Fitness trends are always changing, and some of the latest trends — like SoulCycle classes and platinum-plated foam rollers — come with insane price tags. But fortunately, there are cheap alternatives for many of the biggest health and fitness crazes.
Click through to discover cheap workout trends you can try.
1. High-Intensity Interval Training Classes
Cost: $26 per class at Sweat Garage
High-intensity interval training, aka HIIT, involves short periods of high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest and recovery. HIIT is effective because it keeps your heart rate up, so you are able to burn more fat in a shorter period of time. One of the perks of HIIT exercises is that most routines are 30 minutes or less, which is great for people who are short on time. Many boutique fitness studios are capitalizing on the HIIT trend, but most of these classes come at a high cost.
Find out how you can still invest in your health without overspending.
Affordable Alternative: Do a HIIT Workout at Home
HIIT workouts can be done with just your body weight, so there is no need to pay for a class or additional equipment to get a good sweat session. An example of an effective at-home workout, posted on the Daily Burn website, is to perform the following moves with 30 seconds of rest in between each move: 50 sit-ups, 40 jump squats, 30 push-ups, 20 split jumps, 10 tricep dips and 30 seconds of burpees.
2. Expensive Fitness Trackers
Cost: $559 for Suunto Spartan Ultra Stealth Titanium Heart Rate Monitor
Scientific research into the effectiveness of wearing a fitness tracker has had mixed results, with some studies concluding that wearing one had no long-term effects on health and weight, and others determining that there is a correlation between tracking activity and being in shape.
For some, the simple act of wearing a fitness tracker is a motivational tool, so if you think it could help you stick to your workout goals, it could be worth investing in one. However, the prices of these gadgets really run the gamut, with some fitness trackers — like the super-high-end Suunto Spartan Ultra Stealth Titanium Heart Rate Monitor — costing over $550.
Affordable Alternative: Buy a Simple Fitness Tracker
Cost: $29.99 for Wired Fitness Tracker Watch
The cheaper the fitness tracker, the fewer bells and whistles it probably comes with, but if you are just looking for a device to log your steps, there’s no need to pay hundreds of dollars for it. The Wired Fitness Tracker Watch is available for just under $30 at Bed Bath & Beyond, and reviewers rated it 3.3 out of 5 stars. “I was considering a Fitbit but the price was ridiculous,” said one reviewer. “This works great.”
3. Studio Yoga Classes
Cost: $25 per class at YogaWorks (prices might vary by location)
Even though yoga has been around for centuries, it’s one of the biggest fitness trends for 2018, according to an American College of Sports Medicine survey. The survey suggests that because the ways yoga is practiced are constantly changing and evolving, the interest in the activity is continually renewed and refreshed.
Yoga has a variety of benefits, from improved flexibility to heart health, and it’s currently practiced by millions of Americans. However, depending on where you practice, the amount you have to pay could detract from your Zen, with some studios charging $25 per class.
Affordable Alternative: Practice Yoga Online
Cost: $15 per month for MyYogaWorks
Taking classes at a YogaWorks studio costs $115 per month, but you can take those same classes online for $100 less. A MyYogaWorks subscription gives you unlimited on-demand access to over 1,000 premium classes for yogis of all levels and needs. Plus, you can access the classes from any phone, tablet or computer. All you need is enough space to do a downward dog and you are good to go.
4. One-on-One Personal Training Sessions
Cost: $15,000 for a six-week program with a celebrity trainer
Hiring a personal trainer can provide a variety of benefits, including helping you define fitness goals and giving you a roadmap to get there, creating personalized workouts, teaching you proper form, motivating you to work out and making sure your workouts are efficient. However, the cost of personal trainers can range from $35 for a session to thousands of dollars for a six-week program, according to Livestrong.com.
Celebrity personal trainers, such as Gunnar Peterson and Tony Horton, can charge $15,000 for their services, according to the site. Although, being a personal trainer could be a great way to make money while you get to try out the latest fitness trends.
Affordable Alternative: Try Small-Group Personal Training
Cost: $30 to $40 for small-group training at Champion Fitness Training
To save on the costs of hiring a personal trainer, consider signing up for small-group personal training. Although you won’t get as much one-on-one attention, it’s an economical alternative — plus you can do it with a friend, family member or significant other, which could make it more fun. Groups are typically two to four people, so you can still get the attention you need to reach your goals.
5. Luxury Fitness Foam Rollers
Cost: $365 for RolPal roller
Foam rolling, aka myofascial release, helps to work out muscle pains and knots by helping them relax. It can be done before or after workouts, as rolling can be used to get your muscles ready for a workout or as a form of recovery after a workout. Some companies are taking advantage of rolling’s “trend” status by creating “luxury” versions of the classic foam roller.
RolPal’s roller might be the most expensive foam roller on the market, with a $365 price tag. The roller features a pure platinum silicone surface and stainless steel ball-bearing movement.
