Beach Bod on Clearance: 6 Ways to Stay Fit On the Cheap!
With summer just around the corner many of us are looking to get fit but we don’t want to break the bank. Want to feel the burn without feeling the pinch? Community classes, seasonal discounts, and cheap memberships can keep you both fit and financially healthy.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week to maintain cardiovascular health and to help prevent heart disease and stroke, two of the top five causes of death in the US. Beyond those clear health benefits, a regular exercise regime can also give you increased energy, more confidence, and (possibly) a slimmer waistline.
But joining a gym can cost serious money. The average monthly cost of a membership nationwide is $58, and, according to one study, 67 percent of people with gym memberships *never* go. And once you’ve signed up, canceling your gym membership is notoriously difficult.
So how can you stay in shape without going broke? We’ve got some ideas.
Get a membership on a sliding scale at the Y
We love the YMCA and you can too! If you’re short on your dough, there is indeed still a place you can go (and use the treadmill or take a spin class): The YMCA, that American cultural and fitness institution, offers memberships on a sliding scale according to income.
Unlike pricier gyms that make canceling your membership impossible, the Y allows you to put your membership on hold for up to six months for just $20. Great for those summer months when you want to be outdoors and not in a stuffy locker room smelling other people’s socks.
Get a dirt cheap membership at Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness, that purple and yellow mecca of judgement-free exercising, is also the cheapest gym around: Monthly fees start at $10! Keep in mind that PF doesn’t have classes like other gyms, so it’s ideal if you just want to use the elliptical or do some bicep curls in front of a big mirror.
Planet Fitness is also famous for its no-lunkhead policy, which is great if you don’t want to have to work out near this guy: Find a funny picture of a body builder.
Check out community classes at your local yoga studios
Most yoga studios offer so-called community classes once or twice a week. These classes are typically either free or significantly cheaper than regular sessions, and are usually taught by newer or less experienced teachers.
There are also probably cheaper or free classes offered through other institutions besides for-profit yoga studios, like community centers or non-profit meditation organizations. Next time you’re in your local coffee shop, take a look at the community board: You’ll probably see flyers for some cheap or free classes.
Stream your workout, Hello YouTube!
It’s also possible to do some yoga without paying a dime OR leaving your house. There are plenty of exercise coaches and teachers online. There is a wide variety of styles and levels available. Check out your favorite app store for apps that will provide you with free or low-cost exercise programs.
Run like the wind or maybe just a brisk summer breeze
Running is probably the easiest and most accessible form of exercise, even if it is also one of the most loathed…ugh! All you need to start a regular jogging habit is a good pair of running shoes and some non-binding clothing. A good pair of running shoes runs about $100 and will probably last about a year.
Remember to listen to your body and pace yourself…you don’t want to overdo it and stop moving! As with any new exercise regime, ask your doctor first before you start anything new.