How to MAXIMIZE your gym membership and get the most out of that monthly membership fee!
Okay so today’s post is a bit of a different one for me and I by no means consider myself to be a “fitness guru”. That said, I did join a gym early in the year and have been working out ways to truly get the most out of that monthly membership fee.
For a long time, I thought gyms were a waste of money and preferred to fit my workouts in on my own. But with the weather being especially uncooperative this year, I started to get annoyed having to time my outdoor workouts around the forecast. Biting the bullet I looked at gyms around my Cincinnati area to find the best fit for my lifestyle. I ended up going with LA Fitness which has locations in 28 states (wow!) – but of course there are many more options out there for you.
How to Maximize Your Gym Membership
After signing up for LA Fitness, I was determined to not become one of those people who sign up for a gym and completely waste their membership. I was ready to get back to a regular workout routine and take advantage of all the gym’s benefits to branch out and try new things as well.
Over the last six months, I’ve done a pretty good job at maintaining consistent workouts at LA Fitness and have fine tuned ways to really get the most out of that monthly fee. So today I wanted to report back to you all the ways I’ve found to maximize your gym membership.
Of course there are other things I may not be aware of – so if you think of something I’m overlooking…PLEASE share!
Take Advantage of the App
Probably the best way you can maximize your gym membership off the bat is to download any existing app for your gym. This comes in handy to help you track your workouts, gym hours, class schedules and easily locate other locations when traveling. If you join a gym like LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, Crunch or any other brand that has locations across the United States, it’s super helpful to quickly do a search by zip code to see if there are any locations near you while you’re out of town. Locating a nearby gym to you will help you feel more “at home” while away and keep up with your workouts.
Utilize Other Locations
Of course this ties back to what I was saying about easily tracking gym locations with the app, but it’s a benefit so great it was worth sharing on its own. If you join a gym that has many locations, there’s a good chance there will be one near you while traveling out of town. Or, as you run errands around your hometown…you might find it more convenient to visit a gym across town in a different neighborhood one day.
Having the freedom to fit a workout in at various locations is a great way to maximize your gym membership and conveniently stay up on your fitness.
Link Gym Membership to Health Insurance for Benefits
Did you know that many insurance provider networks offer discounts on gym memberships?
Since the cost of healthcare is constantly on the rise, why not do a quick search on your insurance’s website or place a call to see if you can save any money on a gym membership. Or, when looking for a gym, you should be able to ask the staff about health insurance programs that provide a discount on monthly membership fees.
To boot, some insurance providers (like Humana) help you earn rewards by following a healthy lifestyle. I was able to link my LA Fitness membership to Humana’s “Go 365” program to complete challenges and earn points every time I hit the gym. Reward points can be cashed in for gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, Macy’s, restaurants and more.
Take Advantage of Classes
One of the biggest reasons I joined LA Fitness over other popular gyms like Planet Fitness is their fantastic class schedule. I like to mix up my workouts throughout the week as a way to exercise different parts of my body and keep boredom at bay. There are days I do the standard elliptical and weight machines. Then there are those days I go to Water Aerobics, Pilates, Zumba or even Yoga. Maximize your gym membership by taking advantage for the full class schedule and challenging yourself to try something new every now and then.
Join Facebook Groups for Regular Fitness Classes
When you start going to the same fitness classes consistently, it’s nice to find out if there is a Facebook group you can join. My regular water aerobics and pilates instructors have Facebook groups set up to give everyone advanced notice of any props we’ll be using that day in class or any last minute cancellations. The Facebook groups also help class members connect on days classes might be cancelled.
Take for example holidays like Labor Day, when standard classes are cancelled but the gym is still open. Classmates often coordinate with each other to schedule a time to hit the gym as a group to keep everyone motivated. This is particularly great if you’re someone who likes to have workout buddies to keep you going.
Use the Sauna and/or Hot Tub
We all know working out is a great way to battle stress, but using the sauna or hot tub at your gym will only help you more. We all have times when things get particularly stressful and taking a few minutes to relax in the sauna or ease tight muscles in the hot tub at your gym will only help. While I admittedly don’t do this on every visit to the gym (or even every week if I’m honest), I have started to routinely keep a bathing suit and towel in my car to take advantage of them when the mood strikes.
I’ve even read articles like this one that discuss all the added benefits of using a sauna. So why not maximize your gym membership by giving it a visit now and then? Think of the sauna and hot tub as your new go-to option when you need a spa day!
Rotate Gym Equipment
No doubt, gym equipment does not come cheap and the likelihood that you’ll be able to afford all the pieces of equipment your gym has to offer at home is slim to none. That means a great way to maximize your gym membership is to take advantage of all the machines at your disposal. For cardio, rotate between the elliptical, treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bike and stair-master. For weights, hit various machines that target your legs, arms, core, etc. for a full-body workout. Your options are truly limited when you think about it!
Hopefully this post was able to give you a little ‘food for though’ on how you can best maximize your gym membership. Truth is, there’s a lot of value you can get out of your standard gym membership…both for your health and your wallet. You just have to put in a little effort!
If you have any ideas on other ways to get the most out of a gym membership – please share below in the comments!
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