The weeks after New Year's are when new gym memberships and renewals skyrocket due to people wanting to do good on their resolutions to be fitter for 2016. But you may just want to hold off on signing that dotted line at the gym for just a few more weeks to get more bang for your buck.
The truth is, gyms all across the country are counting on you to show up in January to sign over your automatic payment information and know that most of you are unlikely to ever show up again for the rest of the year. Gyms make their money from members who stay at home.
But if you're one who really wants to do good on your New Year's resolution for the rest of the year, here are some tips on how to get a great deal on your gym membership without being conned by the lure of free pizzas.
Don't Sign Up In January
Gyms know that their new memberships spike in the first month of the year and often will offer promotions to entice new people – but they will also most likely offer even better deals during the off-moths when new member sign-ups are down.
Negotiation Is The Key
Just like a smooth-talking car salesman, gym sales associates will present to you the prettiest and shiniest perks at the best possible price – for them. Make sure you get a number that works for you by negotiating like you would for a new car. You'll walk away feeling more accomplished by getting a better deal and that might even motivate you to keep coming back to keep the good spirits rolling.
Strength In Numbers
Studies show that people are more likely to stick to a new exercise routine if they work out with a buddy. Fortunately, gyms may also offer great discounts for groups of friends who sign up together. So bring along your partner or your friends and resolve to push each other to get fit together and enjoy the savings to boot.
Make Your Work Pay For Your Workout
According to Mandy Walker, the Senior Money Editor at Consumer Reports, many large U.S. firms actually offer employee discounts on gym memberships as part of the companies' health and wellness programs. So get your boss to help cover the costs of your new membership and use that extra feel-good energy knowing that you are spending your boss' dime each time you step on that treadmill.
Also check your health insurance if they can also pitch in to cover your gym costs. Blue Cross Blue Shield, for example, offers some eligible members great coverage that allows them to pay as little as $25 on monthly gym fees.
Do You Really Need A Full Membership?
Finally, check in with yourself on your own personal and realistic fitness goals. Do you really need full access to a gym's treadmills, free weights, pools, smoothie bars, and personal trainers? Also, how much time can you really commit to show up to the gym? Be honest with yourself and list the pros and cons of signing up.
Instead of a full on membership, you might be better with a pay-as-you go, or drop-in price at the gym which will allow you to better tailor your workout plan and even allow you the flexibility to go to a different array of gyms that offer different classes and services.
PHOTO: Health Gauge | Flickr