Fitness is a lifestyle choice that has little to do with making purchases and is generally based on our willingness to commit to a habit of exercise. We can choose to be fit or not regardless of our age or prior habits.

This is not to suggest that public gym memberships or home workout equipment are not without some expense. But my goal in this post is to show that home workout expenses can be managed to meet any budget, even with a zero budget.

This is directed to those who want to be fit, those currently either with no workout experience or very little. I have had roughly six decades of exercise experience and have never seen the need to spend much money on gyms or equipment. I do have a treadmill at home, but even with that expense, I was budget-conscious.

Another point – many workout beginners may overthink what they need to know or do. This post will simplify workout routines as much as possible.


We may choose to use our bodyweight as our only form of resistance. We can also forego a treadmill or stationary bike expense by going outside for a run, jog or walk.

With our doctor’s approval and our willingness to embark on an exercise routine, we need to set up a scheduled program. To begin, I would recommend about 30 minutes 3 times per week:

Strength building:

  • Push-up. 10 reps to begin. Push up from the knees if necessary. This will train our chest muscles and triceps. Add more reps when possible.
  • Plank. While in the same position, use your toes and hands to support your body isometrically for 30 seconds to a minute. This will engage the entire core, primarily the abdominal muscles. Increase the time when possible.
  • Free squats. Do about 10-12 deep knee bends. This is for building strength in our quadriceps.
  • Jumping jacks. Do 2-3 minutes of jumping jacks. This will prepare you for cardio.


  • Walk, then jog. Walk for 5 minutes, then jog for 5 minutes. Then repeat.

Here are a few suggestions for more effective body weight exercises:

  • Do another cycle of the same strength builders. Add reps to the movements. Then add more cycles and reps as you are ready.
  • For cardio, add running to walking and jogging. As you add running, you will be implementing the high intensity interval training process. Run fast for a few minutes, then revert to jogging and walking.
  • You may want to soon do the cardio and strength building on alternate days. This will allow for more engagement of both. For example, 4 cycles of each strength builder on one day, 30 minutes of H.I.I.T. cardio the next. The strength builders will require rest time between sets.
  • Here is a bodyweight video to give us several other forms of exercise to consider in our routines. Add to the others or replace some of them as you choose.


It is important to avoid monotony in our workouts. We may go on forever with bodyweight exercise, but more likely we will want to add some equipment. Also, thus far we are not training our biceps, which is difficult to do without some equipment. We can begin with an expenditure of less than $10.

I will be using Amazon links for equipment. As an Amazon associate, I am able to use their links in conjunction with my fitness posts. If the links are converted to purchases, I may earn commissions. This is affiliate marketing. For more information on how this works, see my upper menu – BECOME AN AFFILIATE MARKETER.

The links will show full details, including pictures, prices, reviews and suggestions for similar or complementary items.

Loop resistance bands – less than $10. This enables us to do biceps curls by curling one end of the band while holding or pulling down the other end. Resistance band curls are better than dumbbell curls in this respect – as you curl upward, the tension becomes greater at the peak, rather than lighter as with the case when using dumbbells. Also, these bands are used by women to tighten the glutes.

Resistance bands with handles – less than $15. These bands give us all we need for a full body workout with different levels of resistance. We can attach the bands to a door by the door anchor and pull the handles toward us for effective training of our back (latissimus dorsi) muscles. We can also work our triceps by pulling the handles backward as we straighten our elbows while facing the door. We can curl as we step on the midpoint of the bands. We can do many other movements. This video will demonstrate the use of door anchors for several movements. This is a demonstration of resistance bands with handles but without the door anchor.

For those who prefer dumbbells, here are a couple of choices:

Adjustable dumbbells, 19 total lbs. each. Adjust as needed. Less than $60.

Set of lighter dumbbells. Pairs of 3, 5 and 8 lbs. stand included. Less than $65.

Another product I use and recommend:

4 lb. medicine ball. Less than $35. My medicine ball is 6 lbs., but beginners should consider 2 or 4 lbs. This has been an ideal standing core developer for me and my favorite home exercise product. See my prior article on the small medicine ball. I use this for a variety of core exercises, but it may also be used for curls and presses. I also use mine for rehab of a rotator cuff sprain.

It is crucial, in my opinion, to use a tracking method to record our progress as we work out. We can use notebooks, computer entries or any log or journal to do this. See my prior post on tracking our workouts.


We can’t buy physical fitness. Nor can we outwork poor nutrition. But, with consistent workout routines and good nutrition, we can change our bodies. It’s not that difficult and not complicated.

Habit formation is the key, in my opinion. First, we must have the motivation to begin an exercise program. Then we must form the habit. There is a 21 – 90 rule, which tells us that we can form a habit in 21 days if we try hard. Then we can take 90 more days to permanently establish that habit for a lifetime.

Motivation may come and go, but a habit will override the occasional lack of motivation that we all experience.

Another point – strength building and cardio are both important and can work together effectively. I have seen opinions that we can skip one or the other. Let’s do both!

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below.

Let’s make our habits good ones!



  1. Great post, Richard! Your emphasis on the accessibility of fitness regardless of budget is incredibly empowering. Your breakdown of bodyweight exercises is especially helpful for beginners looking to start their fitness journey without investing in expensive equipment.

    I appreciate your recommendations for budget-friendly equipment, particularly the resistance bands. They offer versatile options for strength training without breaking the bank. The inclusion of Amazon links makes it convenient for readers to explore further.

    – Scott

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