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52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cancel Your Gym Membership {Week 15}

Save money by ditching your gym membership with these frugal workout alternatives!

Every Monday in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.

How many of you have a gym membership that you aren’t using regularly? If you’re not using it, that’s just money going down the drain every single month!

And even if you are using it occasionally, it could be really pricey for each visit. For instance, if you’re paying $40 per month for your membership and you only go once a month, that’s $10 per visit!

What if you cancelled your gym membership and committed to try other much more alternative options? Here are some ideas that have worked for me:

Inexpensive Gym Alternatives

1. Buy Some Used Exercise Equipment

We have gotten great deals on workout equipment on Craigslist. If you wait until midyear — when everyone has long since forgotten their New Year’s resolutions — you may be able to get a fantastic deal on an almost-new treadmill or elliptical that someone just wants to get out of their house.

Garage sales are also great places to check for workout equipment. Know what you’re looking for, have patience, and you’re bound to find a deal.

2. Watch YouTube Workout Videos

YouTube is a treasure trove of free workout videos. I personally haven’t used a whole lot of them, but one I am very familiar with is Clare from She has all sorts of fantastic , , and great fitness ideas on — all for FREE!

If you have YouTube workout channels you recommend, would you post the link in the comments for us? Thanks!

3. Check Out Some Workout DVDs

You can find dozens — or even hundreds — of workout videos at your local library. I love — especially her 30-Day Shred. If you are wanting something a little more low impact, try .

If you find a DVD you especially like, it’s probably worth buying it instead of constantly renewing it at the library. 🙂 But I love how you can “try before you buy” via the library.

4. Get Outside & Get Your Heart Pumping

Getting outside and exercising — whether running, jumping rope, chasing your kiddos around playing tag, or taking your baby out in the stroller for a brisk walk — is one of the best ways to exercise. Not only do you not have to mess with purchasing exercise equipment or DVDs, but you get fresh air and sunshine at the same time!

More Fitness on a Budget Ideas:

Family Fitness for Less

3 Inexpensive Ways to Make Exercise Fun for Your Children

7 Ways to Save Money and Stay Motivated While Getting Fit

6 Tips for Losing Weight on a Budget

Three Ways to Stay Consistent

Now, it’s great to have these gym alternatives. But you actually have to follow through with them to make them worth anything! So here are three suggestions I have for staying consistent with exercising:

Have a Specific Plan

Make a plan and write it down. It could be as simple as saying you’re going to take 3 15-minute walks this week. Or that you’re going to complete 4 days of the Couch to 5K program.

And don’t just plan what you’re going to do. Plan when and how you’re going to do it as well. Will you take your kids on a bike ride after school? Or will you hop on the treadmill first thing in the morning?

Knowing what you’re planning to do and how you’re planning to do it will be a huge step in the direction of success.

Find an Accountability Partner

If you’re struggling to stick with your exercise plan, I highly recommend getting an accountability partner. Find someone to run with every morning or to come over and do a workout DVD with you three times per week.

Or, just ask a friend if she’ll be willing to keep you accountable every day to following through with exercising. This means that you’ll text her, call her, or email her to let her know what you did. It’s amazing how motivating accountability can be!

Track Your Progress

It’s very encouraging to keep track of your exercise each week — and to see the progress you are making over time. You can use something like Nike+ or log your exercise on a site like . If you’re more of a pen and paper person, you can use one of these free Fitness Planning Printables.

What are your best tips and ideas for staying fit on a budget? I’d love to hear!

