SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Home gyms don't have to be pricey. For one Ozarks woman, all it took was a little patience and some shopping around.
At work, Jessica Nelson sits behind a desk, but when she's at home she doesn't like leaving her family to go to the fitness center or its monthly price tag.
"It really came down to the fact that I wanted the resources that I wanted, easily accessible and I didn't have the funds," says Jennifer.
So, Jennifer decided to bring the gym to her.
"This exercise ball was a discount. It was an open package return and they donated it to Goodwill," Jennifer explains. "If you go to Academy, it's going to run you like $15.00. I think this was like a quarter."
Instead of the big box stores, she took her quest for budget friendly-fitness equipment to Craigslist and garage sales.
"The best time is always the last part of every month, because everyone's moving. You know everybody is trying to get rid of those items."
It pays to come prepared. Jennifer scored an elliptical trainer for free.
"It was just you haul it, you take it and we were the first ones there with a truck."
This is the time of year when alot of people are spring cleaning. Jennifer recommends calling your local thrift store and letting them know if you're looking for something specific.
"We operate a wish list," says YOTO Inc. Executive Director Ken Childers.
Whether it's bargain bikes or affordable ab crunchers, Ken enjoys the adventure that comes with shopping on a thrift store budget. He operates the Youth of the Ozarks Thrift Store on N. Glenstone Ave. in Springfield.
"I came to work this morning and there was nothing out back. I come in from a lunch appointment and voila, I have a working treadmill."
Jennifer was able to build a quality home gym for less than $200, but even the best fitness rooms only go so far.
"You really can't ignore it when it's at your house, but at the same time you can find those good deals on Craigslist means that a lot of people don't utilize those resources," says Jennifer
Motivation hasn't been a problem for Jennifer. In a year and a half, she has said goodbye to 150 pounds.
"I just finished my first half marathon this weekend, those are things that having these resources to work at home 30 minutes a day got me to that finish line."
Having a gym at home has not only encouraged her to make keep up her new healthy lifestyle, but to spend more time with her family.
"I work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days and we come home and have dinner and it's off to the gym for her and that's an hour. That's all we had together. So by putting in a gym, you know I get her the rest of the evening," says boyfriend Josh Collwell.
Jennifer also says it's important to reward yourself. For instance, the money she would have been putting into a gym membership now goes toward buying healthy foods or new workout clothes.