When January 1 arrives every year, it has become tradition for most people to include “Lose weight” in their list of New Year’s resolutions. Is this something that you wish to achieve this year? If yes, you should definitely have a plan on how to shed the excess pounds that you have.
However, it should only be the excess pounds and the fat from your body that should be lost – not the money that you have in your wallet. But considering the fact that most people prefer to pay for pricey gym membership fees or spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on exercise equipment, is there really a way to lose weight the pocket-friendly way? That is what we will find more about here.
Save Money on Gym Membership
When you ask fitness experts about what the secret is to losing weight, the answer that you will most likely get is to combine exercising with eating right. Instead of going through crash diets, it really is better to combine exercising with eating right so that you can start living a healthier lifestyle.
Doing this, you can shed the excess pounds – and keep them off. With crash diets, you may experience great weight loss results, but the excess pounds can easily come back. If your weight keeps on fluctuating, this does not bode well for your health at all.
Now, if you do not have enough self-discipline to work out on your own at home, you might prefer to go to the gym to achieve your weight loss goals. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but there is no need for you to spend a fortune on gym membership fees, either.
How can you save money on gym membership and related fees, then? Take a look at the following list:
Know when to become a member
There are a couple of tips that you need to remember for this. Let’s say that you decided to invest your money on a gym membership so that you can work out even during winter, and throughout other months of the year. There are bonus points if you can use your gym membership fee as a motivation to reach your fitness goals.
The first tip is this: look for gym membership deals during the slow season.
As mentioned earlier, the New Year is typically the month when gyms and other fitness centers are operating at their peak. This is when most people try to stick with their resolution of losing weight, so they spend their money on gym memberships.
Another peak season is during winter, when most people cannot go out to exercise – so they prefer to sweat it out in the gym. Despite the busyness of these two seasons, you can still find great deals on gym memberships simply because of the sheer number of people who are trying to enrol.
The second tip is this: look for gym memberships by the end of the month.
During the first part of March, for example, there might be a good number of people who are paying their gym membership fees. But once it’s nearing the end of the month, most gyms will find out that they have not met their required number of members – so they will most likely give you good deals. Take advantage of this and better yet, bring a friend who can work out with you. Ask for couple or group discounts while you’re at it.
Make a comparison of the gym membership fees offered by different establishments
To save money on gym membership fees, another thing that you can try is to compare what different fitness centers or establishments have to offer. Go online and make a list of the gyms in your area. Group together ones which offer membership fees within the same price range.
If one gym offers lesser facilities than another gym, tell them about the lower rate that their competitor offered. If they are unwilling to match the price, ask them what they can offer in return to match what the other gym has to offer. Do this over the phone so that it will be easier for you to do the bargaining in person, once you walk in to check out the facilities for yourself.
Do not enter into long-binding contracts
One of the biggest mistakes made by first-time gym-goers is signing a long binding contract. You might be tempted to sign a one-year contract with this gym near your apartment which has all the fancy fitness equipment. But what if you move? Or what you end up not liking the facilities, anyway? It is better to pay gym membership fees on a monthly basis – even if it costs a few dollars more.
Compare this with the inconvenience of not being able to get out of a long binding contract, and you will see that it’s never a good idea to bind yourself to a gym membership agreement that way. Always check on the Terms and Conditions of the gym membership, determine how many times you get to use the facilities, which areas you have free access to, and if there are any hidden fees applied.
Don’t pay for extras that you do not necessarily need
During your first month working out, you might need the services of a personal trainer who will make you go that extra mile in meeting your fitness goals. But once you have gotten into the rhythm of things, you can skip the fees associated with hiring a personal trainer.
Also skip the fees for bottled water – simply bring your own. Instead of buying high-protein shakes or energy bars, make your own healthy meals at home. When you’re initially signing up, always say no to other extras like apparel, laundry, supplements or even tanning. Once you say yes to any of these, the costs will eventually add up.
When travelling, put your gym membership on hold
Most gyms implement an on-hold membership policy. This means that if you will be going on leave at work and you know that you cannot work out for a month, you can put the status of your membership on hold. Just make sure to give them advanced notice so that the hold status can be arranged.
Save Money on Fitness Equipment
If you do not like working out in an indoor setting, there’s no reason why you cannot simply perform your exercises at home. So what can you use for fitness equipment and how can you save money when buying them? The number one rule for this is that you should know when to splurge and when to save. Instead of buying fashionable workout outfits, choose ones which are comfortable yet durable.
If you would like to buy big ticket fitness equipment, look for slightly used ones on eBay or Craigslist. Most people who impulsively buy these exercise machines end up not using them anyway, so they simply sell them online. Your friends might also have exercise equipment that they would like to get rid of, which you can purchase very cheaply or even get for free.
It’s also not a good idea to invest in pricey exercise equipment when you are just starting to workout. If you will perform a basic exercise routine, you will eventually learn which exercises you need to do more and less of. From this, you would have an idea about which exercise gadgets and tools will really work for you.
Start with a basic exercise ball or use other items found in your household like filled-up cans, towels, weights, or a small chair that you can use for step-up exercises. Go online and look for exercise routines that you can perform without having to use gym equipment.
More importantly, why not use the great outdoors as your very own gym? You can run, walk, hike, bike or swim. For cardiovascular exercises, all you need is a park with trees. You can work out while soaking in a bit of sunshine as well. When you go hiking or biking, you can explore beautiful places while getting the exercise that your body needs at the same time.
Additional Ways to Save Money on Fitness
What are the other ways that you can save money on your way to achieving those fitness goals? Let’s take your workout gear as an example.
For women, any good old tank top will do but when it comes to pants or shorts, it’s better if they are specifically made for sweaty workout sessions. You do need a good pair of shoes with solid support, but there’s no need for you to buy the year’s latest models with bells and whistles that come at a price. Check out the prices of the last two year’s models, and make sure to buy affordable shoes from brands manufacturing sneakers that last.
You can also check out the events list of your local health club. These establishments frequently organize races and events where participants are welcomed. There are even races with a prize, so you can get the workout you need and get the prize money at the same time!
Finally, resist the temptation to splurge on high-tech workout gadgets. Simply use your smartphone to download fitness apps for free, so that you can maximize and fully enjoy your workout.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways for you to save money on fitness. More than just saving a few bucks off your monthly budget, the workout itself can be the first step that you will take towards living a healthier lifestyle and becoming a newer, fitter you.