One study shows that only 8% of people who have gym memberships actually use them! This is quite a shocking number, especially considering how many people sign a contract with their local gym each year. Even at a budget rate of $20 a month that is still $240 wasted each year by individuals who don’t use their gym membership.
Even if individuals regularly use their membership, is the cost and time worth it? Not only are regular gym members paying monthly dues, but they are also paying for the gas to get there, perhaps money for the kid’s club, and possibly even money on supplements or other in-gym purchases.
For some, the cost is worth it because of the motivation that comes with it. However, for most of us, there is a more affordable option. I think many would agree that they would rather workout for free and spend the $240+ savings a year on a brand new wardrobe. So what are your options?
The Basics Are Free
Time and time again, researchers show the benefits of walking, running, and swimming. Of course, each of those activities come with a cost for wardrobe, but essentially they are all free. You can walk anywhere, even in your own home in front of the TV. Swimming is free if you have a pool or know a friend that has a pool (offer to clean their pool for them, and they will be begging you to swim). It can be easy to get in the mindset that you need a fancy gym, weight system, or even best-selling exercise DVD to get in shape. The basic exercises of walking, running, jumping jacks, push ups, and more have been used and proven for many years; why try to recreate the wheel?
The Youtube exercise community has really blown up over the past few years. There are so many challenging workouts offered for free that are comparable to those exercise DVDs that cost money. Just search for your favorite workout star, such as Jillian Michaels or Denise Austin, and you will find several of their workouts for free. Also, Youtube channels like BeFit and Blogilates offers popular full-length workouts that will surely get you in shape in no time.
Apps That Make You Want to Workout
Your best exercise tool could just be the phone you use every day. There are so many affordable and free workout apps that make exercise fun and doable. Some popular favorites are Fitocracy (free), Fitsby (free), The Walk ($3.99), and Zombies, Run! ($2.99).
When it comes to getting fit and healthy, invest your money in something better than a gym membership. Whether you choose to workout at a gym or workout through one of the free options above, the key is consistency. The best workout is the one you actually do, and saving a few hundred a year is always nice too.