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Contrary to popular belief, healthy living SO does not have to be expensive. Fitness on a budget?! Um, obviously. No one actually enjoys spending money that they don’t need to! Of course…when it comes to your body, there are some things that you just shouldn’t scrimp on. Confused? No worries. Here’s where to spend and where to save when it comes to all of your fitness essentials.

  • SPLURGE: Activity trackers.

Whether you’re seriously into fitness or are just getting started, having a little extra workout information available to you can provide a major motivational boost. From running watches that track your pace and GPS, to bands like the FitBit, Jawbone, or Fuelband that provide a full-on spectrum of data from steps to sleep time/quality, to the classic heart rate monitor, don’t skimp when it comes to purchasing a tracking device. Whatever item you choose, you’ll want it to be compatible with all of your existing devices {think laptops and cellphones!} and high-quality, and not buggy–I had a Polar heart rate monitor that lasted for literally SEVEN years, but burned through a prettier, but less expensive tracking device in only 10 months. Lesson learned! Get comfortable with the idea of spending a bit more and make sure to read tons product reviews before you buy to score the best all-around deal!

  • SAVE: Workout clothes.

Between discount stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls stocking high-end activewear for less, and always economical retailers like Forever 21, H&M, and Target offering their own private label collections, there’s seriously no reason to spend a fortune on workout clothing…unless you want to!

  • SPLURGE: Shoes.

With the exception of most yoga, barre, and Pilates classes, finding the right pair of athletic shoes is an absolute must for any workout! As a general rule, the more high-intensity your training, the more important your footwear. As tempting as it may be to simply pick the cheapest and cutest option wherever shoes are sold, if you’re anything more than an ultra-casual exerciser, you should be taking the time to go to a store and get properly fitted. Even if you know that a certain brand specializes in a particular type of sneakers–like Asics and running shoes, for example–since there are so many variables that go into finding the “right” shoe for your foot, it pays to splurge and get fitted for YOUR ideal pair. Workout aside, variables like your arch height, gate, pronation, and stability needs all impact which shoe is best for you! You want it custom, baby.

  • SAVE: Classes.

Look–there will ALWAYS be boutique fitness classes. If you want to pay a premium for a gym membership or for a 60-minute yoga class, that’s entirely your prerogative. You don’t have to, though! Many gyms and studios offer free trial classes and/or heavily-discounted first-month memberships for new clients, and may also provide discounted class rates while training in or auditioning new instructors. High-end sportswear companies like Lululemon, Lucy, and Athleta often host free weekly classes at their stores. If you’re open to skipping an in-person class all together, you can use a workout app, buy DVDs, subscribe to a streaming service like CosmoBody, or watch YouTube videos when you’re in need of a good sweat sesh. There’s pretty much always a less-expensive option. If all else fails and you find yourself addicted to a particularly spendy class, though, seek out student or instructor discounts, stock up on punch cards, and look online for deals!

  • SPLURGE: Fitness-Related Experiences {race registration, seminars, clinics, etc}

I feel like it’s a general finance rule to spend more on experiences than on possessions, so it’s not surprising that this one that seeps into your fitness spending, too. If you’re dying to go to a seminar, retreat, or conference, you should go all out. The same thing goes for race registration or specialty clinics. These experiences are events in and of themselves! You totally should not feel guilty about paying full price for something that will enhance your experience and become an awesome memory.

  • SAVE: Workout DVDs.

Streaming services. Fitness apps. YouTube. Second-hand stores. The LIBRARY! Thinking about splurging on a workout DVD? Just don’t. Your wallet thanks you πŸ˜‰

Have any budget-friendly fit tips to share?

xx,

Liza

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