Many people think they have to pony up for a gym membership, buy expensive home exercise equipment, or at the very least, sign up for yoga or other classes. But if you're short on funds, you need spend very little to stay very fit!
For aerobic exercise (good for your heart and for burning off calories) you can walk or run in your neighborhood or find a walking path nearby. You can also get a good workout raking leaves, using a manual lawn mower, and taking the stairs whenever possible. Or buy a jump rope and increase your time slowly, hopping on both feet or skipping on two. Either way it's an excellent way to boost your heart rate. Try to do some aerobic exercise at least three or four times a week.
Invest in a two sets of dumb bells, otherwise known as hand-held free weights. Buy one set that is fairly light and easy to lift and another that is more challenging but doesn't make you strain to pick up. You can find simple weight-lifting techniques in fitness magazines and on fitness websites such as Wellsphere. You should try to lift weights, working your arms, shoulders, chest, and back at least three times a week but it need take no longer than 20 minutes. You can also try resistance bands, stretchy tubes or cords which come in varying degrees of resistance to work both your lower and upper body. Many come with workout tips.
If you don't want to spend a dime, that's fine. In addition to walking or running, you can do sit-ups and crunches to work your abdominals, push-ups and triceps dips to develop your chest and arms, and lunges and squats to work your legs.
Be creative. See if you can develop your own workout routine, and crank up the music. Who needs the gym?
YES!! I think we are sometimes fooled into thinking that joining a gym is going to get us in shape. I have found too many times that I could be done exercising by the time I drive to/from the gym and wait for machines being used by other members. It's all about finding a routine and sticking to it.