Getting in shape, maintaining your health, and reaching physical fitness goals won’t be easy, but it is something we all need to do if we want to look and feel our best now and in the future. Unfortunately, most adults lack the knowledge and tools needed to see to their own fitness needs. We don’t even know how to set realistic goals, much less reach them – saying you want to lose 20 pounds is a lot easier than figuring out how to get there. But there are options that can offer the help you need, and joining a gym is a great way to gain access to the equipment, classes, and even personal trainers that will get you to your goals. The only real caveat is that a fitness club membership can cost you a pretty penny. Of course, there are ways to cut costs and still enjoy the advantages associated with joining a gym. Here are just a few ways to get fit without unduly taxing your wallet in the process.
Wait for sign-up specials. If you’ve found the gym you’re interested in joining, it might be wise to wait until the location nearest you holds some kind of promotion for new member sign-up. Most gyms do this periodically as a way to increase their membership, and you could enjoy benefits ranging from having the signing fee waved, to getting a discounted monthly rate for a set period of time, to extras like free personal training sessions, just for example. So it’s worth your while to wait a while.
Ask about plans and discounts. Some gyms offer only one set fee for membership. But others have plans that are designed to meet your needs on both the physical fitness and the financial front. You might, for example, save money by limiting your access to just your local facility rather than having a plan that allows you to visit other gyms in the state or on a nationwide basis. Or you could save some money by pre-paying annually rather than monthly. Some gyms even offer different types of facilities (with different levels of amenities) at different rates. And of course, it never hurts to ask about applicable discounts you might qualify for (AAA, AARP, military, and so on).
See if your work offers discount memberships. You may not realize everything that comes with your benefits package at work. And these days, more and more companies are striking deals with local gyms to offer employees discount memberships. This is probably partially aimed at keeping employees healthy and happy, but it might have something to do with the fact that healthy candidates incur less cost for insurance. Either way, you may be able to see a savings on your fitness club membership via this route.
Check out your community center. Many cities and towns feature community centers that offer a variety of services to residents. You could find that you have access to a fitness center, a pool, tennis courts, a gymnasium, or other facilities through your community center, and you can often take advantage of open hours for free usage or sign up for paid fitness classes, as scheduled.
Comparison shop. If you’re getting buried in gym membership fees at your current facility, it may be time to check out alternatives like Fitness 19, Bally, and 24-Hour Fitness that offer you the ability to lower your costs without necessarily giving up your ability to access equipment and other amenities. You can’t hope to get the best deal without shopping around.