Exercise on a Budget: 4 Low-Cost Options for Safe and Thrifty Fitness

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by Candi Randolph

We know the importance of regular exercise, overall fitness, and a healthy lifestyle as women over 50. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they? Exercise on a budget is also on the forefront of many of our minds, and wallets, as we may have adjusted our lifestyles due to retirement, relocation, overall health, or the effects of the pandemic.

All that said, our guest post from Jennifer Bell offers some simple and practical advice and tips for women who want to remain healthy and strong, and work out at home safely.

You can still be active and improve your health at any age. Whether younger or older, we can find many ways to safely get our heart rate up and ensure we meet our individual goals of healthy exercise.

Not everyone out there has the money for expensive fitness equipment. And with safety still at the forefront of our minds, home exercise may be a more popular option than gym memberships. A professional who works in home care in Philadelphia recommends these four low-cost ways to get safe and effective exercise.

Exercise on a Budget: 4 Tips for Women Over 50

women over 50 - exercise at home on a budget

1 | Multi-Use Exercise Equipment

You don’t need a costly treadmill or an exercise bike to have an effective home fitness routine. There are various multi-use equipment items that you can buy which are cheaper than more expensive, in-home bike or running models. Multi-use equipment items include:

  • Pull-up bars
  • Ab wheels
  • Yoga mats
  • Resistance bands
  • Medicine balls

These items usually cost $50 or less, all of which have multiple uses for their exercise options. Medicine balls, for example, are great for working out your abs, arms, and shoulders. Make sure you select one that is the proper weight for you–you want it to be just heavy enough so that it slows down your body’s natural motion. This gives you the force you need for efficient exercise.

Some of these exercises can be incredibly effective for your muscles. Such examples include:

Medicine Ball Curl

  1. Sit in a chair or on top of an exercise ball.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles and hold your spine in a straight, upright position.
  3. Place the medicine ball firmly in both of your hands and hold it down by your side.
  4. Pull the medicine ball up towards you in a curling motion.
  5. Do 10-15 repetitions of this, and try for 2-3 sets.
  6. Repeat this on the other arm.

Medicine Ball Situp

  1. Lie down on the floor faceup.
  2. Plant your feet flatly on the ground.
  3. Hold your medicine ball firmly in both of your hands, and in front of your chest.
  4. Raise your torso up to a sitting position.
  5. Engage your abdominal muscles.
  6. Lower your torso slowly back to your starting position
  7. Go for as many repetitions as you can for 45-60 seconds, then rest.

Other multi-use equipment, such as pull-up bars, are easy to install and also work on many muscle areas. Pull-up bars need little space and have an adjustable placement. Ab wheels work your core and lower back, with some costing under $10. All multi-use exercise equipment items have versatility and at an affordable price.

2 | Using Fitness Apps for Home Workouts

These days, we have all been staying home more due to social distancing, working from home, and other safety reasons. Because of this, the number of those working out through fitness apps and other exercise videos has surged.

Working out at home gives a comforting feeling of protection to the individual and added customization. Statistics show that this is only increasing. An in-depth study from MoEngage and Apptopia saw that global usage of fitness apps grew by a whopping 46 percent in the first half of 2020. And according to a study from Freeletics and OnePoll, the average American used two exercise applications and took four fitness classes during that same period.

There are many fitness apps available for download that give the user plenty of features to personalize their workout plan.

  • Some apps, such as Nike Training Club are free and provide guided workouts for your individual goals.
  • Others, such as Fitbit Premium, link to wearable smart devices and can take your daily activity data to give customized exercise recommendations.

And if you’re looking for yoga apps, Asana Rebel, YogaGlo, and Alo Moves each provide thousands of guided yoga practices.

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s probably a fitness app available that you can use for home workouts easily and safely.

It can be difficult to remain motivated, encouraged, and feel supported when you’re trying to establish a healthy habits and lose weight. Did you know that your smart phone can be a very effective tool for accomplishing your goals to live a healthier life? Learn more about MIGHTY HEALTH, the healthy lifestyle app created for women and men over 50

3 | Create a Daily Step Goal

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and healthy way to boost your health and get some fresh air, then having a daily walk is one of the best ways. Creating a daily step goal is one way to add a bit of motivation into the mix. Adding steps to your daily routine while giving yourself additional enthusiasm can work wonders.

For a long time, it was assumed that 10,000 steps a day was the daily goal for all Americans to meet. However, a 2019 study conducted by Dr. I-Min Lee at Harvard Medical School found significant health benefits in older women who walked between 4,400 and 7,500 steps a day.

However you do so, increasing your daily step goal provides moderate physical exercise. Create a daily step goal that you can build up towards. A fitness tracker or smartwatch can help with this. Adding steps onto your usual outdoor walking route or other cardio routine creates numerous benefits for you. These include:

  • Strengthening your core muscles
  • Lessening your joint pain
  • Lowering your blood sugar
  • Improving your mood

4 | Join Online Fitness Groups

Communities always make activities more engaging. Now there are more online fitness groups than ever for you to join and get involved with. These groups range depending on what type of exercise you enjoy, or which fitness group you’re in the mood for.

For a free trial, JEFIT offers general fitness workout plans that you can design on your own, alongside an internet forum that you can share tips with and gain exercise advice from. 305 Fitness has a wide variety of dance-oriented workout videos free on YouTube, along with a supportive community. And for an affordable monthly rate, PumpUp provides fitness videos or lets you create your own–with an empowering female community to keep you motivated.

No matter what type of fitness you’re looking for, there’s an online fitness group out there that can drive you to push forward with your health.

Saving money these days is undoubtedly a concern. And no one wants to cut corners when it comes to enhancing health. Thankfully, with these four low-cost ways of getting effective exercise, you can get safe and affordable fitness with peace of mind.

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey. She frequently works with Illuminated Hearts, a dedicated home care service in Philadelphia

I trust you’ve found some helpful tips and advice from Jennifer to accomplish the goal of exercise on a budget at home! Pin this article for later reference, jot down some notes, but whatever you do, remember that a regular fitness routine is essential as women over 50!

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