How Much Does Fitness Cost?

Posted: October 21, 2014 in General Fitness
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I hate when people lie to try to make a point. I’ve been seeing a lot of claims recently that fitness costs nothing- just go outside and run! And really, as much as I love fitness and think it’s worth the cost, and I think it’s also an investment in myself, my well being, and my health. Financially speaking that will have pay-offs, more importantly it has non-financial pay-offs.

But yes- it costs money! How much will vary, but it does cost money.

Just go outside and run? Really? I have never hear actual advice regarding getting started running that suggests one should just go out in whatever footwear is closest and run in that. Everything I’ve read says that running in improper footwear can cause injuries and should be avoided. I’ve read over and over that people should expect to spend around $100 or more on a good pair of running shoes. Which is also what I spent on my first pair of running shoes that I got at a running store where I trusted the advice given on what kind of shoe I should wear based on watching me walk. After that I decided to try out the whole “barefoot” running thing. Except not literally barefoot, I bought vibrams which cost over $100 as well, because actually going barefoot would pose a different set of dangers. Just heading outside my house to run barefoot outside means running across areas with broken glass among other danger to one’s feet. Not to mention even if one was going to take such a risk, that would only be possible a few months out of the year after that you risk hypothermia and frostbite.

My new vibrams shoes, which I got for under $50

My new vibrams shoes

I just had to buy a new pair of vibrams for running and thankfully they were cheaper than my old ones. Though they also seem to be a somewhat cheaper quality so I am not sure they will last me as long as the old ones.

And as a woman with boobs, for running, I consider a good sports bra non-optional. All the good sports bras I have also ran me >$50 a piece (which is why I own only 3 good sport bras). I’m a D cup, and those basic little sports bras you can pick up at meijer or wherever do not provide the support needed for running. I have those types of sports bras too, they work for some lifting*, yoga, and other low impact activities, but I can’t wear them for running.

*depends on the lift. I prefer something better if I’m doing Clean and Jerks or similar which will result in bounce.

Aside from that, the rest is not as essential. I suppose I don’t really NEED designated workout clothing, though honestly anyone who is going to claim that what you wear doesn’t matter, I have to wonder how much exercise they are really doing. Running in my jeans will not be comfortable, and lifting and yoga I’m definitely going to have restricted range of motion in them. I have a few pairs of lounging around pants which could work for lifting or yoga- I’d be stopping every couple seconds to pull them up from falling off my ass if I tried running them. So yeah, I have specific running pants that are made for wearing while working out that I wear for running and lifting.

Totally gratuitous picture of me in my workout clothes

Totally gratuitous picture of me in my workout clothes

Aside from that for the most part my workout clothes aren’t really that workout specific. I find some t-shirts more uncomfortable to workout than others. The one pictures above, aside from loving the saying on it, is actually really comfortable for working out in- it doesn’t shift around too much or bunch up. But I don’t bother with shirts made for working out usually- my workout shirts are just standard t-shirts or tank top, and hoodies, that are comfortable to wear when working out.

But pretending like clothes don’t matter? No- clothes do matter! Physically speaking some are more comfortable than others and that matters.

Beside that, psychologically they can matter and that’s just as valid as the physical aspects as well. I actually care what I look like when I’m working out even thought typically I workout in my own home, alone, in my basement. So why do I care? Because I have more fun and more motivation working out if I feel a bit badass about it. Though it also matters what I’m wearing if I’m going to take form check videos that I might post online, because sometimes I lift in underwear and a sports bra… but I’m not posting a form check video of me squatting in just a bra and underwear.

Of course before I move entirely away from the topic of clothing, I also wear gloves when lifting and I have a lifting belt, so there are some more fitness specific clothing items I own and use that cost money. Though certainly both are matters of personal preference and not entirely required.

Aside from clothing though, not all fitness is running and even running outdoor depending on your location can not always be an option. I prefer running outside but it’s hard to do during Michigan winters- I don’t mind bundling up with the cold, the difficulty though comes when sidewalks and streets are not shoveled or plowed and we have several feet of snow. You ever try running through that? I have. It doesn’t work very well. So come winter if I want to keep running, realistically I’m going to have to find a way to do that indoors. So that means pay for a gym membership or treadmill… luckily for me the first part is actually covered in my tuition, so I just need to pay or parking to go to the on campus fitness center.

But what if running isn’t your thing? Every person isn’t interesting in all areas of fitness.

I posted before about how much my home gym cost me and how it relates to average gym membership costs, so I won’t bother going over all that again. But for most people, if you want to work out, there is some cost involved in it. For most people that means gym memberships fees. Or you workout at home and pay for any costs associated with that. Unless you only body weight stuff that requires no equipment- though even pullups will require a bar, but it’s certainly rather limiting if you go that route.

I think the cost is worth it and certainly there are ways to cut costs. And I would hope that people wouldn’t be pushed away from getting active because they think they need all the fanciest equipment. Heck, even though most places say to expect to spend $100+ on running shoes, you can find some that are cheaper if you know what you are looking for and shop around. Don’t be discouraged and give up. But also, let’s be honest about it- zero cost options are pretty limited. I don’t see any benefit being served by pretending this isn’t the case.

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Comments
  1. You are so right! Working out and losing weight is EXPENSIVE! I’ve had to replace my whole wardrobe….4 times!!!

    Plus..shoes..for me I get them cheap on sale and a coupon at Payless. My feet have never ached after a run with a good ‘ol light weight shoe. 🙂

    Believe me..I know about those pesky sports bras. But, I’m actually getting too small for my current sports bras. So, I’m going to have to go get new ones. This is the first I’m I’ve had to do this. Eh.. I had to expect it. lol

    Great job!

    • ebay313 says:

      Thanks, good luck with getting new sports bras. titlenine.com is my personal favorite place for sports bras- I love their ratings for intensity. Not sure what size anyone reading might be, looks like they go up to a 48F in some styles, though most seem to stop at 40DD or 40E.
      Though if anyone knows of other good places for getting some, I’d love to know 🙂

  2. lozette says:

    For me personally I think nice workout clothes are important. Maybe I’m shallow, but if I know I have a fun outfit (and not just a ratty old t-shirt and any old leggings) then I feel better going into the gym.

    Plus I feel your pain on bras… I’m a 32FF, my sports bras are £££ and I only have 2 I feel happy running in!

    • ebay313 says:

      I don’t have that much trouble finding bras, thankfully, but really good sports bras are not cheap at any size- just that folks at the smaller end don’t seem to have to worry as much about needing an actually good sports bra, lol.
      Titlenine is my favorite place for getting sports bras.

  3. G says:

    Preach. Anyone who says activity is free needs to stop and take a good hard look. And not to mention– the TIME. Not all have unlimited leisure time– even outside of full time jobs, many of us have other responsibilities, whether that’s childcare, housework… Sometimes fitness is just the thing that gets dropped when there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Anyway, this is a big rant but folks need to MYOB when it comes to others’ activity choices.

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