While it may seem like you don’t have the time and energy to stick to a workout schedule, the physical and emotional benefits make working out well worth the investment. Sticking to a regular work-out routine keeps you at a healthy weight, slows the effects of aging, and improves mental and emotional health. Despite the many benefits, equipment and gym memberships often fall outside of most people’s budgets. To help, we have assembled a list of tips to save money on those expensive memberships so you can make your health a priority.
Source: The Odyssey Online
Before buying a gym membership check with your health insurance plan. Some plans will reimburse the cost of gym memberships up to a certain amount, helping you decide which gym you can afford.
Many people are surprised to find that most gyms are actually willing to negotiate prices with you. This tactic will typically work with smaller, privately owned gyms and not major chain gyms.
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It never hurts to try before you buy. A majority of the gyms offer a day pass to try out their classes or see how you like the equipment. This will save you from wasting money on a membership that’s not the right fit.
While it isn’t frequently advertised, most gyms have a “pay per visit” cost. The cost may seem more expensive when you look at the numbers, but if you ask yourself the realistic amount of times you plan on going it may be the right choice for you. Economists at UC Berkeley found those who enroll in an annual membership pay 70% more for days they may not even use. That results in nearly $300 cost difference.
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Thanks to those pesky New Years Resolutions, membership prices skyrocket from the end of December to the first week of January. Try signing up during the middle of summer, when prices are often at their lowest.
If you’re into heavy lifting, stick to smaller gyms that are mostly equipment. If you enjoy high energy classes, find a studio that provides classes in a category you prefer. There’s no need to pay for a full-service gym if you will only be using part of it.
Source: Life Fitness
Before signing up for an expensive membership, check out sites like Living Social, Groupon, and Gilt City. Often smaller studios and classes will run specials for a month-long membership at a quarter of a price.
DealsPlus also offers some great deals at Gold's Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, and Planet Fitness to help you save.
Did you know that your employer can actually receive tax incentives for offering gym memberships for employees? The concept is simple, the healthier you are, the less likely you are to need medical care which costs more in the long run. So check with your employer to see what options are available for you.
Source: San Diego Magazine
If your job requires a great deal of travel, there is no sense in paying for a membership you won’t be around to use. Visit classpass.com and for access to the largest network of fitness studios for as low as $50 a month. This way you can hit a pilates class no matter what state you’re in.
Going out of town for an extended amount of town? Some gyms offer the option to freeze your account until you return and can resume going to the gym, that way you aren’t paying for days you can’t use.
Source: Food and Nutrition
Some gyms offer cheaper memberships for working out during certain periods of the day. They benefit from not having an overcrowded gym (which means long waits for machines) and you save. Just be sure you are flexible on when you are willing to work out.
Skip the gym altogether. There are tons of blogs and apps that offer free workout routines that you can take anywhere. Check out the Nike+ app or visit toneitup.com to work out with trainer Karina and Katrina.
Source: The Dallas Fitness & Court Club
Often times community center will have affordable or even free classes, especially during the summer months. Check your local newspapers, magazines, or even craigslist to find out about free classes near you.
Enjoy all the benefits of working out in the comfort of your own home with streaming exercise videos. Thanks to sits like YouTube, Amazon, GaimTV, and Stream Fit you can work out at home for free or for much less than a gym membership. The best part is with so many out there, there’s no limit to the number of classes you can try.
>> SEE ALSO: 5 YouTube Workouts For When You're Too Lazy to Go to the Gym
If you are interested in hiring a personal trainer but can’t afford the cost, consider inviting a friend. Personal trainers usually charge per hour, not per person. By bringing a friend along you can split the cost 50/50 and still get all the benefits.
With so many necessary expense in life, it’s easy to put your own needs on the back burner. As tempting as it may be, investing in yourself also means being able to take better care of your family. Not to mention looking and feeling better will allow you to perform your best in every category of your life.