Stretch Your Dollar: Buyer bewares for gym and fitness classes

Thursday, January 5, 2017
Stretch Your Dollar: Buyer bewares for gym and fitness classes
Important things to keep in mind when joining a gym or taking fitness classes

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- If your New Year's resolution is to join a gym, Cross Fit or maybe attend fitness classes, you need to know how much money you really will be spending.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

- Be sure you read the fine print. It can be a confusing legal document, but there is a lot of information in that document that includes many items that concern your wallet. Look it over with a fine tooth comb.

- It pays to price compare. For example at LA Fitness, the rates online depend on the location. We chose the Greenway Plaza gym and the cheapest membership option. To get into the gym, it will cost you $172.10. That includes a $99 initiation fee, $29.99 for first month dues and $29.99 for the last month dues plus the tax. If you choose to stay a year, expect to pay an additional $49 on your anniversary.

- The initiation fee right now at 24 Hour Fitness is waived. To save money, you'll want to choose the year contract. The monthly dues are $36.99

- One of the best deals we spotted was at Planet Fitness. It's one dollar down and 10 dollars a month if you join by January 11. No contract is required.

What about all those group exercise classes?

- Expect Cross Fit classes to charge you by the month. The fees vary from $150 to $250 on unlimited classes. Some are done by contract.

- And what about popular cardio classes like Orange Theory? There's no contract, but unlimited monthly memberships cost $169.99 a month, and if you cancel a class or show up late, expect to pay $10 or more for a late cancellations and late arrivals.

Finally, fitness retailers host free classes. Lululemon, Athleta and Fleet Feet are just some options that offer group classes once a week.

Discovery Green in downtown Houston also hosts a selection of free fitness classes on the lawn. Yoga and Zumba are just some of the options.