Other posts in the 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year series

  1. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Bake Your Own Bread (Week #1)
  2. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Make Your Own Coffee at Home (Week #2)
  3. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Cable Package {Week 3}
  4. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Order Prescription Glasses Online {Week 4}
  5. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners {Week 5}
  6. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Mixes {Week 6}
  7. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become a One-Car Family {Week 7}
  8. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Surround Yourself With Frugal Friends {Week 8}
  9. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Eliminate Disposable Products {Week 9}
  10. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Cut Your Own Hair {Week 10}
  11. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Use Cloth Diapers {Week 11}
  12. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become Best Friends With Your Freezer {Week 12}
  13. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Rent Movies for FREE {Week 13}
  14. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Ask for a Discount {Week 14}
  15. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cancel Your Gym Membership {Week 15}
  16. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Get the Best Bang for Your Buck at Yard Sales {Week 16}
  17. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Grow Some Of Your Food {Week 17}
  18. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cut Back on the Soda Pop Habit {Week 18}
  19. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Buy in Bulk {Week 19}
  20. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Price-Match at Walmart {Week 20}
  21. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Landline {Week 21}
  22. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Refinance Your Mortgage {Week 22}
  23. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Follow a Local Deal Blogger {Week 23}
  24. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Coupon Database {Week 24}
  25. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Plan a Weekly Menu {Week 25}
  26. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Strategically Use Daily Deal Sites {Week 26}
  27. 52 Different Ways to Save At Least $100 Per Year: Shop at Aldi {Week 27}
  28. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Books {Week 28)
  29. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Clothing {Week 29}
  30. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop With Cash {Week 30}
  31. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat Less Meat {Week 31}
  32. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Is this really a good deal? {Week 32}
  33. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: 3 Ways to Save on Online Orders {Week 33}
  34. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Turn Your Clutter Into Cash {Week 34}
  35. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get Organized {Week 35}
  36. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Have an All-Cash Christmas {Week 36}
  37. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Sign Up for Swagbucks {Week 37}
  38. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Cut Your Fuel Costs {Week 38}
  39. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Frequent the Library {Week 39}
  40. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Simplify Birthday Parties {Week 40}
  41. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Brown Bag It {Week 41}
  42. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Snacks {Week 42}
  43. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Programmable Thermostat {Week 43}
  44. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Limit Eating Out {Week 44}
  45. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get a Bang for Your Buck on Travel Expenses {Week 45}
  46. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Don't Pay For Pre-Made Baby Food {Week 46}
  47. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat More Beans {Week 47}
  48. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Homemade Cards {Week 48}
  49. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop At More Than One Store {Week 49}
  50. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat From the Pantry {Week 50}
  51. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Stay Home More {Week 51}
  52. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Develop Contentment {Week 52}

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72 Comments

  • Amy R says:

    Get a jump rope!!! The following is from one of my favorite fitness websites…

    Jumping rope is one of the most efficient methods of cardio training. Jumping rope for 10 minutes at a moderate pace is the equivalent to running one mile in 12 minutes, cycling 2 miles in six minutes, swimming a quarter mile in 12 minutes, two sets of tennis or playing an 18-hole golf course.

    And…it’s fun!

  • says:

    “For instance, if you’re paying $40 per month for your membership and you only go once a month, that’s $10 per visit!”

    I think you mean you only go once a week?

  • says:

    I love DDP Yoga. It is low impact with fast results. Plus, the community is amazing.

  • says:

    Love this! And you’ve got to account for the gas mileage to and from the gym (AND decent gym clothes)! We’ve found some great deals on exercise equipment and paid cash for them. I prefer to run in the mornings, but some mornings it just doesn’t happen so I like to have the option of doing it at home during my kid’s nap/quiet time.

  • says:

    When I take the kids to the playground, I try to hang on the monkey bars and do a few pullups (they might not look great, but even if I can’t always crank out a few, it’s a great stretch), walk on the balance beam, and do other playground-workout exercises.

    Bike riding is also a great workout, especially with the bike seat or bike trailer! We don’t have to go far to get my heart pumping. When we can get some errands done, we are also saving on gas.

    For inside with the kids, one of my new favorites is from YouTube: Cosmic Kids Yoga
    We are all entertained!

  • sara says:

    check out bodyrock.tv you will get in shape and its free!

    • Ann says:

      I also like bodyrock.tv; you can also get to them through dailyhiit.com I wish they weren’t so oiled and perfect, though….

