Invest Wisely

How to Get a Gym Membership You Can Afford and That You’ll Use

by Mark Sander5 min read

If you want to get fit, you’re making a very sensible decision. Being in good physical shape can reduce your healthcare costs over time and, of course, there are very real and very quickly noticeable quality-of-life benefits.


One of the mistakes that people make quite often is going to sign up for a gym and over committing. When you go to sign up for a gym, here are some ways you can get yourself a membership that you can afford and that you will actually use.


Try It First


Some gyms will offer you one free session and then expect you to sign up. You should be more demanding than this. You’re not going to learn about what the environment is like at the gym, what kind of people hang out there and what all of the different instructors are like until you’ve been around for a little bit. Look for the gyms that offer you a longer trial period. Some of them will give you a chance to try out the gym for as long as a month and that’s a great way to make sure that you found somewhere where you feel comfortable.


Ask for Discounts


Ask if there are any discounts going on. It’s not being shady for a salesperson to not tell you if you don’t ask, so it’s pretty much on you to ask to see if there’s a way you can save a bit of money.


Walk Away


If the gym feels too expensive, just walk out. You’ll be surprised at how quickly somebody from the gym will probably get in touch with you offering you a better deal. This is, technically, a way of asking for discounts, though you’re pretty much demanding them. If that’s what you have to do, save yourself some money and make the gym work for you as a customer.


Spending Money Won’t Get You Fit


Here is one of the biggest mistakes that people make. They sign up for a gym and decide to sign up for every class. Some gyms make this easy with a deluxe membership. This might reduce the size of your bank account without reducing your waistline at all.


Only sign up for as much as you are realistically going to use. Remember that, for every class you take, you’re going to have to not do something else that you would normally do with that time. You will have to give something up and, if you look at it in that light, sometimes it’s apparent that you’re not going to use the full membership.


You can’t do everything at once, so there’s no sense in paying for everything at once.


Ease Your Way In


Try signing up for one class that really interests you. Take that class for a few months and, if you become interested in something else, it will become apparent as you’re down at the gym more often. This allows you to ease into the gym, get comfortable and, if you’re not comfortable, you haven’t spent a lot of money on it. You can just go look for something else.


Keep Contracts Short


Signing a long-term contract does not constitute a long-term commitment to physical fitness. Keep your contracts as short as possible, even if it means paying a little bit more per month. For example, if you can get away with $20 per month for a six month membership or $15 per month for a one-year membership, remember that six months of that longer membership may be completely wasted if you burn out on the gym six months into the contract.


Gyms can afford new paper to print contracts on and you can take the time to sign them as they come due. Don’t sign a very long contract just because you feel like it’s going to save you money. It will probably cost you money.


Do You Need a Gym?


As one final piece of advice, remember that gyms aren’t necessary for every type of workout. Running, walking, hiking, rock climbing, bicycling; all of these exercises and many more don’t require you to have a gym membership. Before you sign up for a gym, try running or walking or something else. If you love it, you might want to sign up for a gym to add more options. If you decide it’s not for you, at least you didn’t commit to a year-long contract that you’ll be stuck with.


Getting down to the gym to get in shape is a worthwhile endeavor for anyone. Just make sure that you’re not harming yourself financially in the process and that you are getting your money’s worth.

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