Cheaper fitness options for college students


Students should consider more affordable fitness options aside from costly gyms. (Photo by Ashley Hayes-Stone)

Imani Smith

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a consistent workout plan in college can be challenging; gym costs don’t make this any easier.

Most gym memberships cost anywhere from $30 to $360 a month and for most college students, those numbers are far too high to keep up with.

Sofia Brodskaya, a biology major at American River College, says that finding an affordable gym on a budget has been difficult.

“I want to work out and I do try to stay in shape but every gym I’ve gone to just hasn’t worked out for my month-to-month budget,” Brodskaya said.

California Family Fitness sales representatives are at ARC frequently, but the cheapest membership they can offer is $54 a month. Although these costly gyms can be nice, there are cheaper alternatives that students should consider.

For students who typically run on a treadmill, an alternative is to jog outdoors. Many schools have tracks that are open to the public outside of school hours. The tracks are also completely free to use.

At-home workouts are also one of the easiest ways to stay in shape on a budget. Students can stream exercise videos on Netflix or Youtube and simply follow along.

For example, Whitney Simmons, Gymshark ambassador and Youtuber, has a variety of videos including one titled, “10 Minute At Home HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Ab Challenge” and “Grow Your Glutes At Home.”

No equipment is required for most workout videos but students can purchase inexpensive bands or light dumbbells to add more intensity to their workout.

According to Amazon’s website, resistance bands and other workout equipment are priced as low as $5.99.

While buying at-home workout equipment may require a small investment, it can be much cheaper in the long run rather than joining a gym.

For students who enjoy yoga and other fitness classes but don’t want to commit to a gym, Groupon is the best thing. On this website you can find all sorts of discounts and deals that won’t necessarily break the bank.

According to Groupon’s website, for example, students can get one month of unlimited CrossFit classes at CrossFit Sacramento for only $22.

Dru Williams, an architecture major, says he uses Groupon to achieve his fitness goals.

“I’m always looking for a cheaper deal when I want to take a fitness class,” Williams said. “I can’t spend all my paycheck on a gym.”

ARC also offers a variety of semester-long fitness classes open to all students.

According to the course catalog, students can take classes including circuit weight training, Pilates, tai chi, and even spin biking.

Spin is a high intensity cycling class that is great for weight loss and improving cardiovascular strength and tai chi is a Chinese martial art for strengthening the connection between the mind and body.

“I actually took a weight training class here two semesters ago and I didn’t expect it to be that intense, it was like a really serious workout,” Brodskaya said.

Students who enjoy playing sports should also take advantage of public basketball, tennis, or soccer courts. Local sports shops also carry inexpensive second-hand balls and any other equipment you might need to play.

Although college students live busy lives while balancing school, social lives, and jobs, working out and staying in shape is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.