GUEST BLOGGER: EMMA PARKHURST
Every January it seems many of us set a resolution to go to the gym and exercise more frequently. If you have decided to tackle those fitness goals this year, getting a gym membership may be a smart move. Did you know that research shows those with a gym membership were 14 times more likely to meet the weekly physical activity guidelines? Sounds great, right?! But what if your budget is tight and a gym membership doesn’t quite make the cut for your 2020 financial goals? Not to worry – there are many ways to shave costs off your monthly gym bill:
1. Join with a Friend or Family Member: there are many gyms that offer a discount or even a free ‘buddy pass’. Chat with friends or family members to see what gyms they go to and what they offer. BONUS: researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that an exercise companion increases the amount of exercise we do. If you and a friend are ready to join a new gym, consider splitting the cost if you plan on working out together.
2. Discounted Memberships: whether you’re a student, teacher, senior citizen or military personnel it’s always beneficial to ask for a discount. There are also many companies that register with large chain gyms to offer a reduced rate for their employees. BONUS: if you’re financially ready to join a gym, keep an eye out for end of the month deals or other incentives.
3. Health Insurance: if you’ve ever had a gym membership, you know that oftentimes there are pesky annual or sometimes quarterly fees that can disrupt anyone’s monthly budget. But, did you know there are some health insurance providers that offer reimbursements or discounts for fitness facilities? This is how my family keeps a consistent gym fee all year round! BONUS: depending on your provider, some fitness plans allow you to have access to multiple gyms. For instance, I have access to many large chain gyms and here’s the kicker – I only pay ONE $25 fee every month and I can choose any participating gym on any given day.
4. At-Home, Apps, and Green Spaces: if a gym membership isn’t your top priority for your 2020 financial goals, don’t sweat it – you can still get a good sweat in without a monthly fee. You don’t have to have a gym membership to be more active this year. There are many at-home workout plans available for free or a small one-time fee, whether it’s online, paper-based or on an app. Take advantage of green spaces in your community and take your workout outside. Grab a friend or two and start a walking group or head to a local park and use the playground as your gym. Don’t forget to check out your local recreation centers for free or low-cost exercise classes.
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