Working Out: What’s Best for Your Budget?

by AJ Pettersen · 7 comments

Running on treadmills in a gym

As a baseball player, I have to work out a lot. Right now, I do so at a local college because I’m a volunteer assistant for their baseball team. When I’m staying at my parent’s house, I work out in their rec room. I also have friends who love going to their local gym. There are many options for staying in shape.

When it’s time to work out, where do you turn?

At Home

Working out at home is a great way to save time and money. You don’t have to drive to the gym, nor do you need to pay for a membership. If you’re a runner, all you need is a pair of shoes to get started. There are also a number of ways to get a full body workout using only your body weight.

If you need more motivation, DVD trainers have become increasingly popular. Programs like P90X and Insanity have given many users great results without breaking the bank. Depending on where you buy these programs, you shouldn’t have to pay more than $150-$200.

If you want to work out at home, the options don’t end there. Yoga is a great way to exercise both your mind and body, and it’s easy to find free sessions on the internet.

Or, you could create your own home gym. My parents supplied their rec room with a weight rack, free weights, a treadmill, a physioball and a Bosu ball. If you’d like to do this in your house, the cost of the equipment will depend on its quality and age. Though this carries a higher initial cost, you’ll avoid the ongoing monthly cost of the gym.

Going to the Gym

The gym is a great place to get an all-inclusive work out. Though it varies by location, many include fitness classes, weights, a pool, a spa, and sometimes basketball and racquetball courts. For avid exercisers, the gym is a great way to get a diversified workout.

Of course, the gym carries a monthly fee, which can be anywhere from around $15 to over $100 per month. Typically, you get what you pay for; the pricier gyms offer expansive areas with more classes and perks, while the cheaper ones may only offer a small weight room and some cardio equipment.

What’s Best For You?

Deciding where to work out depends completely on the level of fitness you’d like to attain, your financial situation, and your personal preference. I’ve seen a number of people benefit from using DVDs and simple body weight workouts in their homes. I’ve also seen people get great results from the many options provided by a gym membership.

If you want to work out at home, be sure to try out different things to avoid getting in a rut. Scour the internet for exercises that appeal to you – YouTube has workouts that would fit a wide range of people.

If you prefer going to the gym, you need to find a place that suits your wallet and your needs. Take into account the monthly cost, and compare it to the features. Then decide what your priorities are. Are you most interested in lifting? Cardio? Classes? It’s also a good idea to search for a gym that has members like you. Places that attract similar people will most likely satisfy you and your needs.

Where’s your favorite place to work out? 

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ evolvingPF December 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

I prefer to work out at home, but during the times in my life when I want to lift heavy I have to go to a gym as I have no money or room for that type of equipment at home. I would actually love to join Crossfit, but as I have a free (and excellent) gym membership through my university I can’t justify paying to work out.

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Jessica N December 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

These are some great ideas! I can’t work out at home because it’s difficult to find high impact workouts that are quiet enough for someone living in an old, thin-wall, 2nd floor apartment. I have found that going out for a run or on my bike isn’t just a cheap workout, it’s a huge stress relief. Nothing better than enjoying the little things in life like fresh air and wonderful weather.

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Gordon December 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

It’s a great thing to work in a building with a full fitness gym. It’s a bad thing when you’re quiting :/ Luckily I’m going back to school and will be able to use the fitness center for only 30k a year.

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Parvinder@TheInfoteca December 13, 2012 at 8:03 am

I never spend a dime for workouts. Every morning I get up and go fot jogging in the park instead of going in the gym and spend money.

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Lakhvir December 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

In the early time as you have just started joining gym may be a great source of inspiration. Because when you see other people doing exercise you are more inspired to do so. And with time when you appreciate workouts you can cut off your gym and start doing exercise at home or in the park.

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Michelle December 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm

These is a great idea in having a healthy and physically fit body by going to gym regularly but don’t quit in going to gym even though your budget is not so good to support all you need. All you need to do is be very smart on doing something that can help you lessen your debt or expenses or attaining a free gym membership to your university or having a lower fee. As a student, used my privilege to used the university gym regularly.

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Shane December 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

I choose to workout outside of a gym, I have enough monthly expenses to add another. I know what works for me and I have no need to use a gym.

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