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7 Tips for Scoring a Deal on the Hottest New Workouts

 

Half-price massages! Discounted movie tickets! Eighty-percent off sky diving! Groupon, LivingSocial and other "deal of the day" sites have taken the Internet (and our inboxes) by storm over the past year, with millions of people getting great deals on everything from services to entertainment to locally grown alpaca fur. While sky diving on the cheap might not be the best idea (does that make anyone else nervous?), these sites can be the perfect way to try out something you might have otherwise missed without investing a lot of cash. And nowhere is this more true than in the area of fitness.

During the past couple of years, I've used deal sites to try out new workout classes like circus arts, break dancing, mixed martial arts and aerial yoga that I'd only read about in magazines. The results have been sweaty, hilarious, and sometimes bizarre, but it's been a fun way to spice up my workouts. Intrigued? Here are a few things you need to know:

1. Read the fine print. Lots of deals come with restrictions like when they can be used or at what location. Don't wait until you show up for an evening class to discover that it only works on weekends (like I did).

2. Purchase two. New fitness classes can be intimidating so buy two passes at once so you can bring a friend along for the fun. What's embarrassing by yourself is hilarious when there's someone else to laugh about it with.

3. Call ahead. Even if you don't have to, it pays to call the business in advance and make sure that everything is still on. Lots of small businesses get overwhelmed with Groupons and sometimes classes get canceled or reservations mysteriously disappear.

4.There will be a sales pitch. That's why they're offering you such a great deal, right? It doesn't mean you have to buy.

5. Come prepared. Dress in comfortable workout clothes, wear fitness shoes, bring a water bottle and a sweat towel. Also, many places will ask to see ID.

6. Just ask. If you're nervous, if your certificate has expired (whoops!), if your printer ate your coupon, if you're lost—I've found most places will bend over backwards to make sure you have a good experience.

7. Don't expect to be good at it on the first try. While some workouts have come more naturally to me than others—there is nothing more humbling than trying MMA for the first time!—the point is to try something new, get a good sweat and have fun. Don't get bogged down in trying to look like a pro.
 

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