Cost saver #1: Exercise at home
This will save you time and money. But before you buy dumbbells or as-seen-on-TV tools, consider this: By using just your body weight, you can work muscles in your legs, arms and core.
“If you spend any money on fitness, it should be on figuring out the right exercises for your body and skill level, not on stuff,” says Jane Clapp, a personal trainer and the founder of Urbanfitt gym in Toronto. Personal trainers can visit your home and teach no-equipment workout routines in as little as two sessions, at an average cost of $80 a session. To save even more, ask friends if they’d like to do the sessions with you and split the cost. It’s a good idea to get some top-up sessions every few months to ensure your fitness level isn’t plateauing, says Clapp.
For those who don’t want or can’t afford a personal trainer, an alternative is to use workout DVDs; many are available at libraries. You can also create your own program by going online for workouts by qualified instructors. YouTube has tons of videos by professionals. Or try Clapp’s “Anywhere Body Weight Workout.”
How much can you save?
• Gym membership for one person for the year at a middle- to high-end gym: up to $1200…Or choose:
• Customized workout for one from personal trainer: $400 a year
• Three home-workout DVDs: $40
• Online videos: $0
Total savings: $800 to $1200, depending on which option you choose