On your way home, you drive pass the same packed gym parking lot every night. You’ve gotten yet another advertisement offering you the world in your mailbox. Your Facebook news feed is filled with people checking in at the gym. It seems like every day a new gym opens up. Gyms are the new fad and in a world oversaturated with gyms you start to wonder if you’re missing out. You wonder if it’s time for you to jump on the bandwagon and join a gym.
The answer is no, don’t do it! Gym memberships suck.
1. Gyms Are Damn Expensive!
First, a gym is going to cost you an arm and a leg. According to U.S. News, the average gym membership costs $55 a month! That equals to $660 a year! For $660 you can take a trip, make a car payment or two, or pay down your credit card bills. Instead of spending $55 a month for a gym membership you can take advantage of the great outdoors.
When joining a gym you also pay for what you don’t use. If you’re just going to gym and using a stationary bike or the elliptical machine, you may want to think about buying a bike. There’s no sense for paying a monthly membership for the treadmill or weights you’ll never touch. Most people only use only use a handful of the equipment at the gym. Which makes the gym not worth it at all.
2. Fresh Air is Better for You
WebMd has some great ideas for outdoor exercise activities like walking, jogging, or hiking. Exercising outdoors is going to save you big, since all you really need to buy is a good pair of running shoes. Besides exercising outdoors is better for you than being stuck in a gym. You get your daily dose of Vitamin D and don’t have to breathe in the humidity and germs of all those sweaty people.
3. Gym = Commitment
Also, gyms usually ask you to sign lengthy contracts that at first seem like the save you money, but can cost you big in the end. Big chain gyms are known for contracts that are sneaky, and if you try to end your contract early they charge high fees. Some gyms like Bally Total Fitness are known for this. Most people don’t read the fine print when joining a gym and then get hurt. Some gyms will even send collection notices for unpaid fees and dues.
4. Time Hog
Going to a gym is a waste of time. Think of it like this. By the time you’ve left your home and gotten in your car, you’ve already spent 10 minutes of your time. Then you get to the gym and you have to wait to use the equipment you want. So you spend 5 minutes waiting to get on the elliptical machine. Then it’s another 15 minute drive home because you hit traffic. You spent 30 minutes of your time waiting around instead of working out.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. So you’ve just spend the time you should be working out waiting around to work out. Instead, you could have turned on your TV and looked through your on demand menu and found a 30 minute workout. Some cable TV providers like Verizon Fios offer these free of charge to their subscribers. You can check out http://www.sportskool.com/watch and find a class to check out.
5. Just Flat Out Awkward
The gym can be very intimidating. First it’s very hard to navigate a gym. There’s tons of open space and lots of equipment. It’s hard to know where to start, and what equipment to use. Then finding someone help you is going to cost you. A personal trainer is not usually included in your membership and on average costs $50 per session. Also the other gym patrons can be even intimidating. Between the hardcore exercisers, the bodybuilders, and people with perfect bodies, the gym can make you feel more uncomfortable than you already do about your body.
Just in case it's not already clear, gym memberships just really suck.
There’s really no point to waste money you can spend elsewhere. There are so many ways you can get fit without a gym. You can just lace up a pair of sneakers and go for a walk or run. Maybe it’s time to dust off your old bike. If the outdoors isn’t for you, you can find many instructional exercise videos from certified personal trainers on YouTube. So there really is no point in wasting your time and money at a sucky gym!