A weight rack at a discount gym.

Save On Gym Memberships

Want to get in shape by joining a gym. Great, physical health will give you more energy and motivation which will help you also reach your financial goals. This doesn’t mean that you have to make a huge investment in a gym membership though. Sure, they can be expensive but there are ways around this. Check out some easy ways to save money on your next gym membership.

Are you excited about the idea of getting into the gym and getting into shape? Good, but temper your enthusiasm just a bit and think things out. Gyms represent a financial commitment which means that you need to look for some cost savings. Don’t just rush out there and join the first gym you see. First. let’s look at some ways to save.

1. Check Your Insurance

If you have health insurance, you may be able to save money on a gym membership. People who work out are healthier. They have less chance of developing diabetes, heart problems and will even have stronger immune systems. This means that if you are in shape, you are less likely to cost your insurance money.

For this reason, many health insurers will subsidize your gym membership. Call and find out if there are any programs that can get you reduced memberships or lower initiation fees. If your insurance offers such a program, it could save you as 200 dollars or more int he first year alone.

2. Pay More Down

If you know for a fact that you will use your membership long term, you can pay more down in the beginning and save big. You can generally accomplish this in two ways.

One, you can pay a higher initiation fee. Most gyms charge an initiation fee at the beginning of a gym contract and they often have different levels. Pay a higher fee at the beginning and get a lower monthly rate. It could take a year or more to realize the savings of such a move, so make sure that you are committed.

Another way to pay more down is to prepay your annual membership. You might be able to save 25 percent or more on an annual price over paying monthly. A membership might have a 300 dollar annual price versus a 35 dollar monthly price, for example. Once again, make sure you are committed or you could end up blowing money.

3. Choose A Discount Gym

Discount, no frills, gyms are becoming more on more common. They typically open up in strip centers when they lose an anchor store. Because of the cheap rent and the limits on extras, they can offer you a cheap gym experience.

These are a great choice if you simply want to go to the gym, hit a few machines and run on a treadmill. You aren’t going to be able to sit in a sauna after your workout but if you never planned on using those services anyway, a discount gym is a good choice.

4. Wait For A Holiday

Like most businesses, gyms save their best specials for the holidays.

In the gym world, this is usually the first of the year. Gym’s like to take advantage of New Year’s Resolutions to fill their membership roles. There will be thousands of people looking to get in shape with the best of intentions. Join them and take advantage of probably the best membership prices of the year.

You might see savings on other holidays as well such as Presidents day. Don’t put off your gym experience by months to save a few dollars but if you are near a major holiday, consider waiting a few days to see what offers come out.

5. Sign Up For Free Trials

Not all gyms are created equal. It would be a huge mistake to sign up for a gym without first checking it out. You might find that you just do not like it and would never go. That would be a major waste of money with the cost of gym contracts.

If you have four gyms in your area, sign up for trials with all of them. Be sure to check out the gym at all of the times that you would use it. See if the gym is kept clean, if the machines are in good working order and pay attention to the people who go to the gym. Nothing will make you hate a gym more than finding that it is populated by people you can not stand.

After you have given each gym a one week chance, sign up for the one you like the most.

6. Use Your Membership

If you do not use your membership, you are simply wasting money.

One thing that gyms count on is that nearly 50 percent of the people who sign up will not use their membership. People have the best intentions but they often abandon their fitness goals. When they do that, they usually keep paying. They might think that they will get back to the gym and do not want to pay another initiation fee or they simply put off the headache of cancelling.

Don’t be that person. Commit to going to the gym at least three days a week for a 3 month period. Do this and chances are that you will have developed a healthy gym habit. It takes about 3 months to really start seeing results and for the gym to become ingrained in your lifestyle.

7. Make A Home Gym

For some, the gym will never be their thing. If you have signed up for the gym trials but just do not have a good feeling about it, consider a home gym.

You can build a nice home gym for around a 500 dollar investment or less when you shop off of Craigslist where used equipment is abundant. Get a used treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike for 200 to 300 dollars and a nice weight set and bench for another 100 to 200 dollars.

With the two things above, you can easily reach your fitness goals without the commitment of monthly payments. If you have the space and can get better motivated at home, this might be the way to go.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.