It's easy to find some form of exercise that you can do for free, but the key to a successful women's fitness program is diversifying your workout and engaging yourself enough to stay committed to the routine. Fitness clubs are one-stop shopping for flexibility, weight-lifting and cardio routines, but can often be pricey. Don't be deterred, though, if you don't have the room in your budget for membership fees. If any gyms in your area offer a la carte personal training sessions, it might be worth it to invest in one lesson to learn stretching and strength routines that you can replicate on your own. For an even cheaper route, get a guest pass from a friend's gym, to scope out the types of exercise you prefer. Read below for elements to cheaply but effectively incorporate into your weekly workout plans all on your own.
The Great Outdoors
This is about as free as it gets, minus the initial investment of sneakers and exercise attire. The outdoors provide a platform for a diverse array of cardio exercise, from running to biking to swimming. You can even revert to your inner-child, by roller blading outside, which is a great workout for arms and legs. Working out in the outdoors provides fresh air and a constant change in scenery, which can fight the boredom that many experience while exercising on a stationary machine indoors. Look for strength workouts in nature, through activities like rock climbing and rowing. You can also use terrain to your advantage, biking or running on hillier routes to give your body the extra challenge it needs to strengthen and tone muscles. Brave the elements in the cold-weather seasons with extra layers of clothing.
A Set of Hand Weights
A one-time investment in a set of free weights is sure to have long-term payoffs. Buy a set with a pair of light, medium and heavy weights, to accommodate different muscle groups. Incorporate hand weights into your ab exercises for additional resistance to strengthen ab muscles. Use the heavier set for lower-body workouts, such as lunges and squats. Give your upper half a complete workout with bicep curls, chest presses, tricep lifts and rowing arms. Do a strength workout about three times a week and keep it fun with an upbeat playlist in your iPod, or multi-task by weightlifting while watching your favorite TV show.
A Fun Workout Video
Look for videos that cover great flexibility exercises, of the yoga or pilates brand. Workout videos can be a great way to incorporate some fun into your fitness plan with some non-traditional cardio exercises such as kick boxing or cardio dancing, too. This should be an element of your workout that you genuinely look forward to doing, helping you stay motivated on the days you don't feel like exercising. Workout videos can run you anywhere from $10 to $50 and up, depending on how many you want in your routine. Save even more money by buying used videos, which are just as good. Since you won't have a person coaching you on your form, pay extra attention to mimic the moves and techniques taught by the instructors in the videos.