Have you ever been flagged down at the mall by salespeople from the gym? They entice you with unlimited fitness classes, state-of-the-art gym equipment, saunas, shower rooms, and most importantly, free flow of Milo and 100 Plus!
You dream about doing your time on the elliptical, watching a sexy girl on the treadmill in front of you while the air-conditioner blasts cool air in your face. Until you hear the cost, that is.
“It’s only RM200 a month, with RM500 membership fee, mister,” said the sales guy.
That jolts you awake and you thank him for his kind offer, but no, your bank balance wouldn’t like that.
Gym memberships in Malaysia cost anywhere between RM160 to RM230 per month, and not everyone uses the gym enough to justify spending that kind of money. The traffic jam over to the gym, having to wait for your choice equipment during peak hour, and forgetting your locker number in the changing room aren’t very exciting as well.
But does that mean you should skip exercising altogether? Hell no!
Here are some ways to get fit with no gym fees:
1. Running / jogging / brisk walking
Despite its simplicity, running / jogging is perhaps one of the most effective forms of cardio around. A 55kg person running 4.8km at 8km/h burns up a whopping 474 calories!
The best bit is that it costs close to nothing if you aren’t shy about strutting around your neighbourhood in your flashy fitness gear. Bring your dog along for the run, and you’ll get protection and admiration at the same time! You can also check out your neighbourhood parks, or incorporate running into your commute home from work.
[See also: How to Start Running: Easy 4-Week Programme]
- A good set of trainers: RM250 to RM400 (should last you a good 3 to 5 years)
- If you’re a lady, you’ll need a good sports bra to keep the girls in check: RM90 and above
- Total cost per year: RM83 (pair of RM250 trainers used over 3 years)
2. Home Workout Routines
There are plenty of really good workouts available on DVD which you can follow at home. Most of the time all you need are a good pair of trainers , a yoga mat, and a set of dumbbells. These workout DVDs are usually created by fitness professionals at the top of their game, so it’s like having a personal trainer in the comfort of your own home, minus the price. Just Google up the most effective at home fitness programmes and take your pick!
The best thing about these workouts is that you can do it anytime and you aren’t limited to gym opening hours, which means you get less excuses to skip the training.
- A good set of trainers: RM250 to RM400 (lasts between 3 to 5 years)
- Yoga mat: RM45
- Dumbbells: RM30
- Fitness DVDs: ranges from RM30 each / downloaded free from the internet
- Total cost: around RM138 per year.
Think an afternoon of spring cleaning isn’t torching up the calories? Think again. Cleaning your windows for 30 minutes burns 125 calories, the same amount you’re going to burn in 20 minutes of power yoga. Vaccuuming your floors for 30 minutes burns 90 calories, which equals 15 minutes of kickboxing [Source: FitDay]
You’ll save the cost for a weekly maid (RM60) if you do your chores daily, and since you’re not a dirty hamster we’d assume you already have cleaning equipment lying around. So, you’ll actually save RM240 a month if you’ve been hiring a weekly maid!
With Selected Equipment:
4. Make a home gym
Exercise equipment are expensive. That’s a big reason people go to the gym. But let’s be honest, do you really use all the machines when you do go to the gym? I don’t. I stick to the treadmill, some of the weight machines and use the dumbbells.
Get a simple exercise bike and a set of dumbbells. If you take care of them, these will probably last you up to five years. You also need a good pair of trainers to go with, which should last you three years.
- Bike: RM900 to RM1,500
- Cheap dumbbells: RM30
- Trainers: RM150 – RM250
- Total cost: RM1,180 (lasts about 5 years, so RM270 per year)
Yoga uses resistance of your own body to help you stay in shape. It’s suitable for all types of people, regardless of your fitness level, age, and size. Even pregnant women can do yoga safely with the help of a suitable instructor.
However, if you’re doing yoga on your own, it can be very easy to hurt yourself. Your efforts could also be reaping zero benefits if you’re doing it wrong. This means you may have to go for classes at least once a week and continue practising at home.
- The cheapest yoga classes usually come with a long-term contract of 48 months at RM20 per class (with a minimum number of purchases needed).
- Some classes are on a monthly payment schedule and the cheapest found was RM150 per month for a group session, and RM250 per month for a private session.
- To start, you’ll also need a yoga mat (around RM45) and a brick from your yard. You can try out through free yoga videos on YouTube or purchased for RM30.
- Most effective: RM1,800 (classes) + RM45 (mat, one-off purchase) = RM1,845
- Less effective for fitness building but okay for light exercise: RM45 (mat, one-off purchase) + RM90 (3 DVDs on yoga – beginner level, intermediate level, and advanced level) = RM135.
Have some even better ideas on how to stay fit at a low cost? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!