      • Vicky says:

        I totally agree Ann! The workouts are very good, but IDK if I will ever look like that! LOL

        • sarah says:

          I love Lisa, Sean and Candice; and yes, they are pretty (genetically and enhanced..lol) perfect, they still do great workouts that I find challenging and non repetitive. I’m going to check out that fitness blender one now.

  • says:

    This is one I’ve been agonizing over for a few weeks. I have a cheapo gym membership for the gym at my office (in the basement of the office building). It’s only like $24 a month or so, and I like to go… but I haven’t been in a long time. I’ve been walking/running at home or on my lunch break instead. I’m thinking about cancelling but I’m concerned if I take the plunge, I might lose ALL motivation… Eek! Anybody else out there think the gym is a motivator? Maybe it’s not. I don’t know??

    • says:

      All the trainers in the house say “NOOOOOO!!!!”

      I like the community aspect of a gym. I love the group exercise classes especially. I also pay about $25/month, which includes childcare for my 4 kids, but I go twice a week during the school year and up to four times a week during the summer so my family can use the pool. So if I cancelled my gym membership I’d actually be losing money!

    • says:

      I am a member of a gym that I do not care for currently because we could add me to my husband’s membership for only $15/ month. As I read this, I’m wondering if even that is too expensive for how little I use it. My favorite part of a gym is classes (mine is only weights and cardio machines, no classes). I LOVE that a class will start whether you are there or not — so you better show up if you want your workout! No procrastinating for 90 minutes with the “I know I SHOULD but I just don’t wanna…” And eventually if you go regularly to a class, you form community in that class.

      I think the question here is: why aren’t you using the gym at your office? Do you not like it? If you aren’t using it, why would you lose motivation by not paying $24/ month not to go? A gym is only a good deal if you are using it (and $24/ month is a good deal, no doubt). The bottom line in workouts and finances is always the same — you have to figure out what works for you.

  • says:

    Isn’t it interesting that God gave us great fresh air and beautiful nature to enjoy, but we would rather go to a gym to exercise?

  • says:

    My dad recently purchased a nice Olympic barbell set, complete with a decent bench, squat rack, and pull-down set up for about $200. That’s roughly 3 months membership to a good gym!
    As far as beig consistent, I found that, with myself, after a while exercise becomes addictive – in a good sort of way. So find a way to stick with it! You won’t be sorry.

  • Linda says:

    As much as I would love to stop paying for my gym membership, I just cannot. I am not motivated at all to workout at home. I’ve tried so many different things for years and my motivation wanes after a couple of months.

    I found CrossFit about a year ago, and, even though it’s pricey, for me it’s worth every penny. Apparently, I need someone to push me to my limit in order to get moving!

    I also have diabetes and both my dr. and I are very happy with my progress. My blood work has improved at every visit and I have tons more energy. I will sacrifice other things like eating out, in order to pay for my membership. I figure that it’s less expensive than dr. bills down the road…

    • Sheila says:

      Crossfit is absolutely worth every penny. At 46, I think I am in the best shape of my life. I can’t put a real value on the benefits to my physical and emotional health, but it’s more than I’m paying Crossfit. If we were struggling to pay our bills, I could see dropping it for a while, but it’s one of the last things that would go for us. I think that this advice is really intended for people who don’t use their memberships, rather than those of us who go a lot.

      • says:

        Good for you both! And I am in agreement with you. Even though I dont Crossfit, I do work out at my gym many times per week and really enjoy the results. Keep doing what works and don’t listen to the naysayers!

    • Rebekah Williams says:

      She’s not saying everyone cancel your membership, but everyone who isn’t using it enough! Keep it up, sounds like you’re doing great!

      • Linda says:

        I absolutely agree. If you are not using it, but paying for it every month, cancel it.

        The gym I go to does not require a membership, you pay every month, and can even pay for individual visits. If I was in a situation where I could absolutely not afford it, I could take stop going for a while.

        Many years ago I made the mistake of joining a gym that required a yearly membership. After a couple of months, my finances changed and I could no longer afford it, but I was stuck!

