There are two things that I struggle most with as a college student in NYC: my budget and motivation. However, over one summer, I lost 15 pounds by staying motivated to meet my fitness goals—while on a budget. I've put together some options (from my own experience) to help become and stay fit this summer for relatively cheap, or even better, FREE. 

This summer, I challenge you to create healthy fitness habits that sustain throughout the school year. 

Join a Running Club

The hardest part about running is everything but the amazing feeling of meeting your fitness goals afterwards makes it all worth it. That includes the pre-run dread while you're putting on your athletic clothes, and the run itself. Thus, I encourage joining a running club! If someone waiting for you to run with them isn't enough motivation for you, then I don't know what is.

#SpoonTip: Some free NYC running clubs include: Lululemon and Paragon Sports.

Price: FREE - $$

Try Classpass

I personally have always wanted to learn kickboxing but wasn't able to do so — until I started using Classpass. It offers plans that allow you to go to different studios, depending on your fitness goals.

I usually get the plan for $75 a month, which allows me to go to 5 classes (up to 2x per studio). With the plan, I get to learn kickboxing for $15 per class, instead of $30+ they normally charge.

#SpoonTip: This is for the person who has a larger budget for working out.

Price: $45 - $$$ 

Go to Yoga to the People

Yoga to the People is a studio with the mission to capture the essence of yoga — yoga made available to everyone. They hold FREE classes, and function through donations (so do bring something to give, out of courtesy!) 

#SpoonTip: Schedule to go with a friend! It'll force you to go even if you weren't motivated just 20 minutes earlier.

Price: FREE

Research Discounts Offered at Studios

Usually the first classes are always super duper cheap. For example, at Flywheel, each class is around $35, but the first class is only $20. Also, after the first class, most studios will offer a sweet package deal that you only get as a new member! 

#SpoonTip: If they don't offer the deal after class, put your negotiation skills to work by asking for one. What's the worst that could happen? They say no, and you lose nothing. 

Price: FREE - $$

Exercise with Youtube/Apps

Other than cute animals and League of Legends videos, Youtube also offers various tutorial videos. One of my favorite workout channels is Blogilates—as an advocate for having a positive body image, she is extremely encouraging in her videos. 

Also, there are multiple apps like Aaptiv that provide personal trainers to guide you through whatever workout or fitness goal your heart desires. 

Price: FREE - $$

Experiment with 30 Day Challenges

I would recommend starting with any "30 Days Challenge" because it's a slow build up. One summer, I chose to do the 30 Day Ab Challenge while also running with a club, and became the most fit I had ever been (this specific challenge continues to be my desktop background)!

#SpoonTip: They say it takes 3 weeks to build a habit. So when the hard workouts hit, it won't be willpower making you do it; it'll actually be muscle memory. 

Price: FREE