Are personal budget concerns preventing you from getting serious about your health?  Not so fast!  “Fitness centers come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges,” advises certified personal trainer Jason Anderson. You can check out what promotions your neighborhood gyms have to offer or read up on what Kate Sorenson of Coupon Cravings has for discounts and suggestions on purchasing gym clothes and memberships. If you’re serious about getting fit, follow some of these tips from fitness experts on how to make a workout plan work for any budget:

Timing is Key:

  • Shop for membership during the slow season (summertime and the end of the calendar year) and avoid the New Year’s resolution crowds, as suggested by 10 Way to Save Money at the Gym
  • Joining at the end of the month also increases your chances of getting a deal, because a lot of gyms will bargain with you in order to make their monthly quota of joined member.
  • Some gyms and recreation centers also have special “drop in rates” during certain days and hours, which may be far less expensive than a membership.  Christy Birmingham of Knoji Consumer Knowledge writes:  “For people who use the gym on a frequent basis, savings can add up quickly by simply altering the times reserved for exercise…It is worth your time to inquire about reduced rates.  Literally.”

Free Trial Periods:

  • Take advantage of free promotional trial periods so you can check out the different gyms in your area and work out for free! This will save you money in the short and long run, because you won’t be paying initially, and won’t put the money down for a gym that may not be for you.

Get a Personal Trainer, and Split the Cost:

  • A personal trainer can help you make the most of the equipment at your gym and fine-tune your workout to get the results you desire. This way you are getting the most of your membership! And they aren’t necessarily out of your price range!
  • In 6 Secrets to Getting Fit:  A Top Trainer Tells All, Manhattan-based personal trainer Amie Hoff recommends finding a friend with roughly your same level of physical fitness and sharing sessions with a personal trainer.  Voila!  You both get the benefit but have cut your cost in half.

Work with your Workplace:

  • Check to see if your work offers gym memberships or discounts as apart of employee benefits.
  • If not, ask your employer if they would want to subsidize some of the gym membership fees.
  • “If you have a health savings account, find out if you can use that money to cover all or a portion of your gym membership as well,” advises Anderson.

Finally, keep in mind the fitness industry is a business like any other.  Anderson reminds consumers of the following:  “In the end, remember that you don’t need a gym to get fit, but they do need your business, so find a compromise or deal that works for both of you!”

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