Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft

Hello all! We’ve finally made it to the end of month, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned working out on the cheap. But first, a quick recap of the week.

I started the workweek by busting out my inner Lebron (sorry, Cleveland readers). Some of the Greatist team headed over to the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers to practice for an upcoming basketball tournament. The center was promoting“Bring Two Guests” among its members, so we happily took advantage of Jordan’s membership. I definitely did not realize b-ball can be such a good workout, but six games of three-on-three can really make you work up a sweat!

Tuesday, I journeyed a few blocks south of Greatist Headquarters to use the last day of my free week-long trial at Bally Total Fitness. I rode the bike and lifted some weights, and was back at the office in no time. I’ve loved having this pass: The gym’s location was convenient, there were a variety of machines and classes to choose from, and it was an awesome way to get access to a gym fo’ free! Browse a gym’s website before signing up— most offer free trials!

Wednesday, I found myself back on the yoga mat. I returned to Hosh Yoga and donated $5 to warrior my way to savasana. During the class, I came to a realization: I love yoga. And I might not have discovered this passion if I hadn’t attended so many affordable classes! Throughout the month, I’ve seen myself improve, and I know I want to continue my practice.

And so I did.I returned to Hosh Thursday for another glorious 70 minutes (and $5 worth) of vinyasa. I’ve learned that I like this yoga style best, since it’s fast-paced and ups my heart rate more than other types. Plus, I can stretch out while I work out, aaaand I get to lie down for the last 10 minutes in meditation— can’t go wrong!

For my final day of Fitness on a Budget, I treated myself to yoga at home. I didn’t use a teacher, a podcast, or an online video. It was just me. I can use what I learned from this month’s yoga classes and start practicing on my own— for free!

Total for the week? $10!

Through this challenge, I’ve realized the problem is not that working out costs money, but that people use this idea as an excuse. Yes, exercise can be costly. But you can make it affordable by figuring out which activities are most worth your money. Which is what I did this month! Here are some tips for working out on a budget:


  • Use a free-trial membership at the gym to figure out what class you like best.
  • Check out different donation-based yoga studios to see which classes and teachers you mesh with.
  • Grab a discount for a fitness class like kickboxing—that may be your thing!
  • Look out for a free personal training session, and then use what you’ve learned at home.

Once you figure out which activities you enjoy best, putting aside a little money each week won’t seem like such a big deal. We should budget for things that are important, like our fitness, health, and happiness!