Break Into A Sweat But Don’t Get Broke

Mar 25, 2012 by

Fitness On A Budget


Hi Everyone,

Today we have another guest post article by a professional free lance writer, Imogen Reed.  This article is for someone who want’s to have options when it comes to getting fit.


When it comes to exercise, there are many excuses – some more valid than others – but “I can’t afford it” is truly lame. There are many ways to get fit without getting overdrawn.

Free trials

First of all, try out as many gyms as you can before signing up for any memberships. Most places will happily give you a free day – or even week – pass for a trial, and you can make the most of all the facilities; not just the gym but also the pool and steam room. Find out about special offers by visiting the websites of the main brand gyms in your area and see what they are doing to tempt new people over the threshold and onto the cross trainer. If your friends are gym bunnies, ask them to arrange a guest visit for you or to find out what discounts are available.  In addition, keep an eye on the local press and regional voucher websites to discover what smaller gyms are offering, and get clipping those coupons. You may be able to get a month or two of free workouts by shopping around and making the most of all the free passes.


Fitting in

Depending on your locale, your nearby YMCA may be your best gym option. Often the Y or a community or council-run fitness centre may have better facilities and can be a much cheaper alternative to the seductive, swanky gyms. With posh gyms, not only is the membership more expensive but you will probably also feel obliged to get your nails manicured, sport matching water bottle and mp3 player, and wear smarter gear and top rank trainers in order to “fit in”, which is in itself costly. Whilst a sports bra and trainers should be of good quality and fit, most other fitness gear and accessories can be bought unbranded from the high street or, for even better prices, online. There’s no need to pay for a logo, and black always looks chic.


Back to school

If you live in a university town you may be able to get access to the campus facilities for a fairly low fee. Even if you didn’t attend the establishment, some universities offer discounts to local people: same with further education colleges. Classes at local schools, church halls and community centres may be competitively priced, and are worth looking into.


Company rates

Some companies offer special corporate rates for memberships in a certain gym. This is a nice bonus for you but it is also in the company’s best interest to have healthy employees who don’t take too many sick days. Your health insurance plan may also give you a reduced rate for a gym membership as long as you can show proof of regular attendance.


Over-doing it

If you are new to exercise, avoid the “all-singing, all-dancing” gym package which will give you access to pool, classes and gym – at a price. You are likely to be overwhelmed if you commit to too much exercise, and while the idea of twice-weekly swimming sessions, spin classes and yoga plus a gym workout every other day may be well-intentioned, ask yourself if you really will keep it up and get your money’s worth. It may be more cost-effective to join a gym and then attend Zumba at a dance school once a week.



Just like car and home insurance, gym memberships can be paid monthly but this costs more in the long run. Often you will still be committing to a year-long contract in any case. Do ask questions before you join: find out whether there is an initiation fee, a membership-freeze option in case of illness, or a personal trainer available.  If it will save you money, and you can manage it, try paying for your membership in one big annual payment. Some gyms also offer referral schemes where members earn power plate sessions, gym kit or even free membership, if they successfully convince their friends to sign up too. Maybe you can even haggle when joining up; gyms, like most businesses, are “feeling the pinch” at the moment as exercise is still seen as a “luxury item”, and thus one of the first things to be dropped when budgets get tight.


Quality of life

To label exercise as a luxury is short-sighted. It may seem exhausting and expensive to fit exercise into your daily work/life schedule, but that’s looking at it the wrong way round. We are not tired at the end of the day because we get too much exercise; we are tired because we do not get enough. Being sedentary, and stressing about personal issues like how to get  help for an alcoholic family member who drinks too much or how to get our children into a good high school, drains us mentally, emotionally and physically. When we are fit, we function better in all areas of our life. In terms of quality of life, the time you spend exercising is actually an absolute bargain.


Related Posts


Share This