fbpx ;

Go Green! Host a Fitness Swap Party

When you live a healthy lifestyle, you might drop some pounds, but in my experience, you tend to pick a few things up along the way. Like workout DVDs and yoga mats and race tees and watches and weights and gadgets, all guaranteed to make your next workout the BEST! ONE! EVER!.

And a lot of that stuff is great! Until the next new thing comes along and we have to have it, so whatever we were obsessed with a few months ago? Now it might be getting only the occasional use, if that. (Of course, there are exceptions — I have products and videos that I’ve been using for years. But that still leaves a lot of stuff to be cast aside.)

So, what do you do? Sure, you can donate it to a local charity, which is always great, but what if you have some pretty awesome stuff and you’d rather not give it away for free? (Who can blame you? Gym memberships ain’t cheap, yo.)

fitness swap party

I’ve got an awesome solution for you: Host a fitness swap party!

It’s really pretty simple. Just ask a few of your fellow fitness-minded friends to round up their gently-used but neglected fitness goodies (clothing, equipment, DVDs, cookbooks, etc.), then host a gathering where everyone brings what they’d like to get rid of (within reason — since we’re talking about fitness stuff here, it could be worth mentioning in your invite that, like, stained running shorts and chlorine-ravaged swimsuits aren’t really appropriate swap items). Once everyone is there with their treasures, you can start swapping!

Not sold? Think about it: Maybe you’re totally over your dance DVDs, but your friend just started getting into Zumba and would love to do it at home. And hey, you know how you’ve been looking for a great watch to wear while running? Your coworker just got a new one for her birthday and is happy to part with her old one!

Now, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want everyone to stay happy (and keep the party from turning into a bit of a fitness-fueled madhouse to boot). For one thing, give everyone a token or a sticker of some sort for each item they bring (or more than one token if it’s of a higher value — I’ll touch on that below). That way, they can claim the same number of items they came with. Basically, you want to avoid having someone who brought a 10-year-old cookbook going home with a bag full of pricy technological gadetry, unless it’s mutually agreed upon.

And you might even consider coding items by value (like, a GPS watch is worth three tokens, and a DVD is worth one), especially if you have high value pieces there — that way, if someone didn’t have any big ticket items to bring but wants to take home something a bit more expensive, the option is there and nobody gets hosed.

If you have a large number of people there (like, more than 10), it might be worthwhile to take turns by drawing straws or something, allowing each person to pick one to three items per turn so that everybody gets a fair shake. You have at least one friend who could get a little pushy in this situation, right? You know you do.

For clothing, you can sort either by size, style or both, depending on how much swag shows up. If you have a rack or somewhere you can easily hang things for display, that could prove to be really helpful. When it comes to books or DVDs, RealSimple suggests asking the guest who brought it to write a sentence or two about what they did (or did not) like about it — that makes it a little easier for shoppers to make a smart selection.

When deciding where to host, keep in mind you might need a good bit of space as well as flat surfaces for things to be displayed. And it would probably be appreciated if you offered to take anything that’s leftover to a local charity. Or, if you find you have a lot of books or DVDs, bundle them up and use a service like decluttr to ship them off for some cash! Which you can then donate, if you want, or just put it in the smoothie fund. Whatever floats your boat.

I don’t know about you, but I’m already making plans to host one of these myself. Have you ever done one? Got suggestions for a successful swap party that I missed? —Kristen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!