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

Home Fitness Programs

Charla McMillian, creator of, 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:

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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