I love my gym for many reasons: it adds structure to my workouts and motivates me, the class selection is amazing, and the people — both trainers and members — can be very inspiring. But I know that many times a gym membership isn't the most cost-effective solution for getting fit, and going isn't for everyone. Are you wasting your money? Here are five signs it may be time to cancel your gym membership.
- You'd rather be outdoors: The thought of being cooped up indoors has you dreading — and then skipping — your workout, but you continue to hold onto that gym membership "just in case." Some people find gym workouts boring, so if you're one of them, start getting creative outdoors. Even if you're not a runner, you can still have an effective workout outside; find an open space where you can do your circuit workout, invest in a bike, or grab your yoga mat and seek out an inspiring place to stretch.
- You only use one piece of equipment: Take a look at your gym workout. Do you just make a beeline for the treadmill and leave? If you're not utilizing your gym's classes or equipment or asking trainers for help, you may be wasting your money. Instead of paying $50 a month just to use a treadmill, save the money to buy a piece of gym equipment for your home or just go for a run or walk outside.
- You waste time once you get there: The hardest part about going to the gym may be getting there, but that shouldn't be the part of your workout that burns the most calories. Whether you find the gym uninspiring or whether you use it as social hour to catch up with friends, if you're not dedicated to your workout once you're there, you're wasting your money along with your time. Take a look at your gym workouts; if you can't find any type of exercise at the gym that inspires you, try something else.
- You also belong to a studio: Having a favorite yoga, Pilates, or barre studio that you also shell out big bucks for — on top of your gym membership — can mean sinking hundreds or thousands of dollars on fitness fees in a year. If you're a studio rat but haven't been as enthusiastic about your gym in awhile, it may be time to drop your membership. Instead of feeling obligated to go to the gym, find creative ways to supplement your studio-going with these tips on how to exercise for cheap.
- You've already got the equipment: At-home essentials can be cheap, and once you have just a few basics, you'll be ready to work out no matter what time of day. Of course, working out at home depends on a variety of factors, like whether you'll stick with it or whether you'll wake up your whole apartment complex, but if you have what you need at home, why waste all that money on a gym membership?
Of course, the biggest sign that you should cancel your gym membership is if you never go! Have you canceled a gym membership for any of these reasons?