Many people spend quite a lot just to stay fit and healthy. They sign up for annual gym memberships and purchase exercise equipment; some even hire personal trainers. While doing all of these can be quite effective, they are also heavy on the pocket!

Getting in shape, however, need not be costly or expensive. There are plenty of ways to stay healthy, without having to shell out much of your hard-earned money. Here are some great, low-cost ideas that will get you fit and active, even as you stay at home:

1. Walk whenever you can.

The simple act of walking can do wonders for your health. Make it a daily habit to take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or even at the local mall. Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator, to get in some extra exercise! 

2. Create your own home gym.

You don’t have to buy the latest (and most expensive) exercise equipment to start getting in shape. A few dumb bells, a skipping rope, and a yoga mat could be all you need! But if you really want to buy some gym equipment, consider buying them second hand. Check out your local listings or browse online for some great deals.

3. Download a fitness app.

You’d be surprised at the huge number of fitness apps available on the App Store or Google Play. These include everything from aerobics, yoga, Zumba videos, and more. They also feature trackers for monitoring heart rate, steps taken, sleep hours, and other health info.

4. Watch videos and DVDs.

You can find almost everything on the Internet these days, including exercise videos. Simply go to YouTube and you’ll see thousands of fitness videos. On the other hand, you could also buy DVDs of your favourite trainers, or swap fitness DVDs with your friends.

5. Head to your local park.

Grab your bike, bring out your walking or running shoes, and head to the local park. A trip to the park is always fun, refreshing, and free! Gather your friends to make it more fun!

6. Play with kids.

If you have kids, or if you are friends with the children around your area, why not join in their games? Enjoy a game of tag, soccer, and other outdoor activities. It’s fun, plus, you’ll get to spend quality time with them!

7. Join (or form) a fitness group.

Again, you don’t have to sign up for a gym membership to exercise with a group! Why not join or create your own? Gather your friends and schedule badminton games, swimming, aerobics sessions, biking trips, tennis matches, and other activities!

8. Get busy… at home.

Doing household chores can be considered exercise, too! Work out a sweat by sweeping, scrubbing, and vacuuming your floors. Bring out your gloves and get some gardening done. Wash the windows, your kitchenware, your car! There’s always something to do at home.

As you can see, there are many things you can do to stay healthy and fit, without having to break the bank. Whether you’re solo or with a group, inside your house or at the local park, you can find ways to exercise for free or for a minimal cost. And most of all, have fun!