        After begging and pleading with the managers for weeks, they agreed to let me off my contract. I learned my lesson, though, never again will I put myself in that situation.

    • Angela says:

      I also find that I am just more motivated to work out at the gym than at home. I like getting away from the house. I work at home, and maybe that is part of the reason.

  • dee says:

    If you find a DVD you like – take a trip to the pawn shop! Our pawns shops sell all DVD’s for $1.50!

  • Sakura says:

    I purchased a heart rate monitor. I went online and found the best rate for my heart to work to burn fat. I put it on and try to stay at that rate for 30 minutes. When I get more fit I’ll go for longer. Also since the whether is trying to warm up I’m hoping to start riding my bike with my son. My mother is 69 yo and she just learned how to ride a bike 4 years ago. She is small, very petite but soft. A couple months of riding her bike daily in the morning for 30 minutes to an hour she has awesome legs. She is a great example for me! Oh and I eat backwards, big breakfast to small dinner, with a couple of snacks in between.

  • Monica says:

    T-tapp.com is the way for this mom to get in shape. It works!

  • Sweta says:

    I’ve found a lot of great workouts on Pinterest.

  • Megan says:

    I found another great website for free workout videos:
    They have a wide variety of workouts for all different levels of fitness.

    • Vanessa says:

      I recently started using fitness blender videos! You can also watch their videos on Youtube:
      They are getting ready to make some big changes to their website next month, which will allow users to make favorite lists and search more easily. Since the videos have no music, I like to turn on some of my own during my workout.

  • Jen says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I found myself getting sick more often when I went to a gym as opposed to working out at home. Gyms are just a hotbed of germs! Add to that the rude customer service, machines out of repair, people hogging machines, people yapping on their cell phones, etc., and it became quite easy for me to drop the membership. I have P90X, Insanity, P90X2, RushFit, Tapout, Body Beast, and a few other random workout DVDs I work out at home with. I have a weighted medicine ball, various free weights, jump rope, yoga mat, physio ball, a spin bike, and a few other accessories. Mind you, I amassed all this over a few years and everything I have is probably worth $1000. But I work out 6 days a week, at home, in my bare feet while my cat “helps” (or I walk/hike/trail run/jog outside), so it has all probably more than paid for itself by now. Much better than dealing with an annoying expensive gym any day!

  • Jodi says:

    My company built nearby condos and manages them. I realized that they had a gym in there and asked the property manager if he minded if I quietly worked out there during the day. It’s great! No one’s there at 1pm and best thing is it’s free! Get creative!!! Also youtube videos are awesome.

  • Kelly says:

    I’ve had good luck finding workout programs on Hulu (there are channels for yoga, cardio, strength, whatever!) and sometimes on Netflix. The selections change often, but I like the variety and the convenience of having something at my fingertips.

  • says:

    I actually visit my gym about 3x a week and enjoy going (the other days, I run outside). I couldn’t imagine cancelling it- I moved here not knowing anyone and met so many friends through doing group fitness classes at the gym. Yes, if you are a person who is not going to work out and is just paying for a gym membership, cancel it. But, with the obesity epidemic, consider actually using it and considering it an investment. The fact that I pay for it keeps me going because I see that money leaving my bank account each month. Also, group fitness keeps many people accountable. Yes, you can buy gently used workout equipment like treadmills, maybe it works for some people… but a lot of people need someone else there for them to motivate them- friends, a trainer, instructor, etc. Accountability is huge.

    There are other cheap ways to work out though- I’m a member of a run club (Actually, I’m a run club ambassador, as its operated through a local running store). Our run club is completely free and actually provides incentives for working out- after you come so many times, you get a free shirt. It really amazes me that more people don’t take advantage of our club, we have group runs almost every single day and it provides accountability and instant workout buddies. If you have a running store near you, look into it.

