A gym membership lets you get in shape and stay in shape in any kind of weather, but monthly gym dues can add up quickly. Even if full-priced gym access isn't in your budget, you may still be able to enjoy the benefits of joining. Certain strategies can help you reduce the cost to make fitness more affordable.
Look for Discounts
Look for opportunities to reduce or eliminate gym fees. Often you get a free gym membership if you are employed by the gym. Serving at the juice bar, working in the onsite daycare or cleaning the locker rooms can earn you a free pass to work out when you aren’t on duty. You may also qualify for a group discount if you buy a family membership and split the fees, or if you refer friends who also join and earn you credit toward your account.
Gym memberships can be particularly affordable if you live near one of the larger chains. They typically run specials and promotions throughout the year, and you just need to be on the lookout to join at the right time. Pay attention to radio and TV ads, and check their websites for current specials. Gyms may offer discounted signups and lower monthly fees in January, right around the time potential members are making New Year's resolutions to lose weight, and summer is often slower since the weather lends itself to outdoor workouts. A gym membership can be had for as little as $10 a month if you join during the right promotion.
Call Your Insurance Provider
If you have health insurance through your job or if you pay for a policy yourself, it's possible you have a benefit that can lower the cost of a health club or gym membership. Health insurance companies are in business to make money, and their profit margins are seriously impacted by members who are sick, overweight and out of shape. Therefore it's in their best interest to motivate members to stay in shape and on top of their health with regular exercise. Check your benefits paperwork or call your provider to inquire about this potential option, and make sure you get all the details on how to submit your information for proper reimbursement.
Check With HR
Even if you don't have insurance benefits for a gym membership, it couldn't hurt to check with the Human Resources department at your job to see if you might qualify for some type of gym membership discount. A lot of larger companies understand the importance of supporting a positive work-life balance as well as supporting the health and well being of employees. If your company doesn't have a gym onsite, it may offer partial reimbursement for your membership dues, or they may have brokered a deal for employee discounts at a specific chain of gyms in your area. You might even be able to initiate such a program if there isn't one already in place.
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