It’s almost February, which means most people have probably already, or are about to, give up on their New Year’s resolution to get to the gym and exercise more. Of course this means a lot of folks wasted good money on gym memberships, but believe it or not, even if you haven’t quit the gym altogether, you’re probably still wasting your money.
According to a new report, Americans spend on average about $58 a month, but they certainly aren’t getting their money’s worth. While 67% of people don’t use their membership at all, those who do use it aren’t using it enough for it to be worth the money.
A three-year study of over 7,700 gym members finds that those who pay a monthly fee for the gym go, on average, about 4-point-3 times a month. That means they are basically paying $17 a visit, which is about the same amount they’d be paying if they just bought day passes with less of a commitment.
So, what do you do if you don't want to be one of those people wasting your money on the gym? Try these tips:
- Set clear goals and tell a friend - A study found the majority of people who actually wrote down their goals were more likely to achieve them, so write down a set of clear things you want to accomplish at the gym. Set specific times you want to work out and what you want to get done, and tell someone who’ll help hold you accountable.
- Don’t give up – While it’s often said that it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit, a study found it actually takes 66 days, so if you aren’t hooked in 21 days give yourself more time and try to commit to every day if you indeed want exercise to become habit forming.
- Have an exit plan – If you expect you’ll be one of those people canceling your membership after a month or so, make sure you are clear about a facility’s cancelation policy. Studies find that it often takes people two months to finally cancel after they’ve stopped going, but that can set people back over $180, so if you want to cancel, just do it. Also know that there are some websites, like GetHuman.com, that will help you get through the cancelation process if your gym makes it difficult for you. And they most likely will.