If your New Year’s resolutions to work out more and spend less are in conflict, it might be time to rethink your routine. Grab yourself a protein shake and take a look at these eight ways to save. Your wallet – and waistline – will thank us.
1. Try before you buy
Consumer spending expert Andrea Woroch suggests looking for trials at workout classes or gyms. It’s always wise to check it out before you hand over your credit card for a 10-pack of classes or monthly membership. Smaller classes like Barre or Pilates usually offer a complimentary session, and a gym might provide a week or even month-long trial membership.
2. Consider cost per workout
Harrine Freeman, CEO of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, recommends predicting how many times you will go to the gym per month. This is not the time to be aspirational – be honest with yourself about how much time you have to work out. Then, make an assessment to determine if the membership cost is worth the price. If you pay $120 for three months but only go to class once a week (or month!) you should probably consider a cheaper option.
3. Pay as you go
Look for pay-as-you-go workout facilities. Paying as you go ensures that you won’t be charged when you don’t make it to the gym. You’re also more likely to stick with it. According to Freeman, members who paid at each visit were 17% more likely to stay enrolled past one year compared to members who committed to one year upfront.
4. Check with your employer or insurance carrier
Health insurance companies know that people who exercise are less likely to have insurance claims, so many provide rebates for gym membership fees. Similarly, some companies offer health club membership discounts for employees. If your company doesn’t offer this benefit, ask HR to consider it as an option.
5. Get the Lululemon look for less
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and many stores now have workout lines that resemble pricy brands like Lululemon but for much less money. Try T.J.Maxx, Gap, Marshalls, Target, American Eagle and Dick’s Sporting Goods for cute and affordable workout clothes and accessories.
6. Use daily deals wisely
Woroch says that daily deals for workout classes or studios can be good deals, but you need to be careful. Buy too many, and you’re unlikely to use them before they expire. Take advantage of such offers by using them up before purchasing another.
7. Take your workout outside
During the warmer months, ask to freeze your gym membership and take your workout outdoors. A neighborhood jog, a climb at your local state park, or a swim in the ocean are all cheaper and much more exciting than yet another 30-minute elliptical session.
8. DIY your fitness
Thanks to the internet, working out on your own can be virtually free. YouTube videos and free online fitness websites such as Tone It Up and Blogilates offer numerous resources to help you learn yoga and other exercises by yourself. Consider inviting your friends over to hold your own private fitness class. Magazines, such as Women’s Health, Shape and Self, also provide great ideas for working out with minimal equipment.
You don’t need to break the bank when you break a sweat. With a few clever tweaks, it is possible to look and feel great for less.
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