Guest contribution by Sasha Tymkiw
In an ideal world, personal trainers, yoga classes and anything else you could need to stay fit would be financially accessible, but the fitness business is just that: a business. Being the consumer isn’t all bad, and there are ways to use this status to your advantage. Here are some ideas that will help you stay ahead of the financial fitness game.
Get In There For Free
A way to change things up in your routine for next to nothing is to shop the new classes being offered around you. New studios pop up in major cities by the dozens, and most offer a complimentary first session. Whether you want to yoga, cross-fit and anything in between, call ahead to ensure a free session, aiming to try one new class at a new facility weekly. The only cost for your free class will be time, usually in the form of a tour and sales pitch-Just let them know you only have five minutes as to keep it short.
Be Careful with Packaged Deals
Class packages may seem logical, but they actually work to a gym’s advantage because most people fail to use their classes by the expiration date. Gyms know that people wax and wane on attendance, so securing your money when you are in a motivated state is their primary goal. If you do buy a package, make sure everything about your purchase will guarantee your attendance: the location and times are convenient, and most of all, you enjoy the activity.
Trying Monthly Trials
Online Fitness programs usually offer a 30 day discounted trial, and most rely on people forgetting to cancel before their 30 days are up, or people not reading the fine print to understand the details of cancellation, and it automatically charging for the next month. If you find a program you want to try, I say go for it- after you’ve read the fine print, understood the process to cancel and made a note in your calendar with a 5-day-before cancellation reminder.
Go Gym Free
The ultimate money saver, which will actually help you challenge your fitness in new ways, is to “ban” yourself from the gym during warmer months. Without your gym safety net, however, you will need a workout building plan.. Here’s a quick guide to building your own gym-free workout:
1. Decide many days of cardio and strength you want to do (depending on your goals) and designate time for these in your upcoming week and set aside a consistent slot of time for each in your week (routine is key here e.g. Tuesday at 3pm is cardio)
2. Search for equipment-free strength training workouts online by typing in body weight workouts, outdoor body weight or calisthenics and saving them to your phone to bring with you.
Note: Try hitting “images” during your search. Most times you will find a template when you are specific, e.g. searching “calisthenics, upper body, workout.”
3. Find fun locations for your strength workouts. You can use a park, jungle gym, just make sure you have an indoor or covered area for rainy days.
4. Find multiple places for cardio workouts (stairs, weekly hike route, covered area for skipping).
5. Put both cardio and strength into a calendar or journal, with location and workout details. Voila, new program!
Being a fitness consumer means you have choices, and it’s important to remain aware of what works for you not only physically, but also financially. Having freedom in your fitness and finances will not only make your wallet happy but the variety is sure to make your body and mind happy as well.
Sasha Tymkiw is a certified Personal Trainer and has been involved in sports (competitive swimming, snowboarding, horseback riding) since childhood, making the natural progression to personal training in her early twenties. With a bachelor of psychology, numerous fitness certifications and years of experience, Sasha views pushing one’s body as an integral part of the human experience. Sasha works both independently as a trainer and teaches around Vancouver, becoming one of the first instructors who offered boot-camp style workouts in East Vancouver. Sasha is sponsored by Garden of Life Protein Powder and will be competing in her second figure competition in March 2015, promoting a long-term, balanced approach to the sport.