Are you working hard to get fit in 2016? Welcome to the club. What you might not have considered before heading to that fitness class or lacing up your shoes is what that new routine is going to cost you. Here are five popular forms of exercise with a quick breakdown of some initial and regular costs you might incur. (See also: These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free)
1. Walking or Running
One of the cheapest and easiest forms of exercise is walking. Depending on where you live, you may already have everything you need to take a jaunt around the neighborhood. You don’t necessarily have to buy a fancy pair of shoes, but walking-specific sneaks might run you somewhere between $35 and $120. Otherwise, just map out some paths around your area and dress for the weather.
Walking and running are similar in cost, but running does entail a few extras. You’ll likely sweat much more while you’re running, so you may want to invest in some tech fabric clothing. Big box stores like Target and Walmart often have good deals. And while you can walk in most pairs of shoes, running requires a bit more support and cushioning. At sites like Running Warehouse, you can find a pair ranging in price from $50 to $180 and up.
Of course, if you live in a colder climate, you might also consider joining a local gym for treadmill access. Buying your own treadmill can cost well over $1,000. Check Craigslist and yard sales for gently used models at a fraction of this price.
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Breathe in, breathe out. Yoga is all about the mind-body connection and can do wonders to de-stress your life. What’s also cool about yoga is that you can do it from the comfort of your living room. A basic yoga mat costs only $10. You may also want to pick up a block and a strap to help ease your body into certain positions, but they’re also low in price.
Studio class costs range depending on location, but I’ve seen anything from a $5 student drop-in rate to $25 or more per group session (the prices climb significantly if you want a private lesson). If you’re a member of a gym, check around to see if yoga classes are offered for free or at a lower price. And ask studio managers if they offer introductory class passes that give you a number of sessions at a discounted price.
I’ve never seen people more passionate about cardio than in my old spinning classes. My group met early in the morning at the local YMCA. Classes cost a modest $5 a pop (on top of our $70 monthly family membership). As far as equipment goes, a towel and water bottle are important for staying on top of hydration. Some riders choose to wear actual clip-in cycling shoes that cost anywhere from $50 to $100 and up.
Don’t have a gym membership? Independent studios, like SoulCycle in New York City, can cost around $34 per class. You get better rates if you buy class passes. For example, if you’re loving it, a 30 class pass runs $850 or $28 per class.
Eventually I caved and bought my own entry-level spinning bike for around $200. I’ve used it at least once or twice a week for the last five years. It hasn’t needed any maintenance, so I consider it money well spent.
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4. Pilates, Barre, etc.
Need to work on your core muscles? The Pilates method will surely get you on the right start and even help with your posture. Another routine worth mentioning is Barre, which blends the best of yoga, Pilates, and ballet into one handy workout. Equipment is minimal and often supplied by the studio. You’ll mostly need a yoga mat and small hand weights.
Like other studio classes, the costs range depending on your area. For example, at the Pure Barre studio in Syracuse, NY, you can get an introductory month of unlimited classes for $99. Otherwise, a single class costs $20. And Ploome Fitness in Philadelphia, PA charges $28 for group Pilates classes and $99 for private sessions. You can always search for free workouts online on sites like Fitness Blender.
Do you enjoy exercise classes in general? Don’t discriminate! Consider getting a ClassPass, which gives you unlimited fitness classes at a variety of studios in your area for just $125 per month.
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Full disclosure: I’ve never participated in CrossFit — but it’s extremely popular among my friends, both male and female. The format of the class is all about the W.O.D., or workout of the day. You do a mix of bodyweight challenges, heavy weights, and bursts of intense cardio among other things. You get ripped and gain confidence all at the same time.
According to Men’s Fitness, there are over 5,000 certified “boxes” (CrossFit gyms) across the United States. Prices vary by location. At CrossFit NYC, for instance, box membership gets you access to over 400 workouts each week. It costs $225 per month if you attend at any time or just $165 if you commit to off-peak hours. For comparison, at CrossFit Austin in TX, an unlimited, all-hours box membership runs $169.
Though doing CrossFit workouts at home might be difficult without all the weights and other equipment, you can still get your sweat on for free. Check out this Do-Anywhere Workout that runs through a series of burpees, butterfly sit-ups, jump squats, and more. You’ll just need your body weight and maybe a good pair of CrossFit shoes that might run between $40 and $175.