Thursday, August 29, 2013

t3 - the cost of fitness

Part of my weekend-long couch-fest I mentioned last post included reading several of my favorite health magazines cover to cover. My jaw literally dropped when I reached the article “The Cost of Fitness” where women around the country told Fitness magazine about their monthly exercise spending.

Out of the 10 women interviewed, only one woman came in with a fitness budget under $100 a month, and that was because her workplace offered a
free gym membership.  Another woman said she spend between $970 and $1,120 per month on a CrossFit membership, classes, race fees and apparel/gear. I {regretfully} admit that I blurted out to my husband, “She doesn’t look like she spends over a $1000 on fitness each month.”

And I don’t mean to be rude, but my point is simply that neither you nor I have to spend that kind of money to look great. The cost of fitness is cheap, and being physically healthy does not mean you have to forfeit your financial health. For this “Thursday Three” I’ll highlight three cheap ways you can “invest” in your health.

Go outside. Really, just walk out the door and take an evening stroll with your family, bike with a friend, go for a run, jump rope, play tag with your kids, swim at a public pool, go on a hike, do jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees, hopscotch, play basketball, football, baseball, soccer. The possibilities are endless {and free}.

Go online. YouTube was my best friend while getting ready for the wedding. Just type in “Jillian Michaels” and enjoy a 30-minute sweat session on me {just don’t curse at me when you start to feel the burn}. Pinterest is also an endless supply of fitness information. There are hundreds upon hundreds of “any where, any time” exercises that will help you burn calories not money.

Go old-fashioned. And when I say old-fashioned I mean pick up a print magazine, like the ones I love. Subscriptions to magazines like Fitness and Self cost about $6-12 a year and each issues comes with at least one if not two exercise routines that are harder than they look. Not to mention, every page is filled with motivation and inspiration. And by the time you get tired of one routine, a new one comes in the mail.

I 100 percent believe that you can have great health for free, but if you wanted to make a fitness purchase, I suggest buying a set of 5 lb dumbbells. With these you can do moves to strengthen every muscle in your body, and when they get too easy you can purchase some 8 lb dumbbells and work your way up. They don’t take up a lot of room, are incredibly versatile, and cost less than $10 at Walmart.

As for me? I am currently spending $19 a month on a gym membership {I couldn’t give up my love affair with the elliptical}, but that’s it. Sometime soon I’ll give you a list of reasons why joining a gym is the right choice for me, but I definitely think $19 a month is a worthwhile investment in my health that won’t break my budget.

What about you? What fitness activities are you willing to splurge on or what exercises do you do to save?


  1. Wow! Over $1000 a month on fitness??!?! I can't even imagine that. Nate and I have $30 gym membership fees and that's it. I definitely want to be healthy but not at that price!

    1. I know, right? I guess for them health is a hobby. As much as I love my exercise, though, I could never justify spending that kind of money.