing the way I get treated like a 10 year old when I am 15.It seems like I forever…
    9 March 2020
  • 1234
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hi I’m 14 nearly 15 and I’m almost a week late , I keep having cramps and very watery discharge with little blood in it I’m starting to think…
    2 March 2020
  • Keelan
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Addicted to Social Networking Sites?
    Hello, My name is Keelan Spurrell and I am I 3rd year university student. I am currently…
    20 February 2020
  • Migz
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Addicted to Social Networking Sites?
    Greetings, I am a Grade 10 student, of La Salle Green Hills, who is conducting a research…
    19 February 2020
  • honolulu
    Re: Teenage Pregnancy
    Hey I'm just 12 years old and I'm pregnant, but i don't care what the people say to me because I love my baby and my parents help me. I hope…
    17 February 2020
  • gina
    Re: How Can I Deal With My Over Protective Mum?
    I'm sorry about your dad, I have the same problem, but its my bestest friend. I totally get it, she thinks I'm…
    17 February 2020
  • tommygirl
    Re: Teenage Pregnancy
    Hey guys! I'm 13 years old and I'm pregnant with twins. I don't know what I should do but I'm searching for a baby sitter. Can you help me?
    17 February 2020