As the last of the Christmas ham is eaten and the crumbs from that forlorn looking final mince pie are swept up, thoughts turn to New Years resolutions. According to statistics, by the time the 19th January has rolled around, most of us will have given up on our resolutions already. The dreaded date even has a name – Quitter’s Day.
So…the stats are against us…
Lots of us will make the decision to shed those extra pounds this New Year. What will you do? Join a gym? Take some classes? Or keep telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow?
Just imagine this scenario…you’re sitting at your desk at work and you think to yourself ‘I’d better go to the gym after I finish up today’. Well, that’s great – you have good intentions.
Then you arrive home to get your gym gear and put the TV on and it just so happens that there is something you have to watch. Before you know it, it’s time to get something to eat, time is ticking, aaaaand it has just started raining outside. It’s fine, you think to yourself, I’ll go tomorrow.
How many times has something similar happened to you?
I know these things because I was guilty of all of them, all of the time. Gym memberships aren’t cheap and unless you’re going three or four times a week then you’re probably not really getting your money’s worth.
The current health guidelines suggest that we get in at least 30 mins of exercise each day. It might not sound like much but when you factor in our busy lives, it isn’t always easy to find that time.
Here are a few ways to get the best deal on your gym membership and burst on with your New Year’s resolution past ‘Quitter’s Day’!
Does the gym offer an off-peak membership?
I know that most gyms will offer a reduced rate membership for if you’re planning to attend before or after certain times. Can you pop to the gym during your lunchbreak? Or straight after you’ve dropped the kids off at school? Or even later on in the evenings? It may take a little bit of juggling your schedule but sometimes you can save a lot, just by going during the quieter periods.
Have a one on one personal trainer session
Although this might sound counter-intuitive to saving money, rather than looking around wondering which area to tackle next or how to use certain machines, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Some gyms will offer a free PT session when you join so it’s worth asking about one. You can be shown around the machines and given a basic programme to follow, targeting certain exercises for toning up.
You can get maximum results from the time you spend there and you might end up enjoying having a routine to follow (plus knowing that your body will thank you later). I know that for me, having a routine to follow will make me more likely to go.
Ask about current deals or offers
It’s always a good idea to ask if the gym has any special deals on for membership or classes, like a ‘buy some get some free’ on classes or a discounted fee for that month. Plus, it’s worth asking even if you’re already a member – sometimes the gym will let you leave and re-join to take advantage of their special offer.
Does your gym have a pool which you rarely use? Facilities which you aren’t really taking advantage of? See if you can reduce your membership package or find a different gym. There might be another one in your area which only has the basics – but if that’s all you need then hey, you’re onto a winner!
Find out about fitness classes
I absolutely love fitness classes. They’re great because although they may be a little pricier than a membership, they’re fun and all you have to do is follow the instructor.
Think of this – you’re actually exercising, being motivated by someone else, there’s a routine that you don’t even have to think about and although you may feel like you’re about to collapse by the end of it, you’ll feel heaps better. Trust me.
Go with a friend
Find a buddy to motivate you. It’s always easier when you see a friendly face at the gym. Plus, if you arrange to meet up at a specific time, you’re far more likely to go, thus increasing your chances of making your gym membership worthwhile.
If you do find that you’re struggling, don’t let it get you down. There are loads of ways to fit in extra exercise during your day. Meet up with a group of friends, go for a walk during your lunch break or take your kids to the park in the afternoon, all of these things will add to the magic 30 mins!
So get out there and make the most of your gym membership. You might just surprise yourself!