Monday, September 12, 2011

Fitting the Gym in your Budget

After researching gyms in my area, I finally settled on a gym this past Saturday. Before making my final decision, I tried out one of the zumba classes offered on Saturday mornings. I went to the gym for the first time tonight as an official member, and I can confidently say I made the right decision.

If you currently belong to a gym or have ever looked into joining a gym, you know that it can be quite a costly investment. But a gym membership doesn't have to empty your pockets. Here are some money saving tips that I learned while searching for an affordable gym.

  • Do your research. Ask friends and co-workers which gym they belong to and find out whether or not they are satisfied. I also used the internet as a resource to locate gyms in my area and read client reviews.
  • Know which amenities are important to you. Decide which amenities and features you cannot live without, and which ones would just be an added bonus. Fancier gyms will typically present a higher cost than gyms offering only basic amenities. I knew that I wanted to find a gym that offered group exercise classes, especially zumba. I also wanted a gym that had enough cardio equipment, so that I would not have to waste time waiting around to get on a machine.
  • Test out the facilities before committing. Many gyms offer you the opportunity to try the gym for free for a day or even up to a week before joining. This gives you the chance to see if the gym will be a good fit for you. This is an important part of joining a gym. You would hate to sign a costly one year contract only to find out you hate the gym.
  • Decide whether you want a month to month contract or long-term contract. Many gyms require you to commit to a one-year contract with a pricey cancellation fee. If you know you will be using the gym for at least a year, this could be an okay option. However, if you are unsure about joining the gym, you may be better off looking for a gym with no long-term contracts. Some gyms offer clients both options, and they usually offer a price-cut incentive to individuals willing to pay for a full-year upfront.
  • Take advantage of employer or health insurance incentives. Find out if your employer offers any discounts or incentives for employees who belong to the gym. I got a discount on both my joining fee and my monthly rate because my employer has a special contract with my gym. Some insurance companies provide gym reimbursement, so it is worth checking to see if yours offers this benefit.
  • Look for special promotions. At certain times of the year, gyms offer special promotions. When I signed up for my gym membership, they were offering one month free (I only had to pay the $25 joining fee).
  • Think outside the box. A gym is not the only place to get a great work out. If a gym just doesn't fit in your budget right now, this doesn't mean you can't be physically active. Going for a walk, run or bike ride around your neighborhood can be a great workout. Workout videos can be a great option, as well. If you don't want to spend the money on a dvd, check out exercise tv or search for videos on the internet.

"Guys, looking at things from this angle sometimes really helps!"

Whatever you decide on, just make sure it is the right fit for you. Find a place where you have fun and will feel comfortable working out. If you enjoy working out, you will be more motivated to hit the gym (or tune to a workout video)!

1 comment:

  1. In this area, I noticed several gyms offering promotions of joining at $20/month.

    Walking the dog is great exercise for both!