The benefits of exercise are numerous: It improves your physical condition, boosts your self-confidence, reduces your long-term health care costs and improves your thinking.
For many, however, the routine of going to the gym for exercise is an expensive one. The cost of gym membership at even the most inexpensive gyms adds up to hundreds of dollars per year and can quickly jump into the thousands at a top-flight gym.
One of the best ways to kill that ongoing expense is to bring the exercise equipment you use most into your home. Are you an avid user of the rowing machine? Put one in your apartment. Do you mostly use the elliptical machine at the gym? Install one in your basement. With such equipment, a workout fiend can exercise at home and easily cancel the gym membership.
Of course, this introduces another problem: Exercise equipment can be costly. Here are eight ways to find good exercise equipment that will meet your needs at a reasonable cost.
Freecycle. On this website, people give away items that they don’t want to deal with any more. Often, these are low-cost items without resale value or bulky items that are difficult to transport, and gym equipment often falls into the latter category. If you’re looking for workout equipment, it’s worth glancing at Freecycle to see whether someone is giving away something that will work for you.
Craigslist. This website is a great place to look for low-cost secondhand workout equipment. People will often list weights and exercise machines on the site at a low cost, provided you’re willing to come and take it away. Often, such equipment has barely been used, as it was bought by those with good intentions who never incorporated using the equipment into their daily routines.
Facebook Marketplace. This consumer site is similar to Craigslist in that it provides local listings for used items, which often includes exercise equipment. Facebook Marketplace listings often include images of the equipment, but it’s also heavily trafficked and tends to include people listing items with high prices.
Play It Again Sports (or other secondhand sports equipment stores). These retailers are great places to look for whatever specific kind of equipment you’re hoping to buy. As opposed to most of the other options on this list, you’ll probably find the exact equipment you’re looking for if you check out a few used exercise equipment stores, but the price will be somewhat higher.
Garage sales and yard sales. Neighborhood yard sales are frequently places where you’ll find used exercise equipment, often in good shape. The best strategy here is to pay attention to yard sale listings to identify which ones might have workout equipment and visit the sales early before they get picked over.
Going-out-of-business sales or equipment-upgrade sales. These events are held by gyms and fitness centers when they’re making changes to their business, and you can often profit from this. Such places will typically hold auctions where they will sell off unwanted equipment to the highest bidder. If you’re looking for gym-quality equipment, this is a great way to get it at a discount.
[See: How to Live on $13,000 a Year.]
Bulletin boards in public places. Your local listings will often include postings about used exercise equipment for sale. Check the bulletin board at your local gym, library, post office or city hall to see what used exercise equipment listings you might find there. Also, if you’re the member of any community groups or churches, their bulletin boards will sometimes have postings for people selling used items.
UsedGymEquipment.com. This is a site where gym owners will buy and sell equipment, providing them with another option besides auctioning off the equipment when a gym goes out of business or needs to move out older gear. This is another great outlet if you’re seeking used equipment straight from a gym. It’s worth noting that this site is aimed at gym-to-gym sales because the equipment it sells is designed more for gym use, but it does sell to interested individuals, too.
Between all of these options, you can definitely find workout equipment that meets your exercise needs and your budget.
More from U.S. News