Save Big, Get Small!

Friday, January 29th, 2010 By

Save Big on a Gym Membership

It’s New Year’s resolution time and for many people, that means deciding to join a gym and lose weight. However, since gym memberships can be expensive and often require a one-year to two-year commitment, it’s important to spend some time finding the right one for you. Let’s look at a few easy ways to save money when signing up for a gym membership:

Look for free trials

Most gyms offer free trials that let you stop by and workout like a member for a limited period of time – typically one day to one week. If you don’t yet know which gym is the right one for you, consider taking advantage of several of these trial memberships. Not only will they allow you to experience each gym first-hand and decide which one is the best fit for you, you could get a month or more of free membership privileges before you even sign a contract!

Watch for specials

Gyms – like most other retail businesses – offer periodic sales and discounts. For example, a gym may offer a limited-time, free-enrollment special to sign up lots of new members in a short period of time. You can find out about these specials through advertisements, including TV, radio, and print messages. Keep your eyes and ears open and you could wind up saving lots of money on your gym membership.

Talk to your friends

Gyms and other fitness facilities are always looking for new members, and one of the easiest ways for them to meet their recruitment goals is by turning their existing members into a mobile sales force. To encourage their members to sign up friends and relatives, many gyms offer referral bonuses, both for the referrer and the referred. For example, if you mention a friend’s name when signing up for a membership at his or her gym, you both could qualify for discounted rates or even free months of membership.

Work your connections

Are you a student, teacher or employee of a school or university? If so, many of these institutions have fitness facilities which you can use for free or at a significantly discounted rate. If you’re a member of a professional group or health insurance plan, or simply the lucky employee of a company with health club perks, talk to the gym you’re thinking about joining – you may qualify for cheaper rates or discounts on your enrollment fees.

Check into health insurance reimbursements

One of the newest trends for health insurance companies is to offer  “good health” rebates to members who take part in healthy activities, like quitting smoking, losing weight, or joining a fitness facility. The specific amount of your rebate and the conditions you’ll have to meet to earn it vary depending on your insurer, but in most cases, you can earn $100-200 for joining and actively participating in a gym. Your company’s HR department or representatives at your health insurance carrier can tell you what kind of rebates you’re eligible for and what you need to do to earn them.

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