Now, I know I said last week that you can’t put a price on your health. That’s why I pay for a gym membership. It’s one of the most expensive gyms in town, but the only one with access to the Leisure centre pool, and I do love a goo swim. Unfortunately, as it is one of the more pricey gyms, I’ve had to figure out ways to get the most out of my membership. I thought I would share my ideas with you, in case anyone was interested.
Now, the most expensive part of gymming for me is the car park. It is a public pay and display car park, so unfortunately, it’s costly. What I try to do, is to go to the gym in the hours when parking is free – between 6pm and 6am. I finish work at 5, then take half an hour to change at home, and half an hour to drive through rush our traffic to the leisure centre where my gym is. I usually arrive at bang on six pm, which means I don’t have to pay for parking. If I were to change at the gym, I’d have to pay £1.70 for that little half hour extra I spend there, each day. I go three times a week, which amounts to £5.10 a week; which is £265.20 per year! (That’s almost seven months of gym membership!) Just by taking that extra half an hour, I am saving quite a substantial amount of money each year. If you’re lucky enough that your gym has free parking, good for you! It’s one less expense you have to worry about.
This differs from gym to gym, and is not technically free, but included in the cost of your membership. My gym includes free use of the pool, sauna, hot tub, and entry to all classes. You can also get a personalised exercise plan drawn up for you and a monthly reviews to make sure you’re staying on track. Some gyms also offer free protein shakes and snacks, and my old gym had a free hair dryer. My current gym has a hair dryer that costs 20p, but I rarely blow dry my hair anyway. If your gym offers any “free” products services at all, make sure you use them to your full advantage. After all, you’re already paying for them!
Bring your own food and drink (if it’s not free)
I always take a power bar with me. And a water bottle to fill up at the cooler. Vending machines in gyms and leisure centres charge over-the-odds prices in the hopes that somebody with the munchies after a good sweat session will pay £1.50 for a kitkat and £2 for a bottle of lucozade. The other problem with the vending machines is that they rarely have healthier options (at least, not in my gym), and so you’ll be loading your body with sugar, which will be stored as fat. Seamlessly undoing all that hard work you’ve just put in. Not. Good.
Invest in a good pair of trainers.
Now I know this might sound stupid in a money-saving post, but in the gym, you’ll be on your feet for the most part. You’ll want to be comfortable, and blister-free. Invest in a pair of trainers that will keep you feeling like you’re walking on air, and are not going to fall apart after your first go on the treadmill. Because then you’ll have to buy a new pair, and that adds up cost. See where I’m going?
Buy cheap gym clothes.
I know it might seem tempting to splurge on expensive, branded gym wear; but cheaper brands from Sports Direct or even own branded items from supermarkets are just as good. They’re all made from the same fabrics and the cheaper brands are now cottoning on to the bright-colours and pretty-prints trend that I love. I would also highly recommend Primark in February. All the new fitness gear gets released in January for everyone’s new years resolutions, and then in February, gets reduced. Primark workout gear is by far the best priced stuff on the market, and in february, the prices get even better!
Personal Training on the Cheap
There are three ways to go about getting a little bit of personal training in without spending a penny. Bring along a like-minded friend. You can workout together, and motivate each other. You’ll both be pushing yourselves that little bit further than you would if you were alone. That one isn’t an option for me unfortunately. I only have a personal trainer in the form of my Fiance when we’re cycling, as he doesn’t come to the gym with me, but when we are cycling, he really helps me push myself to my limits. The second way is to look up plans and ideas online. Training videos on YouTube are an excellent resource and can show you the correct ways to do certain workouts. The third option is to ask a member of staff for some help with a machine. If you ask the right questions (How do I set this machine for fat burning? Which machine should I be using to target this part of my arms?), they’ll be able to help you with a little of their expert knowledge for free.
So there you have it. What do you think of my money-saving ideas? Have you tried any of these? Will you try any of these? Do you do anything differently to save money at the gym? As usual, drop me a comment.