Ever wonder why healthy living has to be so darn expensive?  From higher prices on organic food to expensive gym memberships, it never ceases to amaze me how people take advantage of those seeking to live a healthy life.  There are so many scammers out there preying upon those desperate to lose weight.

Recently, I fell victim to one of the latest fads.  I knew going in that it was overpriced and told myself I’d just take the free class.  I think a gym membership of over $100 per month is totally ridiculous, but people were plunking down their money around me.  I was looking for a cross training option to eliminate one run per week so I thought I’d give it a try.  People from my school were going so I thought it’d be fun to go with a group.  I decided to call to set up an appointment to take the free class they were offering.  I should have known at that moment not to get involved!  The bells were ringing, but I chose not to listen.  When I made the appointment for the free class, they asked for my credit card to hold a spot.  I said, no way.  I am not buying anything so I will not give my card.  They said they needed it in the event I failed to show up.  Hmmmm  My friend graciously used her card (she was a member) to hold the spot for me.

After the class, which I did enjoy, I agreed to sign up for one class per week at $89 per month plus tax.  I did think the price was high, but felt ok about it as I used to pay that for yoga classes.   When I arrived for my first class at the studio (not free) I was informed that I had to purchase, or rent, a heart rate monitor.  I informed them that I already owned a chest strap and was in fact wearing it with my watch.  They told me I had to purchase, or rent, theirs in order to have my results up on the board and emailed to me after class.  I asked how much the strap was.  The monitor would be another 80ish dollars.  When I refused, the person at the desk seemed shocked.  I guess nobody every refused before.  When she reminded me I wouldn’t get my results displayed, I informed her without my glasses I couldn’t see them anyway.  But, you won’t get your emailed results, to which I replied I’d get them from my watch.

After going a few times, I realized that I wasn’t getting to replace a run after all.  When you take this class you run/walk for 30 minutes on a treadmill every class.  At this point I decided to cancel my membership as it was not really meeting my needs.  I knew you had to do so in writing so I emailed and texted the owner my request to cancel my membership.  I asked for confirmation and the date my membership would end.  Of course, cancelling is not an easy thing either.  I received a voice message stating I’d have to come in to the studio and fill out paperwork to cancel.  Wow.

This newest fad in gym memberships, the boutique gym is really just another way to rip people off.  From the first phone call I knew this gym was out to make money at every turn.  While it is a nice workout, it is surely not worth over $119 per month which most girls in my office are paying, some as much as $179.  The brand new, very nice gym my husband joined costs him $20 per month.  They have the exact same equipment.  They don’t even advertise and they are doing just fine.  Clearly, the other gym is appealing to women who will pay just about anything to lose weight.

Today I will go over to the gym and fill out the paper work.  I am sure I will get a hard sell to stay and that really annoys me.  I hope my experience serves as a reminder to us all of what I already knew.  You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a great workout.  I gave up my gym memberships long ago in favor of working out at home.  I am motivated and don’t need a boutique experience to keep me on track.  I can lace up my sneakers and do that exact same workout right here.  I have all the same equipment they had.   Here are some great workouts you can do at home for free.

Walking/Running – just lace up your sneakers and go.  Keep a pair in your car at all times and you can walk at lunch during work, or on the drive home.  Sometimes, I pull over at the local park and do just that.  I purchased a treadmill for home and keep it in my basement for those bad weather days and months.  Best investment ever.  I got mine at Costco and they even came and assembled it on delivery.

Elliptical – I also purchased an elliptical machine at Costco and have this in my basement.  I’m not a total fan of it, but it got me through many injuries.  Blast the music and go.  I like to alternate songs, one fast – one slow.

Yoga – I purchased yoga burn for under $20 and it has many workouts, but you can truly find so many classes for free online.  Google on youtube for any type of yoga class.

Weight training – Many classes are online for free.  You can purchase some hand weights.  I have a professional weight bench and set up (from my husband).  We’ve had it for over 20 years.

The options are limitless and again in most cases free.  Want a boutique experience, invest in a great sound system and spend the money fixing up your personal gym.  Me, I like to exercise some days in my pajamas.

Have you called victim to a fad recently?  What happened to you?  Please share, as we all need to remind ourselves often that expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better!

 

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