How to Work Out Without Breaking the Bank

By: Keith Wagstaff · May 15, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Luxury Fitness

Last week, Equinox announced a program called Optimize by Equinox, which costs $40,000 a year. No, that’s not a typo. It includes an Equinox membership, personal training, meetings with a sleep coach and nutritionist, blood tests, massages, and an Oura ring.

That’s a steal compared to Manhattan’s Continuum Club. For $10,000 a month, you get access to a float tank, hyperbaric chamber, bone-density scanners, infrared beds, and more.

Even Planet Fitness (PLNT), famous for its affordable memberships, is raising the price of its “classic” plan from $10 to $15 a month.

In an age of $38 yoga classes and $1,250 exercise bikes, what’s a budget-conscious consumer to do?

Don’t Give Up on Fitness

At this point, the research is clear: exercise can improve your mental and physical wellbeing. But those aren’t the only benefits.

New research from Reykjavik University, tracking more than 4,300 people across a 10-year span, shows that exercise lowers the risk of insomnia symptoms. Meanwhile, a study from the University of Hong Kong found working out improves your performance at work .

On one hand, money you’d save by canceling a gym membership could cost you in future medical bills and productivity losses. Still, there are ways to work out without breaking the bank.

Get Fit For Less

A $10 jump rope can be a powerful workout tool . The same goes for a $20 exercise band. Running provides tremendous health benefits, as does walking. Both just require a good pair of shoes.

Also, there are plenty of fitness apps, such as Nike Training Club (free) and Apple Fitness+ ($9.99 a month), that feature yoga, strength training, and more for a reasonable price.

If splurging on physical fitness feels essential, it’s important to start with a budget. Decide what you can live without or cut back on. Maybe you can save money on streaming or find ways to travel on the cheap. Just don’t stop moving.

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