NEW YORK CITY — It's that time of year again when you feel bad about all the broken fitness commitments you made months ago. That membership card to the $15 a month gym you signed up for is sitting, forgotten, in the corner of your desk and you have nothing to show for it.
Luckily, it's New Year's resolution time, which means you can wipe the slate clean for a whole new batch of fitness pledges.
With the rise of cheap gyms, more people than ever are signing up to get fit. But spending only pennies a day on your health often provides little incentive for you to work out.
Instead, experts say it might be a good idea to invest a little more on your fitness.
"If you spend money now, you can set up a personal infrastructure that will last for a while — as opposed to a cheaper Band-Aid, which might not see the whole picture," said Dr. Jamie Kane, a weight loss specialist with Park Avenue Weight and Wellness.
When your high-cost workout is eating up a big chunk of your paycheck, you're more likely to want to make sure you get your money's worth. And the more often you go, the less expensive it is per workout.
Here are DNAinfo New York's tips for some of the best ways to get value for your exercise buck.
Sweat it Out
While donation-based yoga is all the rage, the cheap classes are often crowded and you have no commitment to go frequently. Bikram Yoga, a 90-minute class of 26 postures in a sweltering room heated to 105 degrees, tends to be on the pricier end, but can achieve some dynamite results if done frequently.
Many studios offer an introductory month or a 30-classes-for-30-days special for beginners. But if you're really serious, make a commitment to a three-month package, which typically runs between $129 and $200 a month. You'll also want to invest in a sweat-proof, anti-stink mat to go along with your balmy classes.
Studios tend to be uniform, since every Bikram class is the same, but try out Bikram Yoga Brooklyn (8302 5th Ave. and 106 Montague St., Brooklyn) or Bikram Yoga NYC (multiple locations in Manhattan) for a good experience.
Join the CrossFit Cult
You've likely seen CrossFit pop-up in your Facebook feed by now — likely from a friend who can't stop posting about their Workout of the Day, or WOD.
This fitness mentality trains regular people to be good at everything — including weightlifting, gymnastics, running and rowing — but not specialize in anything. The cult-like community atmosphere helps people become obsessed with getting a WOD in every day.
Most CrossFit gyms require you to take a $150 to $250 "Foundations" class that teaches you the basics of the weightlifting, gymnastics and other complex movements before you can enroll in a $180 to $300 group-class monthly membership. Each CrossFit gym is individually owned and operated, so they're all a different experience, but established gyms like CrossFit South Brooklyn (597 Degraw St., Brooklyn), CrossFit Virtuosity (98 Bayard St., Brooklyn) and CrossFit Gantry (10-20 47th Rd., Queens) are good places to start.
Pump It Up
If CrossFit sounds like too much cardio and you want to get real strong in an old-school, pump-you-up environment, you may want to check out the Gowanus-based South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club. It's not much more than a warehouse with racks, bars and barbells, but the gym's owner, Paulie Steinman, offers instruction in both Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting.
A three-pack of private introductory training classes is $325, with membership options ranging from $175 a month to drop in twice a week to $1,080 for a six-month unlimited membership.
Rock climbing is a great way to develop strength and endurance, all while looking like a tough action movie star. While it's hard to get out to an actual cliff to climb, Brooklyn Boulders (575 Degraw St.) is one of the city's biggest rock-climbing gyms and offers a combination. Learn the Ropes introductory course and winter pass that will let you climb up the gym's many walls until March for $299. Of course, once you have a few months of indoor climbing under your belt, it may be time to try out the real thing on a trip to climbing spots upstate. Luckily, your Brooklyn Boulders membership will get you a discount with several trip companies around the city.
Be a Contender
Get your Rocky on at the Kingsway Boxing Gym (1 West 28th St.), an old-school facility where trainers can teach you how to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. This gym has typical workout machines, treadmills and weights, but the main event is the regulation-size boxing ring.
People travel all over the city to train at Kingsway, which has produced boxing and kickboxing USA champions. The spot has classes for both men and women interested in the world of boxing, with private training starting at $280 a month and group classes running $145 a month.