Now that summer is almost over, it won’t be long until you begin settling into hibernation mode for Christmas. Waistlines will begin to expand and gym memberships will slowly make their way to the deepest, darkest depths of wallets and purses. If you have a gym membership and you’ve actually made some use of it this year, then well done to you! Statistically, 1 in 10 people haven’t stepped foot inside their gym for more than a year. If you’re wondering whether you should renew your gym membership next year, take a look at this post from Mr Lender to see how you can save money and get fit on a budget.
Take a quick look on Instagram at #Fitness and you’ll be inundated with more than 210million posts of super fit health fanatics who all seem to have the metabolism and strength of a Greek god. You can then use these ‘inspirational’ posts in one of two ways – you can either stare longingly at the tiny person posing in the screen of your phone before sloping off to the fridge to comfort eat your weight in cheese and carbs. Or, you can use them as motivation to get fit.
If you’re on Instagram, follow a few fitness coaches and try to follow their advice as best as you can. Mimic their meal plans and watch their workouts to get an idea of how you can begin to get into shape. Instagram is a fantastic way to either get motivated enough to take out a gym membership, or to simply get free tips and advice on how to get fit at home.
Here’s a few Instafamous fitness fanatics to get you started:
Insta Market Place
Instagram has also become a market place of sorts, with everyone from reality TV stars to your neighbours daughter promoting workout powders and weight loss pills, claiming you can have your ‘dream body in just eight weeks!’. The key here is to do your research before buying any sort of product. Holland and Barrett are quite renowned for their Penny Sale where you buy one product and get the second for a penny, which can often work out far cheaper than buying products you see on Instagram.
Though saying that, the Instagram market place is good for one thing – fitness plans. Taking a look at some of the fitness fanatics we’ve listed above, you can see the link in their bio takes you to their fitness plans where you can sign up and learn to get fit. These will often include both meal plans and workout plans, and maybe even exclusive access to videos and podcasts to help you get into shape.
Find a few fitness fanatics who inspire you to get into shape, and see if they have links in their bio to a fitness page or plans. Lots of fitness plans are online and don’t require you to attend a class or meet the trainer in person, however there are some that do. Before making any sort of purchase, make sure you know what you’re buying – if you live in the UK, make sure you’re not buying a plan for a fitness class in New York instead of an online workshop.
Heading to the gym
If taking tips and advice from someone halfway around the world isn’t motivational enough for you, you may decide to still commit to a gym membership. But before you hand over your cash, consider the following options first.
Try before you buy
Most gyms nowadays will let you test out the gym before signing up for a membership card. This can either mean you attend a taster day at the gym, or you sign up for a free trial – however, be prepared to be bombarded with the hard sell once your trial comes to an end. The gym is going to want you to sign up and hand over your cash, so say be prepared to say ‘no’ and walk away if it just isn’t for you.
Pay as you go
Another option is to head to a gym which offers a ‘pay as you go’ option. This means you can use the gym as and when you choose without shedding a tear each month as you hand over a small fortune for an unused membership. If you do opt for the pay as you go option and find that you do actually go to the gym quite often, work out if you’re going enough times to warrant getting a membership. Pay as you go can cost around £5 per session, so if your membership costs £30 a month, make sure you’re going at least six times to get the most out of it.
No frills gym membership
When it comes to choosing a gym, there a number of factors to be taken into consideration. For starters, you will want to make sure the gym has the equipment you will want to use. If you want to focus primarily on running, make sure they have treadmills; if you want to swim, make sure they have a pool. You may also find yourself opting for a gym simply because they have fancy spa facilities. While this is most definitely a treat, is it absolutely necessary? Are you only paying well over the odds for your gym membership just so you can have access to a spa? If you decide you no longer fancy going to the gym, but you would still quite like to use the Jacuzzi, that’s going to wind up being the most expensive bubble bath you have ever sat in.
If you’re looking to save money on your gym membership and get fit on a budget, take a look at some of the more budget gyms. They may not look as fancy or have as many machines as some of the more luxury ones do, but you will certainly save plenty of cash each month.
Check with your employer
Some companies offer exclusive perks to their employees, from childcare vouchers to deals and discounts. Before signing up to a gym, talk to your employer and find out if they are partnered with any local gyms where you can get money off your membership. You may find you can gain access to a luxury gym for the same price as the budget alternative, or you may be able to visit a budget gym for next to nothing.
Let’s all go to Tesco
Believe it or not, but Tesco may be your answer to getting a good deal on your gym membership. By saving your ClubCard points you can use them to buy vouchers for a whole variety of things including days out, beauty products, restaurants and holidays – and, course, gym memberships. While you may not be able to buy a whole year’s subscription using your Tesco vouchers, you may be able to get a month’s worth of free access or a percentage off the annual cost.