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10 Ways to Save Money at the Gym
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At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets. - Steve Maraboli ~ 3/2/18
Thanks for sharing.
Part of finding the right gym is making sure you feel comfortable working out there, and in a sense, belonging to this community - whether you participate in the group classes or just use the machines. I've read some comments here blasting the YMCA, and I just wanted to post that I've had nothing but good experiences at my local Y, both the one I go to near my office and the one near our home. Part of the good vibes/dynamics has to do with the community itself and the investment made into its people and the physical space. I love my YMCA and I invest in it with my time and money. I think the right gym is crucial for those who want the best experience out of their gym, but it may take time to find that right fit. I understand that it may not be an option for everyone, but if it is, take the time to find your home away from home.
I have worked at 2 YMCA's and was a member for over 30 years. After having heel surgery one year and shoulder surgery 11 months later I was out of work for six and a half months. I applied for financial aid at the Y and was given a $40 reduction in my yearly membership. I explained to them my length of out of work time and that was unable to afford my membership and they told me, "well you can apply again after you return to work." So yes the YMCA does turn away people who cannot afford the membership.
Sometimes you have to go out on the ledge to see the view of where you want to be.
I'm a member of my local Y and while the rate is good it ends there. Equipment is old and outdated. Lines are long and even the thermostat (recently remodeled facility) was out this summer. For my membership however I can go to any Y - in the greater LA area. Problem with that is if I exercise hard, then I do not have the ability to drive home for at least another hour - my muscles need recovery. I joined because there was one 1/2 mile away - I could walk there, exercise on machines, lift weights and come home to clean up. Sounded great - looked OK for the price. But it was not a good deal. And negotiate a rate with people who work on a commission for memberships they sell - get real. I belonged to a pricey but wonderful gym about 15 years ago - I could go with a packed lunch and spend the day and I wanted to but I was working then. This place was amazing - olympic size pool, separate lap pool, great cardio machines of the day, all workout rooms had a view and a very nice "cafe" where you could get a nutitious meal or bring your own. They didn't sell anything bad if you will. Loved it. It couldn't make it in the fast lane although it had for many years. Todays gyms are crammed full (often to minimum safety standards) and oversubscribed. Yuk on gyms. Not able to be outdoors without a human buddy to "spot" me (and don't have one here) but that is a much better option for anyone. Barring that get programs you can do at home and develop discipline.
Here is the 11th way to save on a gym membership, buy a gym on wheels and take it with you each time you need transportation and a high energy workout for your whole body. I do use Silver Sneakers to weight train, and I look at the stationary machine area, people expending energy on these machines, working out watching TV, staying in the same place they were when they started, going nowhere. I ride to the gym on a Me-Mover and get 3 workouts in one day, aerobic, anaerobic, aerobic. The Me-Mover works most of the body, increases endurance and does not need a timer to motivate. You're standing using the same muscles as running, but without the potential damage inherent in running of joint and cartilage damage. As a matter of fact injured runners can continue their sport on the Me-Mover, there is no hard foot impact.
I've tried most of these niche market machines, been working out for over 50 years, in my late 70's, this mobile gym does what I didn't think possible, increase my musculature, endurance, reduce weight, takes me places while saving valuable time going nowhere at the gym.
I did not see the one I am using.....When I went to my gym that had a Senior Sneakers program, I was able to sign up, and DUMP my fees all together. I love that I can still "afford" my membership though retired!
For senior citizens-- check out the "Silver Sneakers" program benefit. We were eligible and did NOT know it until I learned of this through a SPARK member. You can ask about this through your insurance, or ask about the program at your convenient gym or fitness office. This is a huge savings for those who qualify--- ASK about this deal!
How I wish that I had discovered this wonderful opportunity of Silver Sneakers --sooner!
Absolutely check with your employer health insurance plan first. Many employers are looking to improver their employees' health to reduce insurance premiums.
Also the Medicare Advantage plans are a tremendous resource for us cash-strapped seniors. They may pay part or all of your Silver Sneakers membership which, in turn, may cover a local fitness center membership. Yes, you need to be age eligible for Medicare and, yes, there may be only one fitness center in your area working with Silver Sneakers. But what a cost saver!
My club is a little pricey, and it may even be the most expensive in town. But for me, it's completely worth it.
First, the club is across from the court I appear in every Thursday morning and any time I'm required to be in court in the afternoon. I'm working on my swim for triathlon, so having the chance to get in a few long workouts a week and short ones any time I have to go the court has really helped me improve my swim.
Second, the club is eight miles from my work and eight miles from my house. I commute by bike a few times a week, and the club's location allows me to ride to the club after work, work out, then ride home.
Third, there's no gimmicks in the club's pricing. I pay one fee that permits me to use everything but the racquet sports courts and the fancy locker room with rented lockers. (The folks in this locker room have assigned lockers, and the locker room is nicer than the general one.) No towel fee, no class fee (with rare exceptions, like Pilates and sessions with the personal trainers), no pool fee (and this club has two pools), no fee to use the water park.
My club requires a person signing up commit to a year; after that, the contract can be cancelled with written notice. I understand their logic: if you're committing to a healthy lifestyle change, it is a long-term commitment. I wasn't crazy about signing up for a year, but It turned out to not really matter. I'm well past my first twelve months, and I have no intention of quitting.
This club is independent and locally-owned. They appear to treat their employees well, and it shows. Everyone I encounter - the life guards, the folks "patrolling" the weight rooms, the trainers, the women making their rounds and mopping the locker room after every pool-based class and the swim lessons, the people at the front counter - is polite, courteous, encouraging, and professional. One of life guards gave me some excellent tips to assist me with swimming - she helped improve my swim form almost as much as the swim coach with whom I took a private lesson. The club is closed on major holidays and it closes early the day before those holidays. I'd love to be able to get in an extra workout, but I also love that my club treats its employees that well!
I've never seen a piece of fitness equipment out of service for more that a day. The carpets may be a little weary, but this club's equipment is well-maintained.
Price isn't everything. Contracts shouldn't be a deal-breaker. Convenience - hours and location - and service are far more important.
I've been a member at my local YMCA since I moved to my little city. I've spoken with trainers at other gyms and for what I pay monthly I get a serious amount of services so I've been more than happy here. Add to that ours is a full service YMCA that I'm happy to support in the first place. It's so cute seeing the wee ones picked up from late day care when I'm headed in for my workout. The trainers and instructors are top notch and highly qualified and the facilities are excellently maintained. I love this place.
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