Which workout costs are totally worth it?


Achieving peace with your finances often means identifying which purchases you can justify and which ones you can’t. We invited Candice Dunkin, MS, LAT, ATC, manager athletic training, Parkview Sports Medicine, to share her suggestions for the items worth investing in when it comes to your personal well-being and fitness.

When it comes to spending money on fitness gear, the sky truly is the limit. From the newest diet craze to the latest fitness equipment, it can be tough deciding where to spend your money and where to save.  We’ve all bought that piece of equipment or gadget that eventually just sits in our closet because it just didn’t do what was promised.


Safety gear. 
When it comes to investing in your health, the best place to start is with your safety. Never cut corners when it comes to buying staple items like shoes, sports bras, sunglasses, a helmet, elbow/knee pads or other basic gear. Often times, skimping on safety equipment can be more expensive in the long run as a lack of support could decrease performance or cause injury.


Depending on your goals, a good pedometer or heart rate monitor could be a place to invest. While these can get expensive, focus on finding a piece of equipment that you will actually use. Avoid complicated models that require you to purchase additional accessories.


With workout clothes, comfort trumps cost. You could certainly spend an entire monthly budget on just moisture-wicking, specially designed active wear, but is it worth it? That’s up to you. The most important thing is to make sure you are comfortable performing the activity in that outfit. Looking for motivation? Use a more expensive running or yoga outfit as a reward for reaching a particular goal.


Gym membership. 
Adding a gym membership to your monthly or yearly budget depends on your situation. It can be an important option if you don’t otherwise have access to a safe, proper workout environment. Free gym trials are a great way to try out a class or a gym before you commit to start paying for a full membership. If a gym you are interested in doesn’t advertise this, be sure to ask. 

If you do have access to a safe environment, try saving money by making your home, neighborhood or park your gym. It’s entirely free to walk or run around the block. Be sure to stretch before and after your activity and don’t overdo it initially. Take the appropriate amount of time to work up to a goal.

Regardless of your workout plans or goals, make sure that you are spending your money on things that you will actually use and what is going to make you successful. As long as you have proper protective equipment, there are plenty of creative options to save you money and still achieve your wellness objectives.