How often do you use your gym membership? The average cost of a gym membership is $55 per month, or $660 a year. The annual cost is usually more with a start-up fee and possible maintenance fees. According to Statistic Brain, the average gym member only frequents the gym two times per month and 67% of people end up not using their membership. According to a survey from Bodybuilding.com, 2/3 of adults in the United States made a New Year’s resolution to become fit, but 73% of those people gave it up before achieving their goal. If you find that you are one of the few that do make use of your membership and find that you prefer a gym to working out outside or at home, by all means, continue your membership, since your well-being is worth the money. If you do not use your membership, consider canceling it (or motivating yourself to go more often) and spending more time outside for your workouts (biking, running, walking, swimming), since getting outdoors is beneficial for you as well. If your apartment complex, college, or employer offers a free gym membership, take advantage of that, even if it doesn’t offer exactly what you’d like. You can also follow free workouts online or on TV and learn some new workouts from friends for extra motivation. If there is a particular piece of equipment that you really enjoy, consider buying it used, which will most likely be cheaper than a yearly gym membership (my family purchased a treadmill at the Salvation Army years ago, which has been a great investment). You may also want to consider spending that money on signing up for a race every other month instead, which might be cheaper than the membership and may motivate you to work out more anyway. By canceling your gym membership, you will also save money on gas from the travel to and from the gym (unless you walk or bike).
I recently evaluated my gym membership and decided to cancel it; I was spending $45/month but only really using it for a fitness class 1-2 times a week that I really enjoyed. After going to the same class for months, I have learned how to do most of the moves at home with just a set of weights and a resistance band. While I miss the social environment of the class, I have found that I push myself harder when I’m alone and am actually getting better results. All of my runs are usually outside or at a free fitness center at my apartment complex, which only offers two treadmills, a stationary bike, an elliptical, and two weight machines, but is usually empty and convenient. I also enjoy not being tied down to a particular time each week for a fitness class. I realized that I wasn’t able to go as much as I’d like, due to other commitments. My gym was about a 10-minute drive away, so gas costs definitely added up as well.
If you do cancel your gym membership, be sure to continue to find ways to motivate yourself to stay in shape, since maintaining your health is one of the more important ways to live your best life!