You signed up for that pricey gym membership, swearing you’d go every day. Suddenly, months have gone by and you’ve barely broken a sweat. Unfortunately, the damage is already done when it comes to your wallet. According to the authors of Freakonomics, people who purchase gym memberships overestimate their attendance by 70 percent. As a result, more than $500 of the average annual cost is simply lining the pockets of gym owners—and doing absolutely nothing for your waistline.
If you struggle with getting to the gym every day, try getting fit at home for a fraction of the cost.
"Though you may not have the fancy equipment offered by athletic clubs, you can still meet your fitness goals at home," says consumer expert Andrea Woroch. And that doesn’t mean just popping in an exercise DVD. Here’s how!
"You can also get creative with items around your house. A chair is a great tool for step ups, triceps dips, and decline pushups, while water bottles or cans of soup can be used in place of small hand weights."
And for cardio? Grab a jump rope! Just 10 minutes of jumping rope can provide the same calorie burn as 30 minutes on the treadmill.
"In addition to scanning Craigslist and hitting up local garage sales, you can also look for remanufactured options online at Wayfair.com," Woroch says. "When buying from a private seller, be sure to research the brand and test the equipment before agreeing to purchase it."
"[Being a] healthy policy holder means less risk for pricey doctor's bills, and select health insurance providers offer incentives for fitness programs," Woroch says. "Check with your provider for fitness programs that offer discounts on activewear, fitness rentals, and equipment purchases," she suggests.
"TRX is likely the most well-known system but requires a significant investment. GoFit's Gravity Bar and straps offers an affordable alternative and also travels easily for when you hit the road," Woroch says.
"Compare promotions and avoid delivery costs with such sites as FreeShipping.org, which offers discounts from popular sporting goods stores. For example, you can save $10 on orders of $60 or more with a Finish Line coupon," Woroch says.
"For example, a friend of mine recently found yoga blocks at TJMaxx for $5 each. Similar blocks at REI cost $15 each, over 60 percent of what she paid for them," Woroch says.