Why are gyms so expensive? How is it that something so really important to our health is also one of the most inconvenient expenses in life? Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but that’s how I feel sometimes. Until I figured out a “system” that worked for me (sounds like some MLM plug), I was never consistent, especially because I couldn’t afford a personal trainer or even a gym membership. I needed that accountability.
Because here’s the reality: no one owns the copyright to exercise. You can absolutely do it for free. But the kicker for a lot of us is that it’s not so much the exercising itself that we need to pay for, but someone coming behind us and kicking our butts… excuse me, bottoms. It’s not so much the ability to afford exercising as it is the ability to afford accountability.
When it pays to get kicked
My husband and I joined the gym my church owned because it was the most affordable option for us. However, even with a “free” gym a few minutes from my house, I still didn’t darken the doors on the regular. The fitness classes provided more accountability for me, but going as often as I wanted cost extra.
It wasn’t until I became a certified Les Mills instructor that I was able to sustain working out. I still have to pay every month to stay certified, but it is less than the monthly pass. And I actually show up every time.
You know, cuz I have to.
I’m grateful for my circumstances that allow me to pursue fitness, but I know this won’t be the case for everyone. Since working out is such an important component of health, I’ll do my best to give you a few options for working out that doesn’t drain your bank account.
Keep that wallet in your pocket
So, here’s what I’ve got:
Work out with a friend. I’d pick a person who has a similar schedule, but they don’t have to keep similar tastes and styles of exercise as you. (Mixing up exercise and trying new things is good for body, mind, and soul.) If you can find a friend who will work out with you at least once a week and keep you accountable for the rest of the time, that’s almost as good as a personal trainer. Almost. I’d do them a solid and also keep them accountable, but this is option one and it’s the cheapest.
Download an app. If a level of separation still works for you, download one of these apps: Fitstar Personal Trainer (By FitBit) and 30 Day Fit Challenge Workout for Android or Apple (By Leap Fitness Group), that work like a personal trainer in your ear. It’s never been a big thing for me but I know it still kicks some people into gear.
Utilize online coaching. While it can still get expensive, it’s cheaper than a weekly personal trainer, and you still have the guidance of an expert. Basically, a certified trainer communicates with you via email or Skype and provides fitness programs and support as you work through your fitness journey.
Join a challenge. These can be free or cost a little money, but if you join a challenge online or with some people you know, it will create some community for you. And if you’re competitive, it will kick your fitness into high gear. Beachbody coaches have challenges of all sorts, so finding your local one is a great place to begin.
Train for a race. There’s nothing like incentivizing yourself with a 5k or a (eek!) half marathon. There are 5ks all. The. Time. Usually for a good cause, you can find a list of upcoming 5ks by searching in Google.
Or maybe this?
Lastly, if you love fitness classes but struggle to afford them, consider approaching your gym’s general manage about getting certified to teach. Group fitness classes are not money makers by any means, but if you can handle the time commitment to learn routines, attend any meetings, and consistently attend the classes you teach, it’s a very affordable way to work out. Some gyms even pay for your training.
What are ways you afford exercising? Comment down below!