Fitness is Free or Very Expensive

When my scale tipped 180lbs for the second time in my life, I knew it was time to throw in the towel (or pick one up) and invest in my health. I’m 30, so my yo-yoing weight is no longer a joke (haha I’ll totally drop those extra 50lbs in a year or two once I stop being a depressed pig, no probs bobs.) Uhhh… not that the pounds ever really came off easily, but this time they are sticking like superglue. Eeeeyikes.

So now I’m trying to decide just how much I want to splurge on this whole “getting healthy” thing. It’s not actually a thing, it’s the entirety of my life AND the most important part of it. Yes, I can be a frugalista and hit $325,000 in networth this year and die when I’m 60 because I ate and sat myself to death, or I can make a change today. My goal is 120lbs-130lbs, with 130-145 being acceptable and anything over that being very bad. Anything over 160 is extremely bad. I can’t believe I let myself get this gross again. Nothing I own fits, which is another problem, because I have to go buy a whole new wardrobe unless I can shrink back into my clothes. Sigh.

The fact-o-the-matter is that fitness can be achieved for free or for super low cost. You can go for a run with a good pair of sneakers. You can do pushups (bonus for being fat you can use your bodyweight instead of weights, jk.) You can jump up and down for an hour and you’ll get a reasonably decent workout.

Or, you can spend $30 per class at some trendy boutique fitness club like¬†SoulCycle. Or enroll at a luxury gym like Equinox where a $165 per month enrollment fee gets you the luxury of¬†eucalyptus everything, tons of classes, and pleasure of staring at their weird hipster advertising campaigns where models run around naked and claim it was all their gym’s fault. The $165 / mo sounds ridiculous, but maybe it isn’t if you use the gym and the classes frequently…

I’ve been investigating the cost of local yoga studios, and drop-in rates are $18 per class. I would like to take 3-4 classes per week, to keep me on a routine, at least to get started. At three classes a week, four weeks a month that’s $214. Of course, there are special discounts if you plan to go that often. One yoga studio I’m looking at has a $99 per month plan for unlimited classes if you go on the regular. That’s not too bad, but it limits you to yoga classes, whereas luxury gym offers a much wider range of classes. Unfortunately, luxury gym locks you in to a 12-month contract because they are not dumb and know that after you realize you will never look like their naked models you are going to stop coming and want your money back (for the record, there are plenty of people who DO look like models who work out there, so those people are getting their money’s worth.)

Beyond the more expensive options, there are lower-price gyms, ranging from standard cardio machines to ones that have a few classes. Unfortunately the lower cost gyms have a crappy class schedule and would basically limit me to stairmaster et al most days of the week. Given that I’ve tried the whole get up and go running thing before and failed to keep at it, I want to do something that will inspire me. I know I love to dance (despite being so terrible at it) and anything with great music will make me want to move. Move is what I desperately need to do! (Zumba is an option at many of the gyms, which seems like something I could get into even if I end up looking extremely silly.)

So. It just feels wrong to pay $165/mo for a gym, with a 12-month contract. That’s basically saying that if I want $10/class I’m committing to attending 198 classes in the year or about 16 per month, four a week. That isn’t a terrible goal to commit to, but given my travel schedule (though it hasn’t been bad lately but that could change) and just being so busy I’m unlikely to go THAT much. I mean, I really WANT to… if my own damn wedding in 2015 isn’t enough to inspire me to workout (and maybe a reason to splurge on my health and fitness this year) then what is?

Unfortunately I don’t know anyone who goes to the gym on the regular nearby, so a workout buddy isn’t an option for now. If anyone knows how to FIND a workout buddy then let me know. I had some luck online with a running friend for a while but she moved away. I doubt I’d meet any friends at the expensive gym, but that’s more because I don’t know how to talk to people vs it being an expensive gym!

All things considered, even $165 a month isn’t that bad. I pay $130 per week (tax deductible) for my MENTAL health and my PHYSICAL health is a lot more likely to kill me. Getting a personal trainer could easily set one back $80-$100 per session in this area, so just having a gym that inspires frequent workouts is worth… whatever I have to pay.

Then again, it’s summer, and it’s such a beautiful part of the country, why on earth would I pay to be inside to workout? That just seems ridiculous.

Have you ever spent more than $100 per month on your fitness programs?


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One thought on “Fitness is Free or Very Expensive”

  1. I work out at 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport. It’s clearly not Equinox, but I don’t care and don’t think I would go to the gym more if it was Equinox. I play soccer in two leagues and that runs about $65-70 per month and my gym membership is $40 a month. Together, it keeps me in shape. It sounds like you need the motivation to get in shape and if it costs $165 a month, just do it. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really cheap and staying in shape physically is crucial for your health and whatever you’ve been doing by being frugal clearly hasn’t been good for your health if you’ve been gaining weight. If you don’t take care of yourself now, your health bills later in life will be enormous and your life will be far less enjoyable. I know a few people who work out at Equinox and they love it and think it’s worth it. My belief is that with money, you should splurge on the things you care about and bring you happiness and be frugal on things you don’t care about. For me, I splurge on travel and love to stay at nice hotels and eat at nice restaurants on vacation. The gym is just a gym to me. But if I needed to spend more to maintain my health, I wouldn’t hesitate at all.

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