Getting real with your New Year’s Resolutions: Weight loss

Is a gym membership worth it?

The holiday season has come and gone. What New Year’s Resolutions did you make this year? Statisticbrain reported a 2014 study conducted by University of Scranton that revealed the top three New Year’s Resolutions were:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Getting organized
  3. Spend less/save more

Additionally, only 46 percent of people maintained working on their resolutions past six months. If one of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight, what is the best way to attain that goal? Is a gym membership really worth it?

While improving your overall health is important, it is important to be realistic about your resolutions. If in the past, you joined a gym in January and by April, you were no longer going; you may want to reconsider joining a gym this year. Christina Goyanes at Shape.com offers the following 10 tips to help you get the best bang for your buck when buying a gym membership:

  • Be a fitness floozy: Sign up for free trials at various gyms. This gives you many opportunities to go free, without being caught in a contract at a gym you might not like long-term.
  • Make a deal: Make a list of what the gym offers, sit down with the manager and negotiate your membership.
  • Time it perfectly: Avoid signing up at the beginning of the year. It may be best to wait until the end of January.
  • Ditch the pool: If you are not going to use the pool regularly, perhaps find a gym without a pool because costs may be lower.
  • Look for á la carte: If you may not use the gym regularly, look for fitness classes.
  • Ask about quirky campaigns: Look for gym challenges or promotions.
  • Pay as you go: Find a gym that lets you pay as you go instead of a yearly membership.
  • Barter to sweat: Find a gym that may let you work a few hours in exchange for membership.
  • Take a break: Put your membership on hold if you need to instead of paying and not going to the gym.
  • Skip the gym: Find ways to workout outside or at home or slowly build a home gym.

So before you sign on the dotted line for an expensive gym membership think carefully and weigh the pros and cons. Read part two on the second highest New Year’s resolution “Getting organized”, part three “Spend less/save more”, and find more great articles on ways to save at Michigan State University Extension. Take the Financial Health Survey and discover more methods to help you improve your financial health.

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