New Year’s resolutions are hard. How many of you have already given up or thought about giving up on your resolutions because they seem too hard or too expensive? You’re not alone! In fact, February is the month that most people officially give up on their New Year’s resolutions. One reason is because many goals people make at the beginning of the year are unattainable or too big. Many people also believe these new goals may become too expensive or time consuming. Take, for example, working out. Gyms these days can be extremely expensive, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it could cost you more than you’re willing to spend. Luckily, we can help. Here are seven easy tips to get you started on the path to wellness without breaking the bank!

Make a list of wants and needs for your gym experience.

Just like with any other major purchase, think about what you truly want out of a gym membership and weigh the pros and cons. If you are just getting into fitness, maybe you want a gym with lots of different classes and equipment options so you can see what you like best.

Maybe you have a lot of experience in the gym and are looking for specific equipment or ways to level up your fitness routine. In that case, you’re probably looking for a gym with dedicated trainers and weightlifting areas.

Maybe you have a hectic schedule but still want some time dedicated to your wellness. That means you’ll probably be looking for a 24/7 access gym with a variety of equipment available.

Every detail matters when it comes to picking the right gym for you. You want to get the most out of your membership. Creating this list will be your guide to getting everything you want without too much compromise.

Comparison shop between gyms you like.

Once you’ve got a list of gyms you think you’ll like, start comparing them to narrow it down. Maybe one gym has better hours than another, or maybe you want a gym with extra amenities like massage chambers or tanning options. Before you get too carried away with all the extras offered, it’s important to remember your fitness goals and think about the services you are most likely to use. It may seem really cool that a gym has its own juice bar, tanning beds, or branded merchandise, but is that something you think you’ll use or need every time you go to the gym? Keep this in mind as you compare.

Research free trials or class passes for gyms you want to try out.

Many gyms will offer free consultations, trials, and cheap class passes for a certain number of classes to get you to join their gyms. Research and sign up for as many that interest you so you can get a feel for the atmosphere of the gym you may want a membership to. This not only stops you from committing to a gym you could hate, but you’re also saving money. If you’re new to the gym and want a little more help, this also gives you an opportunity to speak one-on-one with a certified trainer to learn more about your health without the additional costs up front.

See if your workplace offers coupons, deals, or other discounts to their employees.

Many workplaces offer some kind of health benefits to their employees outside of insurance, such as discounted memberships to local gyms, designated workout spaces in their buildings, discounted or free class passes to local gyms, or even discounts on personal training sessions. They may also have an employee assistance program in place that allows you to speak with dieticians and health coaches for free! It’s important to know the benefits offered to you and take advantage of them when you can.

What if I’m not ready for the gym yet?

Now, if you’re newly starting your health and wellness journey, the first step for you may not be joining a gym. It can be intimidating and overwhelming to try and figure out your gym routine along with a nutrition plan and any other additional health and wellness goals you want to reach. It’s important to remember that you can always start small and work your way up as you get more comfortable with your new routine. You can still exercise without spending thousands of dollars making your basement into a home gym or paying for a personal trainer right off the bat. However, if you are new to working out, you should always consult a doctor before starting any kind of fitness program.

If you’re not ready for the gym, consider:

Reaching out to friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers to workout with you.

Having a workout partner not only makes working out more fun, it also gives you an automatic accountability partner when you don’t feel like doing anything. Check with people you know to see if anyone would be interested in a workout partner. You can start by taking short walks, swimming at your local YMCA or Rec Center, or even playing partner sports you enjoy. You don’t need a full set of free weights or a fancy walking track to accomplish your goals. You may even find a new friend or group of friends by working out this way, which can help you stick to your goals.

Try at-home workouts through YouTube or other health and wellness apps.

Many qualified trainers are now turning to YouTube to release workout plans, some quite regularly. Since you can make a YouTube account for free, you now have access to thousands of workout videos without paying a dime. No matter what your goals are, it’s likely there’s a video out there that will fit your needs. All you have to do is spend some time researching credible trainers and finding workouts you can do at home.

Outside of YouTube, there’s a ton of wellness related apps to fit your every need. These tools can give you access to quick and easy classes, healthy eating tips, ways to track your workout/progress, and offer mental health or mindfulness resources to help you relax and recover from your workouts. If you think you can’t afford to work out, know that you can even make some money off of your workouts by using certain apps. These are just some of the many options available to you online, so make sure you do your research and ask others about the apps and programs they use.

Look for gym equipment at thrift stores.

If you want to do some light weight-training at home or try different workout gear for those at-home workouts, check out your local thrift store. Sometimes people will drop off dumbbells, weight balls, stretch bands, and more, all at a greatly reduced cost to you. Keep in mind, however, you’ll want to make sure that equipment is still in good shape and hasn’t been overly used to the point where it’s impossible or unsafe to use. If possible, take someone with you who is experienced with workout equipment to help you know what to look for. 

At certain times of the year, it may also be worth it to swing through your local sporting goods stores looking for sales. By staying vigilant, you could get great deals on brand new items.

What are you waiting for?

Don’t wait for the start of another new year to get back into your wellness goals. You can start now without ruining your budget. The hardest part will probably be putting on the workout gear or heading out the door those first couple of weeks, but your health and wallet are worth the effort. If you’re interested in learning more about how the bank can help you with your financial health, give us a call or stop by today! We’re here to help with all of your financial resolutions.