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When resolution season rolls around, we’re all faced with the tough question: Is spending money on pricey, high-end wellness trends really worth it? Sometimes it feels like you have to choose between your personal fitness and the fitness of your bank account. The not-so-simple answer to this question is it’s complicated. To see which trends really are worth the extra cash, check out our list of worth-it picks — plus three to skip.
LUXURY GYMS: WORTH IT
Luxury gyms can seem like a waste of money — especially when you can get access to a treadmill or a set of dumbbells just as easily at your local budget gym. But according to economists, there’s merit to shelling out for a luxury gym. The theory is that paying more for your membership will actually make you more likely to use it. Since wasting a $10 per month membership feels much less painful than spending $300 each month for a membership you don’t use, going luxury may just be the motivation you need to stick to a gym schedule.
LUXURY BOOTCAMPS: NOT WORTH IT
At nearly $40 per class, these classes talk a big game that they doesn’t necessarily live up to. Yes, their HIIT-style workouts can be effective, but they use moves and equipment you can re-create yourself at a less-expensive gym. If you really want to get the full “boot camp” experience while still saving money, have your gym buddy yell at you drill sergeant-style throughout your sweat session.
MEAL DELIVERY SERVICES: WORTH IT
According to many estimates, meal delivery services tend to shake out to be about the same price as groceries. This means that not only will you guarantee yourself a healthy meal, you’ll be saving time (and time is money) by not having to make your weekly trip to the market. You might even pick up enough cooking skills to cross cooking classes off your list of resolutions.
ORGANIC FOODS: NOT WORTH IT… IN MOST CASES
As you probably know by now, buying organic isn’t cheap. Because organic farms are often smaller and don’t use chemicals in the growing and harvesting process, it takes them more time to produce the same amount of food as compared with larger, non-organic farms. Since time is money, you can expect a markup. Conventional wisdom has held that shelling out for organic alternatives is naturally healthier for you, but research has thrown that belief into question. According to the 2012 study, in most cases, there’s not enough scientific evidence to back up the better-for-you claims.
TRAVELING FITNESS MEMBERSHIPS: WORTH IT
Depending on your city, memberships that let you attend a variety of boutique classes can get quite pricey, prompting many potential users to hesitate before committing. Will you really make it to three classes a week? Luckily, many of these memberships help remove some of that workout doubt by adding an extra incentive. If you don’t make it to a class you signed up for, you’ll still be charged, effectively silencing all those last-minute thoughts of hitting the snooze.
LUXURY YOGA STUDIOS: NOT WORTH IT
Whether or not to pony up for a high-end yoga class is a fairly divisive topic. On one hand, many yogis find the practice to be about total wellness, including pampering yourself with the amenities that many luxe spots offer. However, others argue that the practice should be a bare-boned, egalitarian focus on the body. Since high-quality free yoga classes, outdoor yoga meetups and YouTube yoga tutorials are incredibly easy to find, skip the expensive memberships and treat yourself to the occasional spa day to round out your wellness routine.
LUXURY CYCLING STUDIOS: IT DEPENDS
The rise of pricey cycling options made the exercise bike cool again. But as most devotees will tell you, these classes are more about the spirit than the Spinning. Classes feature a distinctly clubby feel and DJ-curated playlists to provide the soundtrack to motivational mantras, distracting you to the point where you almost forget you’re working out. If going to the gym is a struggle for you, the added dose of fun and energy is totally worth the per-class price. But if you enjoy your gym time and don’t need fist-pumping music to get motivated, save your pennies to upgrade your gym membership and use the spin bikes there.
Written by Macaela Mackenzie, a writer based in New York City with a passion for all things active. To see Macaela’s latest work, visit macaelamackenzie.com.
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