It seems like frugal fitness should be easy. So then why do we all end up spending so much money on working out? It all comes down to some bad habits and an emotional reaction to exercise. If we can cope with those things, we can get a good workout without spending too much money.
Know Where Your Workout Money Goes
The most important frugal fitness tip that you need to start with is to know where you’re spending your money. After all, if you don’t know where the money is going, then you can’t save it. Some of the workout expenses are obvious: gym memberships, workout clothes, and new running shoes.
However, there are smaller costs that also add up. For example, the cost of your transportation to get to the gym. Do you ever have to replace equipment? You may forget to add the cost of your yoga mat into your workout budget, but if you buy a new one each year, that’s a small expense to consider.
More importantly, though, you need to look at your habits around working out. For example, do you always stop to buy a bottle of water or a juice on your way to the gym? When you go for a hike, do you buy lunch to eat on the trail?
Consider your Attitude about Working Out
Some of those extra costs can be really sneaky. For example, I used to go to a workout class every Wednesday. Then on Wednesday night, I would usually go out with friends. The thing is that I didn’t really like working out. Therefore, I felt like “rewarding” myself for having done it.
I didn’t get an intrinsic reward from the exercise. Instead, I bought myself the reward of a movie or cocktails. Glancing at my spending, you wouldn’t think that the Wednesday cocktails had anything to do with my workout budget. You’d be wrong. Dig deeper into your own psychology about working out. Does it cause surprising expenses?
Aim for Free Fitness Whenever Possible
Once you’ve addressed the underlying spending, it’s time to start figuring out how much you do want to spend on fitness. Yes, you should have a specific amount set aside each month for fitness. You shouldn’t exceed it. However, whenever possible, you should try to work out for free.
Walking and jogging don’t cost anything except perhaps the fee for your workout shoes. Learn exercises that build strength using the weight of your own body. Take advantage of all of the free workout videos that are available online. Of course, if your work pays for any type of gym membership, take advantage of that.
Frugal Fitness Means Paying for What You Use
It’s great to participate in as much free fitness as possible. However, some people will find that they do need to pay for fitness. For example, I love doing yoga, but I won’t do it by myself at home. I just won’t, no matter what I try to do to motivate myself. Therefore, I need to find a place that I can do it outside of my home. There are some free options in my area. There are also frugal options including donation-based yoga. But if I want to stick to a regular routine, I need to bite the bullet and pay for a yoga membership.
I’m okay with that. Here’s why: I’ve thought it through. I’ve looked at my budget. I’ve determined that I can afford the yoga membership. Moreover, experience has taught me that I will use it. However, I won’t use the free alternatives. Sometimes frugal fitness still means that we spend money. It just means that we do so more consciously.
What does frugal fitness mean to you?
- Important Habits for Frugal Living
- How to Find Free Fitness Classes
- Should You Buy Home Exercise Equipment?