Monday, October 19, 2009

Cut Back, But Don't Cut Out Exercise!

It’s safe to say that people are cutting back on spending lately. It’s not extremely noticeable to me because I started to live on my own about right at the time that the economy started doing terribly. My friends and I are much more conscious of money now, but for us it has more to do with having low paying jobs and tons of bills rather than the economy specifically. However, we’ve been hearing for over a year about people eating out less, spending less on clothes, gifts etc. You can even see it at your favorite retail stores where sales seem to be more common than ever before. Today I received an article on Twitter from Fitness Magazine about how people are ALSO spending less on exercise. Yikes! And not just spending less, working out less because they are too busy. Double Yikes!

This is very scary to me because:

  1. We are not at a place in society where we can afford to be less active. We are already not active enough!
  2. The busiest people I know are working moms and dads. If they stop working out, what kind of example are we setting for the kids?
  3. Exercise is a major stress reliever. If we find the time, we will feel better.

All of this being said, I know we have to pay our bills and the gym is not a reality for some people. So here are my best get fit, without breaking the bank tips J

  1. Shop around for the cheapest gym around. Do you know that some Planet Fitness gyms are only $5 per month? One of my friends belongs to a gym where she was able to negotiate a price of $15 a month. Particularly if a gym does not post their rates, walk in and meet with someone in membership. Give the price you can spend (or a little under) and refuse to go over. Promise yourself if they try to talk you up you’ll walk out.
  2. Invest in some fitness equipment for your house. When I moved, I bought myself a treadmill that was about $500. Sure, it was a lot to spend at the time but it’s about the same as an average gym membership for a year. Use it for 5 years and you’ve saved $2,000! If you don’t want to make the commitment to a big piece of cardio equipment, try free weights or resistance bands instead.
  3. Buy a couple of good DVDs. Get some DVDs you can do in your house. Working out at home is not just a money saver, but also a time saver! I recommend any of the Jillian Michaels dvds including The 30 Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones.
  4. Better yet, get exercise DVDS on demand for free! If you have Verizon Fios or Comcast you are already paying an arm and a leg for your cable/internet, no need to spend on the gym too. Go to your On Demand section for a HUGE selection of Fitness DVDs from Exercise TV. Any possible exercise you enjoy whether it be dancing, aerobics, pilates, yoga etc- you will find in this section I promise you.
  5. Try online videos for free. Yoga Download has tons of free 20 minute yoga videos that are a great way to start the day! You can also go to Exercise TV online and find some free videos if you do not get On Demand.
  6. Join a team. Were you an awesome basketball player in high school? Why not see if there is a team in your town that you can join? Usually the fees for these teams are not too bad, and you will have the added motivation of people counting on you to come. Even if you weren’t a star athlete when you were younger, you can always take lessons. Last year a good friend and I took tennis lessons through our Rec department. It wasn’t too expensive and it was fun.
  7. Go outdoors! Yes I know, I live in Boston and getting outside in January is not always a great plan. However, I do outdoor exercise whenever I can. In the spring/summer/fall this includes running, walking, bike riding, rollerblading, jumping rope, and swimming. In the winter, you can ice skate on outdoor ponds (carefully), cross country ski, learn to snow shoe…the possibilities are endless. Winter activities do take some equipment, but ask around, you can always borrow from friends.

Do you have any tips for cutting costs but still keeping your exercise routine alive? Send them my way! I'm now off to spinning class- even though I have crazy days on Mondays, I won't skip it! Gotta practice what I preach!


  1. Great ideas! Husband and I just know that $50 a month is in our budget. It is close to our house and seen as well spent since we use it so much. But I do love adding in DVDs for a change of pace.

  2. You are sooo sooo right.. My hubby and I are very creative on a zero budget. Often birthday and Christmas monies are spent on our sports..

  3. I agree that we can't afford to cut exercise from our expenses. I bought Jillian's Boost Metabolism and 30 Day Shred to do at home. She motivates me for sure! And I also found a treadmill for $10 at a church garage sale so I hope on that during commercials or first thing in the AM. Plain old walking around the neighborhood park with my Ipod works well too. And You TUBE!

  4. Those were GREAT tips Kelly!!! Honestly this was a really good post- could've been in a magazine :D

    The one tip that I'd use is workout DVDs - if all of your friends get one, you can totally have a huge library if you exchange them every few weeks or so! And running :) All you need is the road (and warm clothes at this point I guess!)

