How much do you spend per year on, say, a gym membership, your own exercise equipment, a personal trainer or your favorite yoga class?
Once you have a number, think about how that amount compares with what your friends spend. If, for example, your buddy pays $1,000 per year and you pay only $100 per year, you might assume that your approach is smarter.
But, hang on. If your friend works out 365 days a year (yes, really), and you break a sweat just once a month, take a closer look at your “cost-per-workout.” For you, it’s $100/12 or $8.33. For your pal, it’s $1,000/365 or $2.74.
To find out if your cost-per-workout is worth it, ask yourself two questions, says Rachel Sanborn, a certified financial planner™ at LearnVest Planning Services. "Does my routine get me moving? Can I afford it?"
If you’re paying a lot, but you can afford it and you’re seeing great results, it’s worth it. But if you’re struggling to pay the bills and you’re not working out often, try a new exercise strategy.
“To cut back, get rid of any fixed costs, such as a monthly gym membership fee. Then do free workouts—follow routines on YouTube or Hulu, rent fitness DVDs from the library, or walk or run outside. If that’s not enough, make a small, one-time purchase that’ll help you get in shape. For instance, buy a $20 kettlebell, as opposed to an expensive rowing machine,” says Sanborn.
To get an idea of where your spending habits fall, we asked 10 real people to share their cost-per-workout. Meet the woman who does yoga three times a week—and pays six cents per workout—and the guy who spends $15,649 a year on fitness. (And see how he's lost 20 pounds doing it ...)
To view the slides in one long list, click into the slide show and select "list view."
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Please consult a financial advisor for advice specific to your financial situation. The people quoted in this piece are not clients of LearnVest Planning Services.