Buying a health club or gym membership can be quite expensive as anyone knows who has joined a gym in January. There’s a good chance you are paying more than at any other time of the year. Getting in shape is always a good idea, but in order to make sure it is your body and not your wallet that’s getting the workout, consider the following advice on gym membership and low cost exercise alternatives.
Trial gym membership – It’s a good idea to start with a trial pass to give yourself a chance to be honest with yourself about how motivated you are. Fitness clubs may offer one-week or one-month memberships on a trial basis. Remember, the harder the club is to get to, the easier it is not to go. Visit at least two or three easy to reach club close to your home or office and choose the one that’s best for you. Don’t sign a contract right away by someone pressuring you to sign on the dotted line, no matter how attractive the membership package. Read the fine print on the contract to determine your cancellation and automatic renewal clauses. Most clubs offer an opt-out clause for three days after signing in which you can cancel the contract without a penalty. Never sign a contract that includes interest charges.
If you absolutely can’t afford a gym membership and your home is not exactly well-stocked with the latest home exercise equipment, Garretson suggests these low cost alternatives.
Outdoor Exercise – Instead of wasting your money on a gym membership, why not buy a $100 road bike that will give you as much exercise as you want. Or you might buy a good pair of even less expensive running shoes and take the dog for a walk.
Exercise Tapes – Here’s another great alternative to an outrageous gym membership: Rent or buy some exercise tapes or DVDs, turn on the TV and start exercising. It’s like having your own personal trainer at home. You can do Yoga, step aerobics, weight training routines or whatever else the trainers suggest.
Used Exercise Equipment – Consider purchasing used exercise equipment available from online merchants specializing in reconditioned machines. Check garage sales and your local paper for used, or maybe even “never-used” equipment that is still in top shape. It’s better to put your money into your own home fitness gym instead of a gym membership.
Join A League – No gym membership is needed when you join group activities through community centers, churches and work such as bowling, softball, volleyball, soccer and flag football. They offer a great way to exercise while having fun with your friends.
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