£558 million pound a year that is how much money Brits waste on not using their gym memberships each year. With one in ten people saying they haven’t used their membership in a year and 21% saying they only went three times in a year, are gym/health club memberships are actually worth it?
In this article we look at whether they are worth it and also look at other options at what we can do instead.
1. The Gym is an integral part of your life: If you are a committed gym goer, attend regularly for a number of years, love doing a variety of different class and enjoy the more relaxing side (sauna, steam room etc) then a gym membership is properly for you. You get to enjoy the variety the club has to offer and the more you attend the cheaper it works out per session. Say for example you go 5 times a week and your membership works out at £50.00 per month that works out around £2.30 a go (not bad considering). Verdict: It’s worth doing
2.You only do Pilates: You have been recommending doing Pilates by your GP, Physio etc. It is difficult to know the best place to go. The local health club can be tempting option; however there is a couple of key points to remember. Firstly, we all know for Pilates only really gets good results with small numbers (no more than 7) something that is simply not possible with Pilates in health clubs/gyms as average number is anything from 15-35!. Secondly if attending Pilates for such issues as back pain, injury then it’s likely more effective to have a class run by an instructor who has more Therapy/rehabilitation skills compared to fitness skills (which are more likely to found in Pilates in health clubs/gyms). This would also apply to yoga too. Verdict – Probably better off finding a more specialised class elsewhere
3.You hate the gym – Why pay anything for something you don’t like/don’t enjoy? Unsurprisingly many of us don’t actually like visiting the gym, we go because we think it is key to help us get fit, lose weight etc, but there are so many other more ways to get fit & lose weight without going near a gym. For example you could join a running club, pick a good local private class set away from the gym (Zumba, Pilates etc), work out from home (dvds, home workout apps), Nordic walking etc. It all depends on what you enjoy. Verdict: Pick something you’ll enjoy, you will likely attend more, have less chance of giving up and see better results.
4.You only swim – In this case you need to weigh up a few things. Firstly how much does each swimming session cost? How many times a month do you go? Times the two together and if it works out more than the health clubs/gyms membership rate then ask yourself are you going to continue this for a whole year? If yes then it might be worth getting. Before you do see if you health club will do a “swim only style membership” which may also be cheaper. Verdict: Work out if it is cheaper to pay as you go or join a membership (keep in mind the length of contract).
If you are based around the Dorset area here are a few good alternatives to gym memberships:
Pilates classes – www.pilatesperformancetherapy.co.uk 07536103364
Zumba – Kelly Penn Zumba, Sam Davis Zumba & Jane Alexander Zumba
Park run: Poole park run & Upton Park run: 9am every Saturday. Free of charge. Park run
Beachbody home workout routines
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About the author
I am a Manual Therapist covering a range of different disciplines including massage & Biomechanics. I also run small specialist Pilates classes around Corfe Mullen, Broadstone, Wareham, Wimborne & Poole. Instead of just purely rubbing the pain, I always look to see if I can find a potential cause (or causes of the pain) and then work on treating this.
Pilates Instructor & Therapist, helping you understand why we do what we do!