How to Stay Fit in NYC on a Budget

I am not going to pretend that I am a gym rat. I hate the act of pumping myself to workout, but I can’t deny that I love the way I feel (and let’s be honest look) when I am staying active. I have more energy during the day, sleep better, my clothes fit great, and I feel wonderful overall.

While I am never shooting for a particular body type (that’s a whole other article), I do like to set small goals that have nothing to do with weight loss. For example toning and/or strength. When I first started working out it was increasing my flexibility.

This is all fine and dandy in theory, but then you factor that I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. A city where fitness studios feel perfectly okay charging upwards of $200 per month for unlimited classes. Gyms with eucalyptus scented towels love the idea of charging $300 month-to-month.

Then you have fitness subscriptions that allow you to visit multiple studios, but have so much fine print. Whether it’s fee when you don’t cancel within a 12 hour window or the fact that all of the classes you want to take come at a premium. You might as well just sign up for the overpriced gym

It’s frustrating and for a little while out of sheer laziness I just drank the overpriced Kool-Aid. Then, I decided unless these classes come with an actual new body (I mean I get to scroll through Instagram, pick a fitness influencer’s body, and it becomes mine) I am not spending an arm and a leg for workouts. Here’s my budget friendly workout plan:

Join a low cost gym

I’m talking under $50 per month. I am a member of Blink. It is so low frill that it’s frill-less. You have to pay for towels. There are no classes. It’s usually super crowded. That being said, it’s under $30 each month coming out of my bank account and it serves its purpose for cardio and strength training.

Buy class packs on sale

Groupon always has fitness classes for sale. Whether you’re into yoga, barre, boot camp, or boxing they probably have something for you. I just got a barre class 5-pack for $47 that would normally cost $150.

Another option is to get on mailing lists for your favorite studios. They are always trying to recruit new members, so there’s always a sale happening.

In both cases it’s important to act quickly as these prices usually have a short shelf life. In most cases you don’t need activate right away. So, even if you’re not ready to use it you should still make the purchase.

Invest in workout gear for home

Anything you can do at the gym or in a class, you can do at home. Get a mat and free weights to get started. Tack on any other accessories that suit your workout needs. Once you have that your workouts can be unlimited without any financial constraints.

Stream workouts at home

If you’re like me, you occasionally need a little guidance for your workouts. That’s why classes are great! To save a few pennies, try supplementing your actual classes with classes at home. YouTube is a fitness mecca. Popsugar Fitness has a ton of great workouts for free.

There is also the option to pay for streaming classes. There so many subscriptions to choose from it really depends on your class preference. I recently signed up for Barre3‘s streaming subscription to supplement my in studio classes. It’s $29 per month and honestly the classes are just as challenging as any barre class I’ve taken.

Run outside

I am not a runner, but I’ve been considering that as a cardio alternative. Why? It’s free and it’s so good for you! As the weather begins to warm up, running is an amazing budget friendly option.

How do you save money on fitness?