As budgets remain tight, many people have cut their monthly fitness memberships. While cutting the budget is good, not exercising isn’t so great. It’s important to stay healthy. The good news is, you can learn how to save money on fitness. This is one instance where you can have your cake and eat it too.
How to Save Money on Fitness
Exercising outside offers a number of benefits. It’s free. The sunshine and the fresh air really are good for you – can you say vitamin D? Additionally, it’s often more convenient. You can often leave your home and be on your bicycle or running in seconds. You don’t have to drive to the gym. Finally, it’s better for the environment if you don’t have to drive to the gym. And did we mention that it’s free?
If you’re the type of person who has the motivation and determination to exercise in your home, then home fitness equipment makes sense. It’s not the right decision for everyone. In many homes the treadmill or stair stepper quickly becomes a clothes drying rack, and that’s a huge waste of money.
However, if you are the type of person who can make working out at home a success, then buy used. The used sporting goods stores are jam-packed with used equipment that’s in great shape. Why? Because they were purchased by people who had good intentions and poor follow-through. Take advantage of their mistake. Check out used sporting goods stores and online sites like Craigslist for good equipment at a great price.
If you really enjoy gym memberships, it’s important to know that many gyms are hurting financially. This means that they’re offering amazing membership deals. It also means they’re willing to negotiate. If you love working out at a gym and all the variety it provides, negotiate a plan that meets your needs.
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One of the benefits of a gym membership is the social environment. You can take classes with groups of people. For many this is the single most important motivator. However, you can find similar motivation by joining a fitness group.
For example, if you like to run then consider joining a local running group. Bicycling, swimming and team sports are another way to capitalize on the social aspects of fitness and motivation without spending a dime.
Scrimp and Splurge
There are fitness items it makes sense to splurge on and those that it just doesn’t. Protective gear should be solid and reliable. Undergarment support items are also important; sports bras for busty women and compression shorts for men make sense. Good shoes are also important.
However, the t-shirt you wear or the sweatband you have on your head definitely don’t need to be expensive items. Yes, getting geared up can help you get motivated to work out; however, spending hundreds on your outfit doesn’t make sense if you’re on a budget. Additionally, depending on the sport, the gear you choose doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
A bike, for example, can cost anywhere from $500 to $5000 dollars. An expensive bike isn’t necessary for fitness, unless you’re training for the Tour De France. In fact, this is one area where you might consider buying a used bike.
Fitness doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Find a sport and a means that fits your budget, and don’t let the sluggish economy affect your health. It’s too important.