Alexa Lippman, the blogger behind Fit for Free NYC, shares her tips for getting a great workout at a fraction of the usual price.
Long before launching her blog and Instagram, Lippman was already scoping out fitness deals and sharing them with friends and family. “That’s when I realized I needed to share this information more broadly,” she explains. “There had to be other like-minded fitness fanatics who would want to know about these free classes, especially living in a pricey area like Manhattan.”
In a city where boutique fitness studios charge upwards of $30 per class, Fit for Free NYC is a great resource for those who want to try the buzziest workouts without spending a fortune.
Culture Trip: Have you always been into exercise, or is that something that developed with time?
Alexa Lippman: I’ve always been an athlete. It was during high school that I started going to the gym and working out. For me, running on the treadmill is a way to decompress from the day—it’s my “me time.” Although it’s tough work, it can also be the most relaxing part of my day. Lately, I’m loving dance cardio classes and hot yoga—that feeling I get after finishing a sweat-dripping, high-energy workout is unbeatable.
CT: How do you sleuth out affordable workouts in the city?
AL: Admittedly, I spend way too much time on Instagram. There is a huge fitness community on the app based in NYC and I’ve developed some really close relationships with studio instructors and managers who are happy to share with me when a free or discounted class is coming up. It helps to get their name out and draw more people to the studio.
No matter where I’m searching, I always do a check for community classes—ones taught by instructors who just finished training and are building up their experience level before they officially go on the schedule. Community classes are typically free or discounted so they’re a great affordable option.
CT: Consistency is key if you want to see results. How can people ensure that they get that consistency when they’re chasing the best deals from one studio to another?
AL: Consistency is something I’ve been trying to strive towards as I tend to bounce from studio to studio. What I’ve found to be the most helpful is to try to set a schedule for yourself. For example, Mondays can be cardio days—so maybe a spin class or a dance cardio class. Tuesday could be strength, Wednesday yoga, and Thursdays for toning—maybe barre or Pilates. This way you know you’re hitting each type of workout, while keeping it consistent week to week. I try to share affordable workouts from a variety of studios on my account to help people achieve that consistency.
CT: What are some of the more affordable exercise studios / gyms you use regularly?
AL: Y7 Yoga is one of my absolute favorite studios and their classes are pretty reasonably priced compared to others. A single class there is $25. Plus, they run a great deal every once in a while for $15 classes. When I see that, I take it! Cyc Fitness, a spin studio, is another great one which just lowered its prices. One ride is $22, which is an awesome price for a boutique fitness class.
CT: Any personal hacks for getting fit and healthy on a budget?
AL: You can save so much money by prepping your meals at home. My favorite thing to make is smoothies—a great way to pack in the nutrients. Prepping my own food also helps me to stay healthy because I know exactly what’s going into my food, and it’s ready for me when I start to feel hungry. This prevents me from going into starvation mode and having to wait in a long line during the lunch rush.
My other very simple hack is to just move. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and get out of the office for an afternoon walk. Making sure you’re moving throughout the day can do wonders for your health and it’s totally free.