April 22, 2018
For most of my college career, I had access to one of the nicest recreation facilities I'd ever encountered but hardly ever used it. I was intimidated by all of the people, machines, and just exercise in general. I'd been active in high school but always as a result of group sports, so trying to get to the gym on my own in college was a battle I rarely won.
However, with the coercion of some friends, by the end of my college career I found myself training for my very first half marathon. Seeing my bod take on physical goals that I didn't know it could do, while also seeing my mind overcome mental challenges regarding exercise was all I needed to enter into a long-term relationship with working out.
Even with this new found love, it took me several years to figure out what type of exercise would motivate me and get me to the gym. For me, it's group exercise classes (hence why I teach 3 formats.) I am no good at working out at home alone. Get me in with a group of gym friends or even acquaintances in a class format and I'll be there every time. If I'm home alone staring at a screen, I won't do as many reps as they're asking of me and I'll likely end up just watching from the couch. Physical accountability is what I need. ;) (Also - pro tip: if you teach group fitness classes you get free gym memberships!)
But even though I am a huge gym advocate, I know they are not always everyone's cup of tea. And gyms come with gym memberships which can often range from $40 - $120 depending on the type. Luckily, there are now tons of different types of programs and platforms for the active human, making it easy to stay fit while on a budget.
Here's a list of gym alternatives that are $15 or less:
1. Youtube - There are now hundreds of workouts on Youtube that you can stream anytime, for free. Yoga with Adriene, Blogilates, and The Body Coach are just a few of the dynamic, free workout options you can do at home. Many of these types of workouts use little-to-no equipment, but if you do find yourself needing some dumbbells or a resistance band, start a sinking fund for them or consider getting used equipment to cut down on cost. A one time cost on equipment is still less expensive than a monthly gym membership.
2. Fitness Apps - There are only about a bajillion fitness apps out there these days, making working out at home or on-the-go easier than ever. Aaptiv, DailyBurn, LesMills OnDemand, and Tone It Up are some of the most popular and effective apps out there, providing fun, efficient, and killer workouts. Prices for many of these apps range from free to $14/month, proving to be much more inexpensive than a monthly gym membership. Even better, most of these types of apps have free trials so you could put them through a free trial rotation before ever having to pay a dime.
3. Get outside - There are so many opportunities to get a great workout in, equipment free, by getting outside. Running trails, basketball courts, parks are all great places to get your heart rate up. Take your dog for a run. Hop on that bike for several miles. Use that park bench for some tricep dips or some single leg lunges. The options are endless. If you need some inspiration for some great outdoor workouts, check out Bootcamp to get you going.
4. Find discounts - But if none of this sounds exciting to you because you still really desire to get into some kind of gym, you can likely find discounted prices for month long trials on sites like Groupon or Living Social. You may not be able to find something for $15 or less, but you'll be able to find prices that are significantly cheaper than full price.
Do you have any other cost-effective gym alternatives that you take advantage of? I'd love to hear them!