How Much Do We Spend to Look Good?

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By Mike Dang

If you've made a resolution this year, it's highly likely that you've decided to get back in shape. And if you want to get fit, you're probably buying a gym membership.

"You go through the holidays, and everyone gains about 8 to 10 pounds," says Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness. "You're feeling kind of sluggish, and the logical thing is, 'If I'm going to lose weight, I'm going to need to go to the gym.'"

You're also going to need to stretch for your wallet. The average U.S. household spends $60 a month on personal care, or $720 annually, according to Bundle data, an amount that includes visits to drugstores, cosmetic stores, salons, spas and gyms. And according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), consumers are paying an average of $41 per month on gym memberships.

Some cities are spending more to look good. The average household in Austin, Texas spends $143 a month on personal care, or $1,716 annually — the highest of the top 100 largest cities in the country, and more than two times the national average.

But are Austinites really that fit? Yes, according to the American College of Sports Medicine's American Fitness Index, Shape magazine, and Men's Health, which all listed Austin among the country's fittest cities last year. Washington D.C., which ranked 4th on our list with average household spending of $124 a month on personal care, and San Francisco, which ranked 6th on our list with average household spending of $111 month, also made the list of fittest cities.

At the bottom of our rankings is Detroit, Mich., with $18 a month per average household for personal care spending. Detroit also ranked as one of America's fattest cities by Men's Health, which looked at the percentages of people who were overweight, had type 2 diabetes, and ate frequently at fast food joints.

Of course, you don't have to spend big to get in shape. In Portland, Ore., the average household spends near the national average on personal care at $67 a month. Portland also ranked as the 7th fittest city in the U.S. according to Men's Health.

Fortunately, what you spend to look and feel good is entirely up to you. We all want to maximize our dollars when exercising, but exactly how we do that isn't always so intuitive. Bundle spoke to four fitness experts from around the country to discover the best way to budget for your workout this year, check them out on its site.

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