March 21, 2013

Easy and Budget-Friendly Ideas For Getting Fit (or to at least stop eating those chips….)

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Written by: Caitlin
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Sometimes being cost effective isn’t the most productive way of getting things done, especially when it comes to working out. If you’re investing that 100+ dollars into your monthly gym membership you’d better be going often. We all know that the further you live from the gym the less likely you will be to get yourself there.  Motivating yourself is an integral part of the workout process so if you live near, work near, or run errands near your gym, chances are greater that you will actually go inside (which is the hardest part)… When trying to build a new workout plan, proximity and convenience are paramount.  I recently compiled a few tips for setting workout and nutrition goals, while also providing some options in the downtown Montreal area that might be of help to your Montreal-based ‘get fit’ post-New Years Resolution. What are your tips or ideas? Please share in the comments.


Weekly classes

Taking specific classes can help be a motivator for individuals with strict schedules. Try finding a kickboxing class, spinning class, yoga class, swimming class or even a skating lesson that can be given a time slot in your hectic weekly schedule. If you treat it as a commitment just as you would a language course, a job or an art class, you will be letting yourself down by not going once every week. The classes won’t usually run any longer than an hour and a half which is about the amount of time you would otherwise spend in a daze with one hand in a bag of chips and the other hitting refresh on your Instagram feed.



Really commit to doing some research. Ask your neighbors, friends, or Google which gym is closest and most convenient for the area you live or work in. For me, the trouble has always been getting my act together to get to the gym or yoga studio. Once I’m there I always find myself wondering the same thing “why don’t I do this more often, I feel great!”


Nutritious meal plans

You are what you eat. I’m a huge advocate for healthy eating. I’m a health food junkie who spends hours a week surfing the web for new tips on healthy eating, new ingredients to use, preparation methods and what have you. As soon as my roommate and I got on our morning smoothie kick I immediately felt inclined to revamp my lifestyle. Starting the day with a healthy smoothie, followed by a lunch and dinner that involves nutrient-rich foods like quinoa, kale, avocado and veggies, it’s hard not to want to cleanse one’s body completely. In this spirit try to cut back on things that have been weighing you down (whether physically or emotionally) like drinking and chocolate.. Well… they say dark chocolate is good for you so I wouldn’t bother cutting that out!

There are a ton of wonderful food blogs out there to help you set a meal plan for your week – here are my personal favourites: and


Try this Kale Market Salad for lunch!


FF Group support

F words are key this month: Fresh, Fruit, Fitness and Friends.
Get a group of friends together, friends who are equally as excited about new goals and getting healthy and kick starting the post-New Year (everyone knows January is a write-off ). A couple of friends and I have set a list of limitations on ourselves: attend hot yoga a minimum of five times a week, eat healthy, NO SWEETS (unless it’s dark chocolate which is basically broccoli’s sister vegetable, right?), cut back on drinking, cut back on coffee (latte’s specifically) one a day instead of four and drink tea to fight the urge, cook more often, eat out only at healthy restaurants (generally those of the vegan or vegetarian variety).

These pals and I even started a little Facebook group amongst ourselves to get us in the spirit and to help motivate one another. Here we plan to share recipes, restaurants, and any fresh activities that we might be interested in with one another.

If you really want to challenge yourself perhaps commit to doing a cleanse?


If you get hooked on your new healthy living kick, that’s great! Keep it up all the way until the summer (when you can hop on your bicycle again) and you’ll be wearing those short shorts with stride!


A few fitness spots in Montreal to help you get a head start on your research:

Le Gym Concordia

This is a great location for anyone who works downtown. I think it may even have the cheapest membership in town for students at 60$* for 3 months.
For everyone else:
Alumni 120$*
Public 150$*


*And its an additional 25$ for an hour with a personal trainer to help motivate yourself with a session or a series of sessions – This is a useful service! It can prove very helpful to actually understand how you should be doing certain excercises to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself. The trainers will work with you to create an individual workout plan that suits your need for washboard abs, a tight butt or whatever else you might be going for. Its also helpful to force yourself to touch base with someone with the progress you’ve made — it’s like doing your homework on time because you know your teacher is checking in class the following day!

Centre Père Sablon

The best deal here is their 1 year plan priced at 40$ a month which gives you access to their overall gym facilities. Pay an additional 30$ a month for one year and have access to weekly classes such as boxing, kickboxing, aerobics, etc.



Westmount, Stanley, Parc, The YMCA has a number of locations across the city and is by far the best deal in town. They offer a variety of memberships from group, corporate memberships, to family memberships. Access to the pool is always a plus for any gym but the Y offers memberships that allow you to access additional features at an affordable cost (features such as scheduled classes, private training, life saving courses, additional passes for your guests, etc.)
student 40.25 access to all pools classes incl.

General 60 access to all loc pools classes


**NOTICE the St. Viateur location closed down temporarily but is reopening!


Moksha Yoga

If you’re not one for Cardio you might like to try yoga…hot yoga. Moksha is my personal favorite and will be where I will be spending my Fresh February days.

At 110$ a month (and a contract for one year) membership includes class access, and discounts on products. Students get this membership at 100$ a month, which is quite the deal considering the fact that a pass for 10 classes costs 75$! If you’re not sure whether or not hot yoga is your thing try Moksha’s One Week Unlimited introductory special at 20$ (includes one extra class when you make an eco friendly move by returning the card).

How would you like to attend yoga for (almost) free? Moksha also offers this really great things called, The Energy Exchange Program, which essentially requires you to work a four hour shift each week in exchange for unlimited access to classes.

Get involved in your own yoga community, or in other less fortunate yoga communities. Check out this article written by Melanie on the efficacy of practicing yoga in the community of Bhopal in India. Melanie shares the efforts of a Leeds yoga studio that is fundraising for the ongoing recuperation process of the Bhopalis people since the tragic 1984 pesticide leak.



About the Author

A 21 year old Montreal student of English Lit & Sexuality. An agenda that includes school, fashion, writing, sex, eating, coffee drinking, cocktail consumption, laughing, hanging out and anything else that comes my way. A firm believer in the saying, "everything happens for a reason" and a religious follower of Astrology (more specifically, 'Sextrology').



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