Gym memberships are a necessity for many, but they can quickly become a costly monthly bill. The average monthly gym membership in the United States is $58 and varies depending on location and gym. Monthly costs might seem smaller, but when you add it up, you could be spending around $700 a year on a gym membership.
For some, this money could be better spent on other things, especially since a lot of gyms are closed following COVID protocols. Follow these tips if you’re ready to ditch the gym membership and workout without the fees!
For a lot of people, signing up for a gym is the first step toward taking charge of their health. However, it’s easy to forget to celebrate your journey when you’re away from the gym.
Join groups near you
Consider forming an exercise group with friends or look on community pages for established groups that can give you the support you’ll need to keep motivated and energized away from a traditional gym. Places like Facebook and MeetUp can help you locate like-minded people ready to offer free tips, guidance, and friendship!
Maintain a routine
Suppose you always go to the gym at 7 a.m., and you like this routine. You don’t need to, nor should you, feel forced to change your schedule. Instead of waking up, driving to the gym, showering, and returning home, use this time productively. Eat a healthy homemade breakfast, find your workout routine for the day, and focus on preparing your mind and body for the day ahead, too. You may find that you feel more relaxed without the morning commute.
Keep a workout journal and write down answers to these questions each day before stretching and working out, so you can better hold yourself accountable to check in each day.
- How am I feeling?
- What am I doing well and what can I improve on?
- Where and when do I feel best when working out?
- Who is helping me with my fitness journey?
- Why am I choosing the workout I am today and is it getting me closer to my goals?
Forget fancy equipment
It can seem like you need an expensive home gym and equipment to achieve results, but this isn’t true.
Dedicate a space
Be sure to dedicate a space to call your own when it comes to workouts. Personalizing an area for fitness reinforces the routine mentioned before, and it can be fun to set up! Consider both an indoor and outdoor spot to get fresh air, weather permitting.
Make sure the size of your space is appropriate for your fitness goals. For instance, if you like to do yoga, dedicate a space for your mat and at least two feet around it to keep it functional and safe. If you’re focused on lifting, have enough space for proper lifting and weight storage. Avoid squeezing yourself into an already regularly used area, like a living room.
Areas like empty garages, spare bedrooms, and unused basements make for ideal spaces to transform.
Purchase the necessities
Gyms have tons of offerings when it comes to equipment, which most people don’t even use. You probably use the same two to three machines any given day of your workout. You might feel tempted to purchase loads of equipment, believing it will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Even top trainers can do a lot with just a simple floor mat and a positive mindset. Make a list of your goals, and purchase accordingly. Some staple items like a gym mat, storage, and sneakers aren’t ones to skip, as they will keep you safe. Ask family and friends if they are looking to part with any exercise equipment to keep costs low.
Familiarize yourself with free resources
Beat the budget-busting gym fees by taking advantage of the free-to-use spaces and resources available to you.
Utilize nearby parks, trails, and fields that are open to the public. Getting fresh air during a workout is great for your physical and mental health. Research trails near you using the AllTrails tracker—your next favorite spot could be close!
Online workouts and Pinterest
Social media and the App store are full of free workouts and training programs. Find trainers and fitness influencers who inspire you, follow them, and try a variety of routines. Most online fitness pages use livestreams, too, so this can be an opportunity to develop discipline and feel connected to other people using home workouts.
Feel around for discounts
Some workplaces offer gyms or memberships for free, or at least at a discounted rate, so check with your employer and see if there are any options right for you. Similarly, your apartment complex or community gym may be an option to test out if you feel comfortable using public space. Most apartment and community gyms offer the same quality equipment, with the chance to meet your neighbors. Plus, you’re likely already paying the fees included with your rent or HOA.
Fitness doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Your body is yours to maintain and grow with, and you can choose to use these methods and more to combat financial obstacles associated with traditional gyms.