How to get fit without breaking the bank
Exercise is top of a lot of millennial to-do lists. Fitness fads are among the many things millennials are quick to endorse on social media.
Exercise is becoming increasingly ‘cool’ and our Instagram feeds are crammed with fitness tips from ‘influencers’ and promotional pictures of the latest trendy gyms.
Don’t get me wrong, exercise is obviously great and something we should all be doing a couple of times a week if not more, but unfortunately these fitness fads come at a price.
I should know. Last month I spent more than £200 on gym classes and a large chunk of my time trying to figure out how I could finance my addiction.
I’ve met my new love, and his name is Barry
I’ve always been a sucker for a brand and after attending my first Barry’s Bootcamp class I was hooked. I’ve not actually met him of course, but the US fitness chain is based on LA-based trainer Barry Jay’s high intensity training method.
Not only did I share my first class with an A-list celebrity (clue: he was in a band that reached the finals of the X Factor and went on to become a global phenomenon) but I was immediately taken with the studio’s dimmed red lighting, blaring dance music and encouraging instructors, who seemed more invested in my fitness journey than I was.
I’ve been going twice a week since last May, at £21 a class, occasionally three times a week.
Another expensive fitness addiction I succumbed to was Heartcore pilates. I came across an appealing promotion. It was a summer deal offering a bundle of 10 classes at significantly less than the usual price. Usually these classes are £27 per class. It seemed silly to turn down such an offer, it was summer, I had holidays coming up, my arms and core needed to be toned. Sold.
Of course once I started, I didn’t want to stop, and the cost of my gym class addiction started to really add up – especially when I did three in a week.
For me, spending money on a gym class feels better than a round at the pub; the classes are fun and the gyms are nice places to be. Even so, it’s still easy to let the costs spiral. There are ways to curb the costs without stopping all together.
How to exercise affordably
Not all exercise classes will break the bank and it is possible to find some cheaper alternatives. If you want to keep exercising in a way that allows you to keep some money aside, I suggest considering the following:
Class Pass – Monthly membership of £60 allows you 50 credits for the month, which equates to 5-7 classes. Class Pass gives you access to a variety of classes around the city so you can mix it up and try different things. (London)
Adidas Studio LDN – The Adidas studio in Brick Lane, London, offers yoga, running and boxercise, all for a total price of £0. Book classes through a chatbox on FB Messenger. (London)
British Military Fitness – What they call ‘Pay as you go’ membership is £120. This gives you 10 classes and a year to use them up. A good one for summer as it’s outside, in parks around the UK. Disclaimer: you will get shouted at by ex-army officers. (Nation wide)
Good Gym – Not just helping yourself get fit but helping others at the same time, it combines running with community projects and visiting elderly people. Good Gym is spreading across the UK and if you want it in your area you can be the first to start it up, following instructions they have on their website. (Nation wide)
Parkrun UK – Be prepared to get out of bed early on a Saturday! Park run takes place in open spaces around the UK at 9am. It’s a 5k run, open to everyone and great way for beginners to get into running, or advanced runners to improve their 5k time. Most importantly… it’s free! (Nation wide)
Lessons to be learned…
If I take my own advice and limit my Barry’s classes to one a week, I will be spending £105 on a five class pass for the month instead of £210. Then I can use some of the cheaper (or even free!) options above to fill the void for the rest of my week.
This gives me the option to put aside the extra £105 that I would usually put towards another round of classes.
Choose your gym classes wisely and you could start investing, making your money work as hard as I am made to in Barry’s!