Summertime body boosting on a budget
I used to spend $125 per month and 10 hours per week on my fitness through a gym membership and yoga classes. Then, I became a certified fitness instructor through Canfitpro, and started getting paid to work out.
I don’t bring home big bucks for teaching my weekly high-intensity interval training classes, which is just a part-time gig. But I have monetized my time at the gym, rather than having to pay to be a member.
How much are you spending on your monthly fitness?
In my full-time business of money coaching I’ve seen clients spend up to $900 per month on physical fitness. Here’s the secret: There is no correlation between what a person spends and their fitness level.
Staying in shape for the summer doesn’t need to cost a lot. There are many low- to no-cost activities you can do to keep fit and have fun.
What kind of equipment do you own? Can you use what you have to create a workout routine for free? If you’re not sure how to use the equipment, turn to YouTube for instructions.
Personally, when the weather is nice, I use my bike and cycle everywhere to get my recommended 30 minutes of cardio every day. I complement that with a variety of at-home exercises to strengthen my upper body using resistance bands, which cost around $20 for a set.
Use it or lose it
Do you have leftover class-passes to yoga studios or rec centres? Many of these will expire within 18 months of purchase. Try to use them up before buying any additional passes. That said, I get it if you don’t want to go back to the CrossFit studio your ex belongs to. In this case, those passes can generally be sold through a community board at the studio or on Facebook.
If you are a member of a gym, be honest with yourself about whether you’re making full use of a membership. In my experience, you need to visit the facility at least 10 times per month if you’re paying $60, making your cost per visit $6 and that is good value. Unless you belong to a specialty rowing facility, you should probably cancel your membership if your cost-per-visit jumps over $20.
Use free facilities
Look for free options that are reasonably convenient and motivate you to stay active. Do you have access to a free gym at work or in your apartment building? Are you located near a soccer field, or outdoor workout facility (think Venice Beach, but without the steroids)? See if you can register for free public swimming at your community rec centre. Or, if you’re a student, access facilities at your school.
Make fitness a part of your daily activities
One of the most important things that I learned when going through my fitness instructor education was, for most people to succeed in the area of physical health, they need to integrate it into their everyday life. This can mean carving out time in your calendar to hit the gym. However, it can also be even more simple — taking the stairs versus the elevator, walking rather than driving, doing arm curls using their purse or backpack on the subway, even something as simple as playing “flying angel” with your toddlers can make all the difference.
Lesley-Anne Scorgie is a personal finance author and founder of MeVest.ca