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One of the ways I’ve wasted money is with gym memberships. I’ve belonged to about half a dozen different gyms over the years and it all ended the same way.

I’d go for a month or two and then gradually stop.

Meanwhile, the monthly fee would be drafted from my account until the required period was met. I know I’m not the only one.

One of my friends renews his membership every year because it’s so cheap yet he never goes. This has gone on for years (so is it really cheap?).

Gym Membership Alternatives

gym alternatives couple money

Here are some ways you can exercise at your convenience without paying a monthly fee.

1. Home Gym: Invest in your favorite gym equipment and work out at home. You can buy pre-owned equipment for a good price on Craigslist. Putting a TV in the workout area might keep your interest while getting exercise at the same time plus there’s no travel time.

2. Day Passes: If you are a sporadic gym rat, then you should think about buying day passes. It seems expensive paying per visit, but be realistic. If you go a handful of times per month, it’s cheaper to pay per visit.

Some gyms or fitness businesses offer value packs to save more. Instead of paying a monthly fee to go to the occasional yoga or dance classes at the gym, pay for each class at a dance or yoga studio. You’ll probably have a better experience too.

3. Community Centers: The community we live in has a center which includes tennis courts, a basketball court, two pools and a small gym. We pay for this in our homeowner’s assessment whether it’s used or not.

Take advantage of the exercise options you pay for already with your home or apartment or make friends with someone who does.

4. City Recreation Centers: Many cities have gyms, pools, tennis courts, basketball courts and more options for exercise. Take advantage of the free or low-cost offerings available to you. For the services with fees, there may be waivers for low-income residents.

5. Schools: Check the exercise options available at your local educational institutions. University and colleges may offer access to the recreational facilities for alumni or community members. Our local community college offers low-cost classes as part of the no-credit adult education program.

The local school system also offers adult education offerings. A couple of years ago I signed up for a 10 week series of yoga classes for free. (Don’t ask me if I went.)

Thoughts on Gym Memberships

Gym memberships can be a great deal for those that use them. For irregular exercisers, try one of these alternative ways to exercise and save money.

Where do you go to exercise?

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2 comments comments closed

  1. I have to have a gym membership in order to go. But great tips for those who aren’t willing to pay the steep fees. My girlfriend and I have to have a membership in order to stay motivated. We use it every day and are addicts! Good post!

  2. Your experience is my experience as well.

    I was paying ~ $100 a month for gym last year. This summer for slightly more than half of that, I bought a Trek hybrid bike and other related gear; You don’t need a partner or a playground etc; if the weather is nice, just hop on it and go. Weekends we go to a multi-use trail about 25 miles away, and even with the driving, it was cost-effective for us. Managed to lose about 12 pounds with casual biking as my main exercise. 🙂