  • B says:

    I SO wish i could be motivated to work out at home but I’m not one of those people! I love my gym classes and it’s the only way I can really get a good work out, I find too many excused at home. 🙂 If you have a Wii Kinect system, my husband is getting a great workout on the Nike Fitness, and there’s also a Your Shape Fitness but the Nike one is better. We’ve used DVDs but the Kinect one is better because it will change up your workout as it monitors your progress. DVDs can tend to get boring after awhile. Not sure these tips are very frugal, so only if you already have a Kinect system. 🙂

  • says:

    Another way to save money by exercising at home is saving money on gas driving to the gym. I enjoy walking! My secret is to put my walking clothes on when I get up! I usually check email and do a couple of chores- unload dishwasher, switch laundry, etc- then head out. I listen to the news (NPR) on a small inexpensive mp3 player, so I feel like I have a clue of what is going on in the world. When it is raining hard I do not go. I try to do some heavy cleaning- vacuuming, mopping, vacuuming stairs, etc. to make up for not walking.

    Our family does have a family membership to the local rec center. We have access to pool (indoor and outdoor) raquetball, exercise equipment room, basket ball courts, indoor walking track, etc. Since we do not live in the county, we pay a higher fee, but still less than the local Y (less than 1/2 the price). And another upside, is 2 of my kids have gotten life guard jobs there.

  • Blaire says:

    love the 30 day shred! it is brutal, but definitely gets results quickly. we bought a treadmill 6 years ago brand new, and it has been a great investment. i like to read books and magazines while i run on it.

  • Danielle says:

    My husband and I love going to the Y…we each go 3-5 times a week. 7 years ago I started working there very part time and our family membership was reduced from $90 to $25 a month. We run outside & have several programs we do at home on days we can’t make it to the Y, but we absoloutly love working out in a gym setting bonus of the classes, free childcare when we work out, and even free childcare for date nights twice a month! Worth every penny to us, and I’m so thankful we can get a reduced membership extra $ pay through my part time work there. Just an idea- work or volunteer part time to help lower the cost if you, like us, truly use your membership.

  • sdr says:

    I run either on a (paid for) treadmill or outside, but its the shoes that still get me. I run about 30-35 miles/week and swap out my shoes every 10-12 weeks. At about $130 a pop it’s probably not frugal but is a heck of a lot cheaper than developing knee or ankle problems.

    • says:

      Have you looked into 6pm.com? If you know your brand of shoes and size you can get a good deal.

    • says:

      i’m a runner too, and find the best deals on my shoes at runningwarehouse.com. they’re a CA company with free 2 day shipping & free returns. great customer service! they discount all their shoes when the new models and colors come out (for my shoe, this is december and june), so leading up to those months i check their website to see if my shoe is discounted. i recently got my normally $110 brooks for $61! sometimes i buy multiple pairs too when i get a great deal.

  • lisa says:

    I totally agree, gym memberships are not worth it. I just wanted to add that you can get a great deal on exercise machines on craigslist. I bought a treadmill in great shape for $100. I use workouts I find online to mix it up, add some weights or resistance band and there is a lot you can do to stay fit without leaving your home.

    • Sara says:

      They are worth it if you use them. I have a treadmill at home which makes for a great clothes hanger! Actually, my mom uses it but I just got so bored with it.

      I tried for years to workout at home and have tons of DVDs and other exercise items, but I am not self-motivated/self-disciplined enough. I’d put on my workout clothes in the morning and get distracted. Come 5pm, I was still in those same clothes but hadn’t worked out yet!

      For those of us who do use our membership, it’s worth every penny. However, if you pay every month hoping to get there someday, but hardly ever go; then it is a waste of money.

  • Christy says:

    The Y I go to has childcare included with the family membership. So, yes I pay $60/month, but my husband works two jobs and I would never be able to go if I relied on him to be home with the boys so it is worth it for me. I teach so I try to go 3 times a week in the school year and go about 5 or 6 in the summer. I also run walk almost daily while pushing a stroller and my 6 year old on his bike. I used to run a lot when I only had one in the stroller but it is hard to run and keep any kind of pace while watching a 6 year old/traffic/etc. I sometimes try it, but it is choppy. I usually only run about once a week when my husband is home! We also get discounts on swim lessons, soccer, and tball which would probably do anyway. IF my husband wanted to work out, the family membership would be an even better deal since he is included in it, but oh well.

