personal finances — September 28, 2017

Save Money on Fitness with These 4 Tips

by Susannah McQuitty

Fitness equipment, shoes and a yoga mat

A healthy lifestyle is ideal, obviously, but how many times have you tried to “get into it” only to backpedal hard when you see the price tag? Suddenly you’ve got membership dues, half a gym in your living room, and a list of supplements a mile long.

How the heck do you get back in shape without sucker punching your wallet? We talked about savings for fitness on the podcast this week, so here’s a recap of the points we hit.

Nutrient-rich food instead of supplements

Yes, it’s awesome to indulge in a chocolate, banana, chia, heaven-knows-what-else recovery shake after a hard workout, but protein powder can carry a pretty heavy price tag for the taste and convenience.

Other supplements promise faster recovery, faster muscle building and so on. It’s not that they don’t deliver (many of them do), but you can get great results just from being mindful of your grocery list.

Even if healthy food costs more than convenience food, you’ll balance out when you eat right and dodge the more expensive supplements.

A metal insulated water bottle

Try a home workout before buying a DIY fitness plan

I’m going to share my own story here, folks. Several months back, I bought an awesome workout book that promised belly-busting magnificence right from my living room.

It was perfect—no monthly dues, no awkward waiting for a piece of equipment. Just a good old yoga mat and a book of various fitness torture methods.

It all sounds great until you’re sweating on your carpet (no, the yoga mat isn’t a catch-all) two feet from the couch that you’ve somehow found a way to kick every time you do burpees. And there’s probably someone sitting there, anyway, eating chips and trying to watch TV. Motivation dead.

Do yourself a favor and learn from my mistake: Test your space before spending money on at-home fitness routines. It may work out perfectly! Just make sure first.

Sometimes the price tag is worth it

An expensive routine that’s being used is more valuable than an inexpensive routine that’s not being used.

Let me say that again: It’s not saving money if you’re not using it.

Remember the home workout from earlier? Yeah, that didn’t cut it for me, and it wasn’t just my issues with sweat-plus-carpet. I love having a group, a coach and a reason other than “summer comes every year.” I found my answer in taking karate classes, and I make every cent worth it because I love it.

Would a gym membership be cheaper? Probably. Could I just use a different home workout that would operate better in my space? Probably. But I don’t stick with those things long-term, so there’s no sense spending less money on something that won’t work.

The bottom line

Sometimes, supplements aren’t the cheap and easy way to get healthy. At-home workouts are going to take place (shocker) in your home, so make sure you have a good space; and a cheaper fitness option that you’re not using is just a waste of your hard-earned money.

As the old saying goes, “know thyself.” Be aware of your needs and preferences, and you’ll be well on your way to having a cost-effective fitness routine that saves money and whips you into shape.

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