Is Your Workout Worth the Cost?

Are you trying to cut costs? Then it's worth examining if it's worth paying a lot for a gym membership or other workout routines. Here are cheaper alternatives to the most popular workouts.More than 54 million Americans paid gym memberships fees in 2014.

But how many actually went on a consistent basis?

Gym membership fees are one of the biggest budget sucks that Americans continually pay.

Everyone vows they will go on a consistent basis, but few actually do, and those that do go to the gym rarely take full advantage of the services they’re paying for.

Here’s an examination of the type of workouts that Americans consistently pay for, along with some much cheaper alternatives.


A lot of Americans have jumped on the yoga craze in recent years. But yoga classes can easily cost, at minimum, $20 a class. That adds up quickly if you go the recommended 3-5 times a week.

Alternative: Consider taking yoga classes online for free! Stream yoga workout videos on your television and reap the benefit of your yoga practice for free.

Gym Routines

Gym memberships are one of the biggest money makers for the health industry nationwide. Gyms charge anywhere between $30 a month (if you snag a special) for a basic, no-frills membership, and up to $200 a month for a high-end, everything-included gym that offers a juice bar and fluffy white workout towels as an amenity.

These gyms thrive by selling a lifestyle of luxury to consumers, which consequently makes you feel like you’re living the good life.

Alternative: If you’re one of those people that absolutely knows you have to go to the gym to actually workout, then consider joining a no-frills gym like Planet Fitness or Crunch, where memberships start as low as $9 a month.

You still get the benefit of a gym, without the hefty price tag. It may be a much more basic gym, but it still has all the cardio machines and weight lifting machines you’ll need for a full body workout.

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A lot of people consider running one of the cheapest forms of working out possible. After all, all you need is your own two feet, right? I quickly learned this was not the case.

You need a good pair of running shoes, which can easily cost you up to $100. Then, if you’re a serious runner, you’re going to sign up for races, which cost hundreds of dollars in fees, plus transportation and hotel costs if you have to spend the night somewhere else for a race. Plus a foam roller for getting rid of those nasty leg knots…the list is really endless.

Alternative: Consider walking instead. You don’t have to spend nearly as much on equipment, and you still reap many of the same health benefits with less chance of injury. Insist on running? Stick to local fundraising races or shorter 5K races where the fees are often much lower than large full-scale runs.


There are lots of ways to stay in shape without killing your budget. When you’re serious about saving money, you really have to do away with a lot of superfluous extras. But there’s no reason your health has to take a hit to save your budget. Simply consider cheaper alternatives to expensive options.

Do you have an expensive workout routine that works for you? Or do you stick to cheaper alternatives like the ones listed above?