  • says:

    Our Wii!

    I bought hubby one for his birthday years ago off of ebay, paired with multiple controllers and a few games. It was a bit of an investment, but totally worth it. One of the games we picked up for it is Just Dance. Talk about cardio! I get good and sweaty after a couple of songs, and it’s so much fun! (I don’t like all of the songs on there, but most of them are ok.)

    If you’re more of a traditionalist in your exercise, the EA Sports Active was also a good work-out both for cardio and stretching. The resistance band that came with the set was thin and broke after a few work-outs, but I had a nurse friend of mine give me a set of resistance bands she wasn’t using anymore, and we used those instead.

    The actual Wii disk that comes with the game console is great too. The tennis and boxing will get your heart pumping, and the golf and bowling will help with range of motion in your upper arm. I actually dislocated my shoulder once, and even after popping it back into place, it was still so sore, I couldn’t lift it much. So I started playing the bowling game. The more I played, the more range of motion I got. After two or 3 days, my shoulder didn’t even hurt anymore! 😀

    So if you already have one, go ahead and use it! If not, it may be worth the investment.

  • says:

    Tracking my water intake and exercise on the attached printable has made a world of difference in my success. Seeing the reminder on my refrigerator keeps me pressing forward.

    Here’s a link to the free printable: . Enjoy!

  • says:

    Playing tag with the kids. That is can be a workout with my boys because they never seem to want to stop. I love getting DVDs from the library but I don’t have much room in front of the TV so working out in front of it can be hard. Taking the dog for a long walk is my favorite way to get a workout in though.

  • CB says:

    I highly recommend fitnessblender.com A husband and wife film work-out videos in their garage and all of their videos are free! They have an e-book you can purchase which tells you which videos to do everyday. I purchased the e-book ($5.99) and have loved it! The best part is I don’t need any fancy equipment. Everything they use (exercise mat, exercise ball, etc…) I can substitute with something I have at home. Also, you do not have to have a large amount of space to do their work outs. They also promote eating healthy and not some fad diet or pills. After having baby #4 I was looking for something to help me get back in shape at home. This was great! I did the 8 week fat loss program and was happy with the results. I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained, so I’m starting it all over again!

    They are updating their website and creating 8 week fat loss #3 which will be on sale soon. Go check out the details at: fitnessblender.com

  • Erin says:

    We are gym junkies around here. I prefer running outside, and do whenever I can, but a small apartment on the 3rd floor (doubt the neighbors below want us jumping around to dvds), busy roads with no sidewalks, and lots of extreme weather put too much of a damper on my fitness routine. Its something I’m passionate about, so the cost is well worth it me! BUT we found a great deal through Costco! They sell gym memberships to 24 hour fitness for cheap! Granted you have to buy a 2 year membership upfront, but it works out to be less than $15 a month per person and you get all the equipment, pool, and unlimited classes included. Of course, this is only a great deal if you actually use the membership consistently for the entire two years… so this tip is probably more for the workout addict than someone trying to get into a fitness routine.

  • says:

    My favorite YouTube workout channel is .
    I typically stick with the .
    I also love — watch the exercise demo in and before you get movin’!

  • jill says:

    Fitnessblender.com – tons and toms of free workout videos

  • Robin says:

    I use the My Fitness Pal app. You can count calories and track workouts.

  • says:

    My gym membership is worth it. It has an indoor and outdoor pool with play equipment, basketball & racquetball courts, classes for everything you can think of, indoor track, and all the equipment. But the best thing is they have classes for my 8 y/o taught by one of the public schools PE coaches and babysitting services for my 18m/o! That’s 2 hours a day of free babysitting. I can write and exercise during that time.

    If you’d like to join a gym but can swing the monthly payment you could use some of these ideas now and save for a membership for next year. We pay for the full year in advance. It’s nice to know that even if a month is tight on money we still have this entertainment/ exercise available to us. As a bonus we get a free month and no signup fee for paying it all at once.

