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Easy Ways to Cut Down on Gym Costs

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Starting a workout routine can be one of the best gifts we give ourselves. It improves our physical health and mental wellbeing. However, if you’re looking to join a gym or even take a few classes, you may be surprised at the cost. Between equipment, race bibs, subscriptions, drop-in fees, and memberships, being physical comes at a price. Fortunately, there are ways you can cut down on gym prices without missing a workout.

5 Ways to Cut Down on Gym Prices


For those living in cities or larger towns, you are likely aware of social deals such as Groupon and LivingSocial, which offer discounts on activities and local goods. One of the most popular deals are for gyms and classes – especially when you buy in bulk.

While most of these only last a month, you can become a “class-hopper,” going where the deals take you. Each month, purchase another bulk deal on a gym membership or drop-in card as a new client. You’ll save 30-40% or more – a huge savings when you consider that gym and class memberships often cost $80 or more per month!

Save at Home

Gyms aren’t the only way to stay fit. If you don’t live near a workout facility or can’t get away, try internet workouts! YouTube, SparkPeople, and MyFitnessPal are all free sites that provide users with short workout videos or even home exercise lists that anyone can do without gym equipment.

That being said, you must be careful when trusting a YouTube or other popular video instructor. They may not be as qualified as you think. For peace of mind, consider investing in online programs that guarantee high-quality instructors that have been vetted. I personally love my monthly membership to an online yoga studio where I can learn from various teachers. Prices range from $15-25/month with unlimited sessions, which is significantly less than even one yoga class a week at my favorite studio!

Let Tech Take Over

Sometimes, the best workouts are the simplest ones. Staying active throughout the day can make a huge difference to your health and even assist you in losing weight. That is why one of the most popular fitness tech items out there is the FitBit. In the past, you would need to purchase a heart rate monitor, pedometer, food tracker, and more to make up what this one nifty device does. Even the older versions such as the Flex work great and are steals compared to the latest version!

But I really love the FitBit because it shows just how much I can do at home. It gives me encouragement to get up and move, and I never feel pressured to go to the gym to meet my goals. The option to workout and even compete against friends breaks me of the social need to attend a class.

Experiment With New Fads

From circus pilates to dodge ball leagues, fun new classes are popping up at gyms all over North America. The best part about them (besides being a ton of fun) is that they’re inexpensive! That is because, unlike Zumba or Barre, these classes are relatively untested or beloved. Teachers often put up trial classes to see what the interest level is before offering it to a wider audience. Take advantage of these testers to see if you like it enough to pay the full price and to get in a unique workout without the boutique prices you’d pay down the line.

Train With a Student

Personal training is a great investment on long term health, but training fees can be outrageous, especially if you want to work out with someone licensed or with great credentials. But all of those super star trainers and athletes had to start somewhere!

Many colleges and universities that offer degrees in athletic training, physical therapy, or exercise science need their students to have hands on learning experiences with their own students. Signing up to be a guinea pig doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with a newbie as more than likely, you’ll get the help of not only the knowledgeable student, but also the professor with years of experience.

Your health doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Instead of cutting down on your workouts, look for creative ways to get your sweat on without opening your wallet.

Michelle is a 20-something new mom, dog lover, and freelance writer/solopreneur living in Chicago. She's currently fighting back to get in the black while learning how to make great financial decisions for the future. You can find her personal debt story at fitnpoor.com and her site for parents wanting to raise money-smart children at everylittlecent.com

Posted on January 12, 2016.

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One Response to “Easy Ways to Cut Down on Gym Costs”

  1. Bev M. says:

    I highly encourage others to quit their gyms. I used to belong to one, but financial circumstances led me to quit going. (I’m an at-home, homeschooling mom, and my husband and I decided to sell our second car to save money.) I bought a treadmill for around $1500 and a Callanetics video for my resistance exercise. With not having to pay a car payment, insurance, gym membership and nursery, gas, etc., I recouped my expenditures in a little over 3 months, and we were able to pay down our debt much more quickly. I live next door to a school with a track, and if I could have left my kids home alone, I would have skipped the treadmill and used the track.

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