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You Can Get in Shape at Affordable Prices!

Out of the four of us on All the Frugal Ladies, I’m probably the least healthy and I’m sure I’ve written a total of 0 posts on anything related to exercise or healthy living. But, that is going to change today as I’m starting to see the value of getting in shape – not only physically, but also monetarily.

Why Does Getting In Shape Have to Be So Expensive, Anyway?

Too often I decided against working out because I’m not a fan of gyms and certainly not a fan of the hefty membership prices that go along with them. But, last week, I started something I hope to be a long-term regimen and it is only costing me $50 a month!

gym membership

Private Pilates Lessons At Someone’s Home

A few months ago, a good friend of mine who lives in a suburb just outside the city here in Tel Aviv told me she does Pilates at a neighbor’s house who conducts private lessons in her living room. 2 one-hour lessons a week – intimate and comfortable – for around $50 a month. I have a car and the drive is really only 10-15 minutes from my apartment, so this sounded like an amazing deal and I got another friend of ours involved. Last Wednesday, we started our first Pilates lesson and the instructor didn’t even take money for us as she said we could decide if we want to continue and then just pay at the end of the month. With just three of us in the room, she could really dedicate time to each of us and work at our pace. I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about not doing a position correctly or looking silly in my workout clothes. I was amongst friends only and being in someone’s home gave me a very comforting feeling.

My advice: Instead of always turning to gym memberships, consider looking at ads for private instructors, especially those that live a little bit outside the city. For example, instead of looking at Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn or even the Bronx might be a good alternative and it’s not that far either. Some instructors will go to your home as well, although I’m sure it would be a higher price.

YMCA & Public Community Gyms

If you’re looking for the gym environment at budget-friendlier prices, the YMCA of course comes to mind. You pay an initiation fee (something around $69) and a then a monthly or annual fee (which usually comes out to around $50). The membership fees vary across the different US locations and they can sometimes be as low as $35. Some Y’s have pool access as well, which is usually a high ticket item at private gyms. You can really get lucky depending on the YMCA facility and location.

To learn more about the Y and find more details on a location close to you, visit http://www.ymca.net.

Home Fitness Programs

Charla McMillian, creator of FitBoot.com, a training program for fitness professionals, believes it is possible to get in shape on your own: “You have to ensure that all your major muscle groups are targeted at least once each week — and no more than three times a week,” McMillian says. “And your program has to include 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise three to five times a week.” This may sound difficult, but the exercises she suggests are actually quite simple:

Squats (make sure your feet are shoulder-length apart and as you squat, extend your arms out)

Jumping Jacks

Partial Body Push Ups (when you put your knees on he floor)

Chair Crunches

Sit on a chair with your hands under your behind, arms straight, and fingers facing inward toward one another. Contract your pelvis and lower abs, and, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your feet off the floor and tuck your knees in toward your chest while bending your upper body slightly toward your knees. Do as many as you can until you reach fatigue.

Chair Dips

Place your hands on the side of the chair and wrap your fingers around the edge. Scoot forward until your bottom is on the edge of the chair and your arms are fully extended. Keep your feet about 3 inches apart with your legs extended, so your knees are at approximately a 150 degree angle with your heels grounded. With your elbows pointed back and tucked in tight alongside your body, do 15 to 20 dips, 3 seconds down and 1 second up. Keep your chest up and your shoulders back.

Learn more about how you can exercise at home – and at the office – here: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/6-ways-build-better-body-budget

About Jessica J.

A native New Yorker, Jessica left behind the Big Apple almost 4 years ago to pursue new adventures around the world. Powered by caffeine and a relentless curiosity, she has now settled in Tel Aviv Jaffa with her husband, American cat, and a new appreciation for budget management.

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  • Robin Rue

    Actually, around here, the YMCA is the most expensive gym. It is $50 a month when I could go to Work out World for $10. Yikes.

    • Jessica J.

      Wow! Where do you live?

  • Simply At Home Mom

    Thanks for the great ways to save money on getting in shape! I am a firm believer in exercise and its many benefits.

  • Lois Alter Mark

    Great tips. I know that I can just exercise at home with a video but it’s never as motivating as being in a class with other people.

  • maria @ close to home

    My battle is not the price but the time and the amount of time I am infront of a computer;)

    • Jessica J.

      Also a challenge … that is a whole other post!

  • Trisha Grimes

    Those home fitness programs have been GREAT for some of my friends! I’m currently doing prenatal yoga at home and feel it has helped me maintain a healthy weight through my pregnancy. You really don’t need to hit the gym to exercise. =)

  • Lindsey Silvestrini

    Great tips! I actually work out at a pretty affordable place but sometimes when I can’t get there, the home options are great.

  • Pam W

    My family used to have a membership to the YMCA. It was great to have so many exercise options.

  • I’m all about working out at home. It’s so much easier! I’ve been doing it for years.

  • Amy Desrosiers

    I am trying to get in shape myself. I walk everyday but do not always eat the best choices.

  • Karen Rodwill Solomon

    I have found that you can get in great shape by walking or running and working out at home. No need to spend tons of money!

  • Mama to 5 Blessings

    Wow that move is impressive. I do not belong to the gym. Any exercise done is at home or walks in our neighorbood.

  • Tonya C

    I know right!!! Eating healthy is just as expensive! Geez! We are looking at the cost comparison right now between just buying an elliptical machine or joining our local community center’s gym.

  • Debbie Denny

    We just don’t have a gym near. These are good ideas.

  • I belong to a gym and also a martial arts school and the cost can add up fast. I could do stuff at home, but I like the idea of connecting with others in a setting, it makes for more fun and support.

  • Debbie Lamb

    My exercise of choice is walking – the gyms by me are too far away for me to go to regularly. 15 miles one way – too far.

  • Rebekah

    We’re blessed and my husband has a gym in his work building he can use, and we also have one in our condo association. My issue… is TIME. Oy.

  • blm03

    I love cheap ways to work out! thanks!

  • I can never understand the prices they charge at these gyms. Totally ridiculous! I’m all for doing it at home. Just buy a video or even watch them on TV and work out along with them.

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I’m a fan of the at-home workout rather than the gym. I love to use a big variety of videos to keep it interesting.

  • I have a gym membership that I hardly ever use. I need to get in shape and doing so at home is probably the way for me to go.

  • Debi@The Spring Mount 6 Pack

    I prefer to work out at home. It eliminates the driving time and time is a struggle for me.

  • Danielle

    Glad to hear you found an affordable membership! It really is quite pricey at most gyms.

  • anniestow

    I belong to our YMCA and love it, but it IS expensive!

  • Ronni Keller

    I do a lot of stuff at home. Totally free too LOL

  • Tara

    I love going to local classes with my friends!