Is your gym membership worth it?

In these uncertain economic times, many people are looking at ways to cut back on expenses. Gym membership can often be viewed as an expensive luxury that's simply not worth it when money's tight. Here we weigh up the pros and cons of gym membership and help you to decide whether you are getting value for money.

The pros of gym membership

Joining a gym can be hugely beneficial to anyone who wants to improve their fitness or lose weight. The benefits of regular exercise are well known, and just some of them include lowering the risk of chronic disease, maintaining a healthy weight, improving your self esteem and decreasing stress.

Gyms offer advanced quality equipment that most people can't afford (or can't fit!) in their homes. Other gyms have pools, sports courts and areas for specialised sporting activities.

Gym members can take advantage of the helpful staff and trainers you'll find at most centres. You may also be able to join free exercise classes like spin, dance or yoga.

The cons of gym membership

Let's start with the obvious - most private gym memberships are expensive. It's not uncommon to pay over £500 for year long access. There may also be hidden costs associated with going to the gym (e.g. parking fees).

Travelling to and from the gym can also eat up your free time, which many working people simply can't afford to waste. This is especially relevant if you don't live or work near a gym.

And then there's the problem of availability - the most popular classes or equipment are often taken during peak hours.

Is your gym membership worth it?

Ultimately to assess whether you gym membership is worth it or not, you have to look at how you use the gym. Could you perform the same exercises at home? Do you tend to pay up in January and drift away mid-February? Or does the gym motivate you and encourage you to exercise more? Be honest with yourself and consider your exercise habits and gym use patterns.

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