Boutique Fitness Classes Are All The Rage but Come With a High Price Tag

a woman swimming in a pool
Penny Hoarder Editor Caitlin Constantine works out in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla. Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

The regular ole gym membership is becoming passe for millennials.

Instead, according to a recent article in The Los Angeles Times, young adults’ fitness choices have become more selective, more exclusive and more expensive.

More millennials are dropping their coins on trendy classes at boutique fitness studios, the article claims, spending $30 a class at studios instead of paying $30 a month at big-box chain gyms.

“They don’t want an annual gym membership commitment and a contract,” Greg Skloot, vice president for growth at Netpulse, a company that creates mobile apps for health clubs, told The L.A. Times. “They want to be able to make physical fitness choices on demand, and they are willing to pay for it.”

The L.A. Times article discusses how the social interaction at these trendy studios is the reason some favor those fitness options.

“Millennials may be ready to forgo an alternative social activity — going out for dinner and drinking and dancing, for example — where the cost can easily run $100 or more,” the article states.

Bert Culha, co-owner of fitness studio Cycle House in Los Angeles, said classes may be costly, “but this place has become part of their social activity because a lot of our members switched from going out and partying to going out to take care of their bodies.”

As someone who struggles with working out, I find exercising with friends increases my motivation and makes the experience much more fun. However, as someone conscious about spending, I know there are other ways to get fit without spending a bunch.

Try These Low-Cost Fitness Options

You don’t have pay the costs at fancy boutique gyms or even at big-box chains to get a good workout in. Include friends in one of the options below, and you’ll increase your enjoyment — plus you’ll have a built-in accountability partner.

You could set up a home gym. It’ll cost about $100 to get it all set up, but you’ll have it for a very long time (no annual renewal costs here).

You can check out these nine inexpensive fitness options — including tried-and-true exercises like running and swimming. There’s nothing wrong with the classics.

You could also get certified as a fitness instructor — teaching yoga, for example — and get your workouts in while earning money.

Have Fun With Friends When You’re Not Working Up a Sweat

If you’re looking for other ways to socialize without sweating — or spending a ton of money — here are a few ideas:

  • Organize a group of friends to volunteer together.

And the money you save from cutting down on entertainment costs could be the funds you tap into for a boutique fitness class splurge. That’s an indulgence that can make you feel good inside and out.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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