Cheap Fitness for your Skinny Wallet

Being healthy can get expensive fast.  Specialty studio classes.  Juice cleanses.  Personal Trainers.  Race entry fees for your marathons.  Mandated grippy socks for pilates.  Organic food at Whole Foods.  Protein powders and supplements.  Fashionable mesh leggings.  It all adds up, and before you know it, you’ve spent hundreds to thousands of dollars trying to get in better shape. 

While some things in health and fitness will always be expensive, for those out there not looking to spend a small fortune, I’ve got some tricks to save you some green so you can fit back into your skinny jeans. 

Free Community Workouts: There are one hundred percent, completely free workouts all over the city and bay area, if you just know where to look.  Many apparel stores offer workouts that you literally just show up for.  In fact, I'm offering a free bootcamp at Lorna Jane Saturday March 4th at 10am:

A Runner’s Mind hosts runs, bootcamps, and even Zumba classes at their locations throughout the Bay Area.  Lorna Jane and Athleta rotate different kinds of fitness instructors on a monthly basis for in store workouts.  They usually offer discounts on their products if you show up to take the free class, so bonus on saving money!  Nike hosts a free running club, Lululemon does running clubs and yoga classes, and Sports Basement hosts a variety of free events, clinics, and classes at their store.  All you have to do is ask the schedule for the month. 

My personal pick: Reborn Fitness @rebornfitness650 uses the space at a Runner’s Mind in Burlingame for affordable, high energy classes several times a week, welcoming all levels.  Check them out at:


Follow for Discounts: Following your favorite fitness groups on social media really does pay off.  Many specialty fitness boutiques, independent class instructors, and personal trainers offer coupons and discounts to their followers and recipients of their newsletters that you won’t always find on their website.  Usually these discounts are only offered for a limited time, so social media lets you get first dibs.  You can follow my IG account @barbellblondie to hear updated offers!

My personal pick: San Francisco Pole & Dance @SFpoleanddance and offers special class pricing if you’re following along, and has generously offered a 50% discount off your first 3 pole dance fitness classes to new students when you use the code nataliecarey

Affordable Gear: While I highly recommend always investing some dough into the athletic shoes you choose, the rest of your gear can be cost effective.  Old Navy and Forever 21 have stepped up their game recently and are now producing fitness apparel for both men and women that endures, is flattering, and won’t have to be readjusted constantly.  I personally own a few pieces from each of their lines that I’ve had for years that cost me around $10 each.  The active section at Ross will always surprise you as well, as they have designer fitness apparel that’s a season old, but really, do sports bras have seasons? 

My personal pick: The clearance rack at Lorna Jane Union Street.  This is top quality apparel that didn’t sell fast enough and I’m always shocked at what I can find 20-50% off in the back corner.  You might have to sort through the rack a little deeper, but it’s always worth your time and money. 

Outdoor Workouts: We are fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and one of San Francisco’s prettiest attributes is that it is a natural playground.  You only have to walk a couple of blocks in any direction to find a park you can lay your yoga mat in, stairs that will leave you limping the next day, and both flat and hilly treks for running.  Check out this list of SF parks to help you find one close by:

Grab a friend or just open Youtube on your phone, and the more creative you can get with outdoor workout videos and exercises, the more fun you’ll have exercising for free in our beautiful city. 

My personal pick: I love outdoor workouts that don’t require any equipment except yourself!  Head to the Lyon Street Stairs or your local park and follow along to my Outdoor Workout Video :

No matter what your budget, you don’t need to feel like you’re missing out on taking care of your health and physique.  All it takes is a little creativity and knowing where to find resources.  Your best bet is to try a lot of different classes, stores, and events to figure out what fits your fitness goals and schedule best. 

For health and fitness related tips, shoot me an email at

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