  5. I couldn't agree with you more. We have to make exercise a PRIORITY. Besides, WITHOUT exercise I wouldn't be able to physically maintain my incredibly busy schedule, it gives me the energy I need to keep going!

    I didn't have a gym membership ALL summer, which means I spent ZERO dollars on working out, yet I still did it 5-6 times a week! I ran outside, did the 30-day shred and yoga. I also did pushups and sit-ups on my own! I have a gym membership now to get me through the cold winter months, but it's at the YMCA and is only $30 a month for classes, pool and the rest of the gym facilities - that's a STEAL!!

  6. great post -- I hate people who say they NEED to go to the gym to get in a workout. No-sir-ee... some pushups, ab workouts, lunges and a walk around the block don't cost a thaaang :)

  7. I totally agree with you - you can't cut exercise out. You need to find some way to fit it in. Personally I would skip out on some Target trips or cut back on eating out before I would cancel my gym membership.

    Plus, alot of health insurance plans will cover part of the cost of the membership if you go a certain # of times. I think I only have to go 7-8 times a month & they pay half or something like that? Which is a pretty good deal in my opinion!!

  8. most of my cost comes from buying more and more and more exercise clothes. lol. so my tip is to evaluate what you need and don't impulse spend on fitness clothes!

  9. Lisa Yarns- I forgot about the insurance paying some of it! Mine pays $150 a year, which isn't a ton BUT it's still something! I would love if mine had something about how often you had to go, that would be very motivating.

    LisaSlowNSteady- I am the same way! I buy one overpriced shirt and I already could've paid my gym bill for the month. I've gotten a lot better and found that Target and TJ Max have good stuff for cheap!

  10. Also some workout magazines like Fitness and Shape design specific workouts that you can do at home with very little equipment. They offer great workout and health tips and sometimes magazines run specials for cheap subscription costs, so it's not that expensive. That is also something that can be copied and shared among friends.

    Also sites like amazon offer great prices for workout videos and sometimes shipping is free with a purchase of more than $25. A few Jillian videos will get you in better shape than monotonous cardio at the gym right?

    Great post Kelly...I agree it could be in a magazine!

    <3 Katie

    ps check my blog for some exciting news....

  11. Great post Kelly. I couldn't agree with your concern, and your fantastic suggestions more! It's sad that people make so many excuses as to why they don't exercise. If only they knew how great they would feel! I think that it can be expensive, yes, BUT it doesn't have to be! I love using videos or just the outdoors. Nothing beats it!

    Glad to hear I was missed :) You made me smile.

  12. Those are really good tips. I think it comes down to making activity a priority. Look for cheap ways to work out, but also cut back on non-necessities (forgoing daily Starbuck's lattes, for example) and put that money toward making exercise the priority.

  13. Hey! Thanks for dropping by my blog :-)

    I love this post! I keep exercise inexpensive by exercising at home. I bought all of Jillian Michael's dvds on or at walmart. I also took up running- it requires very little equipment- a good pair of running shoes and maybe a little music.

  14. Great post. A good place to find exercise equipment is Craigslist. You can get anything from free weights to treadmills and most are actually in very good condition.

  15. excellent tips kelly :) i agree, it's scary that people are cutting back on working out with all the obesity-talk going on!

    i recently starting using the "fitdeck" exercise cards. they are simple and don't always require any additional equipment. makes for a great (and easy) at-home workout.

  16. I agree whole heartedly that investing in a piece of equipment is a great way to save money overtime. I had a very pricey membership to Bally's and NEVER went. So bad I know, but I am just not a gym kind of girl. The thought of driving there, going to the locker room, etc. etc. etc. I had a million excuses. When I was told I had type II diabetes when pregnant and needed to start an exercise regimine immediately to help me have a safe pregnancy and stay pregnant as long as possible we went out and bought an eliptical trainer that day. It's been the best investment, it's so easy to just hop on for twenty minutes so no excuses. That's the minimum but I try for thirty to forty-five minutes five to six times a week. It's been a big help with maintaining my blood sugar levels. Overtime being healthier will be a big savings also, less to spend on health care.

  17. Hi Kelly! I'm sorry I've been gone for a while. I missed reading your blog.
    Great post! :D I love yogadownloads, running, and walking which are pretty much free.
    For those who don't go to the gym and don't want to spend much, there are a lot of 'exercise' options. Throwing a ball/frisbee at the park, dancing at home, jump rope and hula hoops, and many other fun 'exercises'.

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