One of the top excuses for not working out in the new year is “I can’t afford a gym membership.” Which is fine, because you don’t NEED one. Things like walking, running, and skipping rope are free. And there are a million videos on YouTube that show other free workouts you can do at home.

We used to have a family membership to a local rec centre. Now, the rest of my family has a membership, I’m skipping on it this year. It saves us $700 and, to be honest, I never really went anyway.

It’s 2017, you’ve got health goals for the new year, but going to a gym doesn’t need to be on your list. Keep that other resolution about being better with your money, and get everything done at home.

Step 1. Set Your Alarm 20 Minutes Earlier

That’s all you need. That gives you enough time to get in a quick run. Or, if running isn’t your thing, it’s enough time to do some plyometrics, yoga, or other indoor working out at home.

Running in the winter

You don’t know how to do that? See Step 2.

Step 2. Get Some Apps To Help You Out

You don’t need a personal trainer or an expensive gym membership to get the workouts done. There are apps all over the web that, with a bit of personal motivation (see Step 1), can kick your butt.

You could do something simple like 100 Pushups, which will coach you from your couch to being a drill sergeant’s dream. You can try Pocket Yoga to get your head in the right frame of mind. There are many different HIIT apps that promise to get you fit in just 7 minutes. The Nike+ Training Club has a wide range of activities and exercises for complete workouts in just a few minutes or an hour. It’s one of my favourite apps.


I’ve added TRX Fit to my routine this year. It’s the companion app for the TRX Fit straps (see Step 3) and it’s letting me get some simple body resistance exercises done in just a few minutes. I’m doing them during commercial breaks watching tv in the evening, or first thing in the morning.

Step 3. Get Some Gear

Okay, you’re not getting off totally free, you will need some gear to get back into the swing of things. But you would have been getting this stuff if you were sliding in to a gym membership, so we’re still saving money.

I love running, but I need to add strength training to my routine. The TRX Fit straps have allowed me to ‘build’ a gym in my basement with just two resistance straps over a door frame. I can do lunges, pushups, squats, and more with great focus on my core and major muscle groups. It only takes a few minutes a day, and I’m finding this a very efficient way to get strength work done.

New shoes are mandatory. I absolutely love my Adidas Ultra Boost shoes from Sport Chek. They are the softest, most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. It’s like running in your favorite slippers. Having a favorite, comfortable pair of shoes to slip into before a run gets you in a great mindset to get your workout done.

This year I’m also using gear to get up and get active more often. My Fitbit Charge 2 tracks my sleep, my steps, my heart rate, and gives me nudges to get up and move (see Step 4) when I’m at my desk too long. It also has some fun smart watch features like being able to pop up text notifications. I’m only a week into wearing it, but I’m liking it so far.

Fitbit Charge 2

Step 4. Stay Motivated

For me, that means setting goals. I’ve signed up for about 10 races in 2017. They’re anywhere from 5k to a half marathon, and they are spread out throughout the year. I’ll do some on my own, some with my sons, but they are all there as preset benchmarks to keep me on track.

As a big supporter of Team Diabetes, I need these races on my calendar every few weeks to keep in line. Without a solid goal in mind, I can easily slide out of routine. Run Guides is a great site to help you search a city and distance to find a race near you to get on your calendar too. There is a fun run pretty much every weekend everywhere in North America.

Listening to podcasts while running is a great way to feed your mind and stay motivated. You’ll become attached to the stories and hosts and want to find time to get out on the road. Here’s a great list of top podcasts from my pal, Jaime Stein of Hootsuite, to get you started.

If you still can’t do it on your own, find some friends to workout with. From Facebook groups to running clubs, to Meetups, there are many places to find people to keep you in line. Even following along with the Sport Chek #cheksquad members on social will find you with an urge to keep up.

I find humblebragging on social media to be a part of motivation too. Skip a few days and someone will ask you what’s up. Keep at it, and friends will encourage you along the way.

Pretty soon you’ll find yourself off the couch and outside, even when it’s -21.

cold ain't nothing but a number

This post is sponsored by Sport Chek

Sport ChekThanks to Sport Chek for having me on the #ChekSquad.

There is a great list of active people on board to help bring out the best best in you and help you #SweatBetter this year.

Join us!

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