We hear it all the time: “I can’t afford to go to the gym”. While it is true that gym memberships aren’t free, there is no reason cost should hold you back from a healthy lifestyle. In fact, if you work it right, you may be able to break even or better yet, MAKE money by going to the gym! With all the health incentive programs entering the industry right now, there has never been a better (or cheaper) time to focus on your fitness. Here are 10 creative ways for you to save money at the gym:
1. Research daily deals in your area
Flash sales offer a great way to get a deep discount on a regularly high-ticket classes. Better yet, you can shop around before committing to your favorite. Try Groupon, LivingSocial, or Zozi to find some local deals.
2. Commit at the right time
You can usually get the best deals around the end of the year holidays (Christmas, New Year’s Eve) or during the slower summers. Gyms have financial goals they have to hit and will likely offer the best discounts to prospect members during this time.
3. Walk to the gym
Obviously, this one depends how far you live from your gym, but if it’s manageable, you should always walk! Not only do you save money on gas or parking, you get the benefit of that warm up and cool down time.
4. Bring your own supplies
This includes things that you spend money on at the gym, such as:
- Water bottles
- Protein shakes
- Post-workout snacks
These things tend to add up!
5. Refer friends!
Most gyms have referral programs and will give you all kinds of incentives for bringing in prospective members. The perks range from gift cards to membership credits to cold hard cash!
6. Utilize the free personal training session
Before you decide to splurge on a trendy fitness class, remember that many gyms offer a free personal training session with your yearly membership. Take advantage of this free pass, at the very least, and keep an eye out for package deals or group rates with your favorite trainer!
7. Check your insurance
Many health insurance companies offer gym reimbursements to members who workout regularly. For example, UnitedHealthcare gives $20 to every member who goes to the gym 12 times or more a month. That adds up to $240 a year! Find out if you’re eligible for cash reimbursements here, or simply fill your info into the form below:
8. Prepay upfront
You can save a ton of cash by paying for 12 or 24 months upfront. For example, you can buy a 2-year membership certificate for 24 Hour Fitness at Costco for $369.99. That works out to $15 a month!
9. Two words: corporate discounts
Ask your employer if your company offers any corporate discounts. The savings are usually pretty steep (20-30%) and chances are, the gyms in the program are close to your office.
10. Wear your FitBit and cash out
Who knew that you could earn money for using your FitBit? Rewards include things like Walgreen’s Balance Reward points, perks from AchieveMint, or donations to charity. (You can see a full list of awesome incentives here.)