5 Ways Students Can Work Out On a Budget

All that campus food and late night snacking can make you pack on the pounds. But you don't have to ignore your physical fitness just because you're on a limited budget. You can still get your exercise on by following the money-saving work out tips in this blog.

low cost work out tips for students

Cost-Saving Ways to Stay in Shape On a Budget

Whether or not you've already packed on the freshman 15, you may be thinking of exercising regularly. It's important to stay fit during your college years because your body is still developing. But gyms are expensive, and perhaps you don't like the college workout facilities. These five tips will keep you active while not thinning your wallet.

1. Use Your Groceries

This may sound like a strange suggestion, but items that you have lying around your dorm room can act as weights. For beginners, soup (or ravioli) cans provide just enough added weight to make your muscles work extra. This doesn't just work for bicep and triceps exercises; you can also work your shoulders, chest, abs and back. To work your abdominals, hold the can when doing crunches or do side rotations.

To complete a side rotation, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift soup cans or (full) water bottles in front of your chest, arms extended. Turn your torso, but keep your hips and head facing forward. When you've reached your limit, twist your torso and arms in the opposite direction until you can't go any further. Do this move 20 times to complete a rotation. Increase the number of times as you get comfortable with the exercise.

2. Home Gym

For a small start up cost, you can create your own home gym. Many dollar stores carry one- or two-pound weights, which are much easier to hold than soup cans, especially for those with small hands. Other great products that are inexpensive include resistance bands (under ten dollars at most stores) and furniture sliders.

Furniture sliders may be a confusing addition, but for under $20, you've got yourself an inexpensive workout machine. Use it as an ab-roller by kneeling on a stable surface. With your hands on the sliders, push forward and pull back in one fluid movement. Using the footboard of your bed to steady yourself, use the furniture sliders to move back and forth - working on your thighs and hips. Or, while planking, place your toes on the sliders to spread your legs and bring them back together in a scissoring motion (advanced move).

3. Fitness Websites

Magazine subscriptions can be expensive, which is why you may not have any. Most magazines have websites that, while not including all tips and articles, do offer some highlights and exercises that can benefit you. Sign up for a free account with fitnessmagazine.com to see low-fat recipes and trouble zone-targeting exercises. Other websites that promote health, such as fitness.com, provide articles, recipes and exercises that can be done in the home (and with those resistance bands). You can even create a workout for yourself and print it out for easy access.

4. Netflix

Without cable in dorms, many students have turned to the low-cost services of Netflix.com for entertainment. Sure, you can catch up on blockbusters and your favorite shows, but did you know they also have workout videos? You can stream videos instantly, so you don't have to stick with a particular programming - just move on to the next video on the lineup.

5. Walking Club

Many campuses like the University of Massachusetts Boston and Duke University offer walking clubs that students can partake in. No special gear or equipment is required; all you have to do is meet up with your walking group or tour guide and start moving. Depending on the school location, this may only be offered during warmer months. Meetup times and location may be posted on the school's website, so you can plan accordingly.

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