Affordable Alternative: Traditional Foam Roller
Cost: $16.99 for Gaiam Restore Muscle Therapy 18-Inch Foam Roller
You don’t need a foam roller made of platinum and stainless steel to get effective muscle relief. The Gaiam Restore Muscle Therapy Foam Roller costs less than $20 and promises to release muscle tension, loosen stiff muscles, elongate the spine and increase circulation. One reviewer said the roller is a “must-have for athletes.”
6. Boutique Boxing Classes
Cost: $30 per class and $6 for glove and wraps rental at Prevail Boxing
Although you might think boxing only works out your arms, it’s actually a full-body workout. It also provides both cardio and strength training. In addition, “boxing improves a number of skill-related parameters of fitness, including balance, coordination, reactivity and agility,” Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, told Shape. It can also burn up to 13 calories per minute.
Boutique boxing studios have been popping up across the country, but many come with high class prices and extra charges for glove and wrap rentals.
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Affordable Alternative: Instructional Boxing DVDs
Cost: $45 for Kenny Weldon’s “Becoming a Better Boxer” DVD Set
For just a few dollars more than the cost of a single class at a boutique boxing studio, you can own Kenny Weldon’s three-disc instructional DVD set, which teaches beginners all the skills they need to box — without having to leave home. Weldon has worked with some of the top boxers in the world, so he knows what he’s talking about.
7. Indoor Cycling Classes
Cost: $30 per class at SoulCycle
Indoor cycling classes like SoulCycle and Flywheel have developed cult followings in recent years. According to the American Council on Exercise, part of the appeal of these classes is that instructors are able to take riders on a visual journey during their ride. And it’s also a good workout — a standard 45-minute group cycling class can burn 350 to 600 or more calories, the ACE reported.
Affordable Alternative: Go for a Bike Ride
Cost: $25 per month for Breeze Bike Share rental
Going for a bike ride is a less expensive alternative to taking an indoor cycling class, and it’s an exercise that could make you happier. Even if you don’t own a bike, many cities now offer bike sharing programs to make renting bikes affordable for all. However, it is worth noting that for the average cyclist, you’ll burn more calories doing an indoor cycling class than going for an outdoor bike ride, Fox News reported.
8. Circuit Training Classes
Cost: $28 per class at Circuit Works
Circuit training is also one of the biggest fitness trends of 2018, according to the American College of Sports Medicine survey. Circuit training is similar to HIIT in that it involves periods of activity and rest, but it can be done at a much lower intensity. A circuit usually involves 10 different exercise moves that are done in a specific sequence. Some circuit training classes can cost close to $30 per class, and if you want to take more than one, a high-end membership like this might not be worth the cost.
Affordable Alternative: Watch a Circuit Training Gym Workout on YouTube
You can turn your gym into a circuit by following along with YouTube videos, such as BeFiT GO’s 30 Minute Sweat Session Circuit Training Workout. Even the most affordable gyms will have all the equipment necessary to complete the workout: a pair of dumbbells, a kettlebell, a bench, a medicine ball and a yoga mat. You can also stream workouts through a fitness app.
9. High-End Barre Classes
Cost: $33 per class at Physique 57
Barre is a low-impact workout inspired by ballet warm-up exercises. The class focuses on muscle endurance and helps build the muscles that support your core and spine. High-end barre studio Physique 57 promises that clients will see results within eight workouts. But at $33 per class, that’s $264 to start seeing a difference in your body.
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Affordable Alternative: Search for Barre Classes on Groupon
Cost: $31 for five Pure Barre classes on Groupon
Before you pay full price for barre classes at an expensive studio, check discount sites such as Groupon to see if you can find discounted rates. A recent Groupon search had Pure Barre packages selling for a fraction of the price: $31 for five classes, marked down from the regular price of $109. Thanks to the available discounts, barre can be one of the cheapest workout trends to try.
10. Wellness Coaching
Cost: $30 to $130 per hour
Wellness coaches integrate behavioral change sciences with health promotion, disease prevention and rehabilitation. The use of wellness coaching has been a top 20 fitness trend since 2010, according to the American College of Sports Medicine survey. Coaches can be used to meet a variety of goals, from losing weight to reducing stress. The average fees for a wellness coach range from $30 to $130 per hour, according to Thumbtack.
Affordable Alternative: Read a Wellness Book
Cost: $17 for “The Wellness Project” by Phoebe Lapine
If you’re not quite ready to seek professional help to reach your wellness goals, or you simply can’t afford to, consider going the self-help route. There are a plethora of highly rated wellness books available on Amazon that provide advice on all aspects of wellness, from mental wellness to physical wellness.
Click through to read more about the 10 best fitness apps to replace your gym membership.
*Disclaimer: Some of the images used in this gallery are representational. Prices and data accurate as of May 30, 2018.
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