How I Got Fit For Summer Without Spending A Single Dollar

I know the title of this post sounds like a health and beauty magazine, but hey, I had to grab your attention, right?

As a personal finance blogger, I will of course looking at how to get fit for summer from a financial perspective.

I managed to get relatively fit for summer this year by doing a few simple things – and they didn’t cost me anything.

Before we begin, you should know that my definition of fit is not the same as you see on Instagram, so no, I didn’t get a six-pack, but I lost some weight and I felt great.

To me, being fit is when my mind and body is being treated well, looks well and feels well. If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I consider your health to be the best investment you will ever make.

Here’s what I did:

1. I went running outside

This one is so simple that I probably shouldn’t write about it.

Instead of spending lots of money on a fitness subscription to go and run on a treadmill, go outside and run instead.

I love running outside because you get to smell the fresh air, see people, listen to the nature (or podcast). There are lots of things to focus on, so you don’t have to look down at the distance and time on the treadmill all the time.

If you for some reason cannot run, then go for a walk instead – you’ll get some of the same benefits!

2. I shifted to a mostly vegetarian diet

I used to eat meat for every meal. Now I rarely eat meat.

I have found that vegetarian dishes can be delicious, my body feels better and I get less of all the bad things in meat (fat, antibiotics etc.).

And the best part for a personal finance blogger? Meat is damn expensive, and you can get so many delicious and healthy vegetables for much less than I used to spend.

Meat has some vitamins and minerals in it that is important for the body, so remember to eat plenty of vegetarian substitutes or take supplements if you stop eating meat.

3. I worked out using public workout equipment and at home

On one of my runs I found a public “gym” that has lots of equipment where you use your own weight to workout.

I know this is a concept that is fairly common in many big cities around the world, so I would highly encourage you to try it out. Try searching for similar offerings in your neighborhood.

I also worked out a home. I found an amazing app, Freeletics (I’m not affiliated with them), where you can work out anywhere you have 2×2 meters (outside or at home), and you don’t need any equipment. They have many different workout programs for free.

It is 100% free and surprisingly few people use it compared to how many I see in the gyms doing exactly the same things.

4. I challenged my friends

I struggle with motivation to do sports like most other people.

One of the ways I got a lot of motivation was by challenging my friends.

Using Freeletics, you can see how much your friends are working out and how they are doing. That is a major motivation to improve your own records and frequency!

The same thing goes for other sports apps like Strava for bicycling, where you can also challenge your friends or other people who have been on the same route previously.

That’s what I did to get fit for summer this year. If summer is already gone where you live, remember that you don’t have to wait until next year – anytime is a good time to start prioritizing your health.

Your turn: What do you do to get fit without spending any money?



Katie Camel June 6, 2020 - 12:45

Nice ideas! I love my expensive gym, but I’m experimenting with transitioning out of it by running outside, using my rebounder and free Youtube workout videos at home. Walk at Home, which another blogger at Our Bill Pickle told me about, is one of my favorites. I’ve added weights to these workouts.

Carl Jensen June 6, 2020 - 19:37

I also used to love my gym, but I have had exactly the same experience as you. YouTube has amazing free videos and there’s plenty of apps too that give you home workouts too (Freelectics and Seven for example).

Grizgal September 1, 2019 - 20:06

I haven’t managed to train for no cost as you have but I took up triathlon this year and after an initial investment it is pretty cheap (I wrote about it in one of my first posts), and the health benefits are amazing. Now looking at doing longer distances with no further outlay. you don’t need to spend a fortune to stay fit, you just need to be sensible.

Carl Jensen September 1, 2019 - 21:50

That’s exactly right. Cool you have taken up triathlon! That is some serious stuff 🙂

[email protected] September 24, 2018 - 12:15

I always do some squats with my 30 kg son on my shoulders. The extra weight makes the exercise more challenging and I don’t have to spend anything to do this.

Carl September 24, 2018 - 17:17

That’s an excellent idea! And over time you automatically keep on adding weight to the squats 😉

Steveark August 30, 2018 - 23:06

You do need new running shoes every 500 miles or your poor feet and knees will talk back to you! But that’s still pretty frugal compared to most health related costs.

Carl August 31, 2018 - 18:42

You are very right, Steveark! So not entirely free, but the cost per workout will be much lower than running on a treadmill in a fitness center – not to speak about health related costs, as you say 🙂


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