    • Alina says:

      Many studies show that individuals who are not motivated to workout at the GYM will be even less motivated to workout in a less structured context. I will not speak for the rest of the world but for me going to the GYM represents a tremendous investment that impacts my quality of life and provides a radical return on investment. To be clear I am a firm believer you should only join a GYM if you can afford it and it makes sense for you. For my family the GYM option is a very high end GYM with endless features. I workout daily and the GYM is within walking distance of my home Here are the tangible ways in which the GYM saves me money:

      1. An average of 340 10-minute long hot showers. The base cost of these showers for water and energy based on Texas costs is $1.93 per shower or $656.20 for me and $656.20 for my spouse. (We don’t have children). Total water & energy savings $1,312.40

      2. 3 clean towels per person per shower times 340 showers per member. Assuming 10 towels per load on hot setting at a cost of $ 1.50 per load inclusive of detergent and softener linen wear and tear Total savings in laundry for two people $306

      3 Usage of Kiehls brand shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion q-tips, mouthwash and toothpaste. (Note that these items are not generally available using coupons a 16oz bottle of Kiehls lotion costs $48, after a shower I estimate I use about 1/20z). For two people aprox $700

      4. Bottled water savings 2 bottles per person per workout assuming 340 workouts per year at a cost per bottle of .25 cents (Ozarka on sale) $340

      5. Electricity usage for hair dryer for one person (my husband does not dry his hair). About $.20 cents per day inclusive of wear and tear of the appliance $68

      6. No need for blood pressure medication for my husband $40 X 12 Total savings for the year $480

      7. No need for chiropractor appointments for myself due to improved fitness level. Total savings for the year for our co-share $400

      8 Savings in shoes due to engagement in barefoot workouts such as pilates, yoga, will power & grace $300

      9. Reduced risk of sports injury due to high level of supervision by trainers who currently train Olympic athletes priceless!

      Total savings exclusive of all the joy, emotional health bonding as husband and wife and opportunity to share the gospel with non-believers in a “healthy” secular setting:

      $3,906

      Number of new close friends from the GYM
      12
      People pointed toward Christ due to GYM interaction
      4
      Pounds lost in three years
      60
      Marathons completed
      4
      Revenue value of new clients met in the context of GYM networking in three years
      $90,000 +/-

      Number of times sick due to contagious diseases possibly acquired at the GYM in three years (flu, cold, skin infections etc)
      2

      I hope this gives you a different perspective. I still encourage you to cancel your membership if it is a waste but do not do it without first considering the pros and cons for your individual circumstances. This is specially important if you are a mom and your GYM includes free childcare. Your physical, mental and spiritual health and the opportunity to take a break can make a world of difference.

      • Crystal says:

        Wow! That was really interesting and thorough! Thanks for sharing… I feel like I should give you some award for posting all that. 🙂

        And yes, I definitely, definitely agree that you shouldn’t ditch your gym membership if ditching it will mean ditching exercise, too.

      • says:

        Thanks for all the information and a different perspective!

  • says:

    Thank you so much for linking to my site! How sweet of you!
    Great tips for those who are canceling their membership!
    Clare

  • says:

    I personally love and use my Y membership. It is a 5 minute walk from my home, and my husband gets an incredible discount through his employer for less than $40 a month our entire family of 5 can go whenever. With our membership I enjoy strength training, spinning and kick fit classes. I get to run on a top notch treadmill and someone else can maintain it! I also can cross train, using the elipitical or stair climber. I can also swim laps in the pool. So for us it just doesn’t make sense not to take advantage of all the gym has to offer so close to our home for less than $10 a person per month. However I know most people don’t get such a great deal and don’t live so close and for them I think this post is full of great ideas. My suggestion would be to try to borrow what you can at first until you find what you really like. It is hard to stick to something you find boring even if you did pay money for it.

