Home > Enjoying Life > Can you put a price on fitness?

Can you put a price on fitness?

AZ1I’m considering dropping about $2,400 on a Crossfit membership in 2013.  That’s about 10% of my 2012 budget.

I’ve been going back and forth on this issue for a few weeks and I’ve decided to finally pull the trigger.  In the past, the only fitness costs I’ve incurred are the sign-up fees for marathons/half marathons.  It got me thinking about what the price of fitness should be.

The Cheapest way to do it

So for the past 5 years, my main fitness costs have been running shoes, running clothes, and race fees.  This comes to about $300/year.  Fitness is such a small expense, it doesn’t even have it’s own line item on my budget, it just falls into “health”.

Running, hiking, biking, or walking outdoors is clearly the cheapest way to stay fit, so it’s tough to compare the relative costs to a gym membership.  Walking or biking to work is certainly the frugalist activity out there, and nothing else that costs money can really compare.

Another option woudl be to join a traditional gym for maybe half the price of Crossfit ($1,200/yr), and I’d have access to weight lifting equipment.  I guess the value to in joining a Crossfit gym comes in the comrodry and individual instruction that you don’t get for the base price of a traditional gym.

Getting Stronger

Until now, my only fitness goal has been to run faster races, so continuously working on cardio has helped me to meet my goals.

Now I’ve decided that I’d like to be able to do 20 pull-ups.  It’s the first strength goal I’ve ever set for myself, but if it goes well, I’ll have to set some more.

The idea of getting stronger sounds so foreign to me since I’ve only ever worked on running faster, not benching more weight.  But just like building wealth, I feel like anything is possible if I put my mind to it and really commit.

The Result

So I’m going to try it for three months and see how it goes.  It does feel right from a budget perspective, but I’ve been thinking recently that I need a little more room in my budget for fun anyway.

Posting my intention to join the gym here will help to keep my honest.  I’ll report back on whether or not it’s worth the cost.  There are so many possible upsides – general buffness, new friendships, learning a new skill (that I could teach to make money in the future).

The point is, I’ll never know if it’s worth the price unless I try it.  Wish me luck!

  1. December 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Wow, I didn’t realize CrossFit was so expensive. I’ve thought about joining it a few times but as I have access to our school gym I can’t justify spending money when I can get a similar product for free. I’m definitely keeping it in mind for when I graduate, though, because I think I would really love the team atmosphere and I do need some coaching.

    It’s a good question overall how much to spend investing in your health. My husband and I argue over money spent on food – I think buying quality food is an investment in health and he sees it as a category where getting away with spending as little as possible is ideal.

    I think it’s a good decision to try out the membership for a limited period and then re-evaluate.

    • December 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Thanks for the comment! Yea, I’m actually kind of in the same situation. I have access to my work’s gym for next to nothing, so I’m not really sure that I can justify this Crossfit interest…

      I have gone back and forth about food being an investment in my health. I used to shop at Whole Foods all the time until I started looking at my grocery budget. I think I was able to cut a lot of cost by seeking out cheaper stores, without necessarily sacrificing the quality.

  2. December 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    $2,400 definitely seems like a lot for the membership, but as far as I can tell people who devote themselves to cross-fit end up getting a lot more than fitness out of it.

    We spend a little more than $100/month for both of us to have gym access and pay for races, and tend to view it as a long term investment in our health and well being.

    • December 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      So it’s about $200/mo for the crossfit membership, but I like to think of my memberships in terms of annual costs ($2400). That way I can compare them to actual things I’d like to buy, like a car, or a house.

      I agree, I’m sure you will live a much longer and happier life than those who don’t run. And $100/mo doesn’t seem so bad for that kind of benefit.

  3. January 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    That is expensive. Fitness and health are very important to me but I have found really cheap and effective ways to workout at home and outside and save myself the gym membership. I don’t feel like I have lost anything. I think I would put a months worth of fees to a few pieces of equipment for at home. Good luck with things.

    • January 2, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      Yes, it is really expensive, I was just looking at my current gym bill/mo. Its only $30. Im going to have to consider other options first.

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