7 tips to get fit for less

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Getting fit is always tops among first of the year resolutions. Which means it is also the number one resolution broken each year. I can’t help you keep your resolve, but here are some affordable ways to help you get started on your fitness goals:

Find limited-time gym deals: January is a good time to look for enrollment specials at a range of gyms. For example, this month, the YMCA of metro Atlanta is waiving joining fees, which can save you up to $99 (the regular fee for a family, two adult or senior family membership). You can also check sites such as Groupon, Living Social, or Gilt City Atlanta to find a range of fitness deals available for a limited time.

Consider non-traditional options: ClassPass launched in Atlanta earlier this month. For $79 you can choose from classes such as Pilates, yoga or cycling at boutique fitness studios across the metro area. You can visit a single fitness center up to three times a month (there is no limit on the total classes each month) and you can cancel at anytime.

Skip the contracts: Gyms like Workout Anytime, Snap Fitness, and Youfit Health Clubs offer low-cost month-to-month memberships (as low as $10 to 15 a month), though you may pay an initiation fee. Some of these programs allow you to add additional members at a discount.

Wait it out: Most gyms are at low capacity in the summer, which means you have a bit of negotiating power. Try joining with a friend to make the deal more enticing, and stick to smaller, independent gyms that may have more flexibility with member fees.

Check your health plan: Your health plan may offer reimbursements or discounts depending on your provider. Be sure to check before you shop for a gym membership so you know the options.

DIY: Free apps, DVDs, home equipment, etc. are good options for anyone who is a self-starter and wants to save on getting fit. You can get discounts on treadmills and elliptical trainers through January and February. Look for new books or DVDs to help you get started on a home fitness plan.

The Biggest Loser Bootcamp,” (Oxmoor House, $21.95) has workouts designed by Atlanta’s own Dolvett Quince. Gaiam’s latest release, “Rodney Yee’s Complete Yoga for Beginners,” is a step-by-step practice for even beginning yoga practitioners.

If you need someone to hold you accountable, find out if your company has weight-loss support groups or if your insurance plan offers health coaching.

Save on fitness accessories: Get some new gear to help motivate you. Target recently offered its C9 by Champion shoes for buy one get one 50 percent off. Kohl’s offers fitness gear in a range of price points, including the gym-to-street Simply Breathe collection by Simply Vera Vera Wang for less than $70. PlanetGear.com has apparel for women at up to 70 percent off retail, while stores like JC Penney and Old Navy also offer affordable exercise apparel options.


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