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    We ditched our “Y” membership about a year ago when we realized that my one spinning class/week wasn’t worth what we were paying…not to mention the stress of getting three kids out of the house and into childcare in time to make it to class!

    I’ve started walking with a friend and also doing short (10-20 minute) workout videos in the AM. I tried a few from the library and bought my favorites.

  • says:

    I do many of these ideas. I found doyogawithme.com — a great online source for (FREE — my favorite word) yoga sessions/ videos. They are easy to search by length and difficulty.

  • says:

    We are a gym membership family here – sort of. My husband has a one person membership at the gym across the street from work – he likes the machines and the eliptical. We have at tiny house and no room for a weight bench/machine and eliptical. He walks over after work 3x a week so it’s easy, convenient and totally worth it for him.

    I teach Jazzercise, so I get paid to workout and the joy of motivating others to work out as well. I love to dance and the weight training is great! Not only do I not pay for the membership but I get paid to teach, have access to our entire community, have childcare if I need it and get to help others. Win-win-win for me!

    Another option that I didn’t see mentioned is hiking, biking, canoeing, etc. clubs. I know several people who belong to a local hiking club and do 2-3x 10-15 mile weekly hikes or more with a group of friends, a couple of people who are part of a similar biking club and another person who belongs to a canoeing club in the summer. My guess is there would be options for rock running, climbing, swimming, etc. depending on where you live too.

    Our local high school aslo has an option to walk/run the indoor track (we live in MN) and were we previously lived the school had the option to walk the halls (4x around was 1 mile). Our local high school currently also has open swim times (you can buy a monthly pass or pay per visit), and an option to use their weight room. Hours are limited but it’s very reasonable cost.

    Great options everyone!
    Lea

  • aya k says:

    great youtube videos: blogilates, toneitup and sarah dussault

  • Katie says:

    You can also see if you can work a few hours in the kids club in exchange for a few membership. I did this for years and they paid me minium wage and I was able to bring my son.

  • Allison says:

    When it’s too cold or rainy to run outside, I use the treadmill in the exercise room in my apartment complex. I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but if you do live in an apartment complex, it’s something to keep in mind.

  • sarah says:

    I LOVE
    It’s a free site that has a new exercise workout every day! Some of them can be really challenging, but you can always adapt and just do what you can! I also PIN them on my Pinterest page so I can go back and redo ones that I really liked. No need for a gym membership here..just my bedroom floor, a mat and some hand weights and anything else I can improvise with! Good luck all!

  • Mary says:

    Exercise and health is very important to my husband and I and we made the decision that when he graduated dental school last year we would splurge on a Y membership for the family . I think it’s too expensive honestly, but I’m cheap and paying for it every month forces me to go at least four times a week. Plus, I think every mom could use a break in her day and this gives me a guaranteed hour (or two) of alone time or just to get out of the house and swim with the kids. I would never work out if I didn’t have a gym membership. Why do you think there are so many treadmills for sale on craigslist?

  • Hannah Reid says:

    We are members of our local recreation center gym through our city’s parks and recreation department. It is per year what most gyms would be for a month! It isn’t fancy…you wash your own equipment, sign up for the cardio machines (30 minute limit), and follow a dress code, but that is easy compared to the cost of a “real gym” membership.

  • says:

    My husband has his PhD in Health and Kinesiology and runs a personal training studio. He has helped people avoid knee replacements, loose weight to get pregnant, rehab after hip replacements, etc. He has helped people lose weight and inches and gain their lives back. It is not only his job, but his mission. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay an expert (make sure you check credentials) so that in the long run you are healthier and stronger. In our culture that is increasingly sedentary and obese, it’s important to be proactive and preventative, and many times a professional is the key to help you with motivation, nutrition, and the science behind your body. Some people can do it alone, but many need an expert and a community atmosphere to help them.

  • Deborah says:

    I subscribed to The Balanced Life Sisterhood after taking a free Pilates challenge in September. The best investment I’ve made in my health. This is the first time I’ve been consistent in working out. Robin also has many free videos on youtube.

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