Are gym membership fees worth the cost and do you really need it? That is a question that many of us ask ourselves when we start looking at how to get fit and healthy. The truth is that it depends on your personal situation and what you want to achieve. For some people, an affordable gym membership is the answer. For others, it is not. Here are some things to consider before making that decision.
The Benefits of a Gym Membership
There are many benefits to having a gym membership, the most important one being having access to all the equipment you won’t be able to fit into your home, unless you live in a mansion. This might include: free weights, cardio machines, resistance machines, power racks and calisthenics equipment. Some of them allow you to easily isolate and target certain muscle groups.
Some gyms even offer amenities such as saunas, spas, pools and tanning beds, as well as classes you can join. Most gyms have personal trainers you can hire, but some do offer free training sessions when you first sign up, which is very helpful if you’re just getting started on your fitness journey. Some of the more exclusive, premium gyms even offer laundry service, so you can just show up empty handed.
Last but not least, joining a gym might give you a sense of community, as you will most likely meet people that share the same fitness goals as you. You might enjoy working out with other people, and they might be able to give you some pointers, or spot you when you push yourself to the limit.
Why You Might Not Need a Gym Membership
There are scenarios where a gym membership is not needed. If the nearest gym is 15 minutes away from your home, that’s 30 minutes out of your day every time you go, and 30 minutes that you could have spent on working out.
Another thing to consider is your fitness goal. If you’re just trying to stay fit, healthy, but not trying to look like a professional bodybuilder, you don’t really need all the fancy equipment. A set of adjustable dumbbells and a workout bench at home would go a long way. The best part of having a home gym is that you don’t waste any time travelling to and from the gym. It’s right there, so you really don’t have any excuses to skip a workout. As for cardio, you can always go running, hiking or play sports outside.
Ways to Get Fit Without Going to the Gym
Even if you don’t have the space or budget for a home gym, there are other alternatives, such as calisthenics, or bodyweight exercise. There’s a lot of bodyweight exercises that don’t require any equipment at all, but still allow you to progressively overload to a certain point by being shifting your bodyweight. You can also do a quick web search to see if there’s any calisthenics parks nearby, since they’re usually free. Even if not, playgrounds are a good place to workout as they often have monkey bars which are great for calisthenics.
If your fitness goal isn’t to build a lot of muscle, then you have even more alternatives. Go running, hiking, biking or play sports, all of which are free. The trick is to find something that you enjoy and suits your lifestyle. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is also a great way to take care of strength training and cardio all at once, especially if you don’t have a lot of time.
Final Words: To Gym or Not to Gym?
Having a gym membership certainly is convenient and having access to all the equipment definitely helps you train more efficiently, but it is not the only way to get or stay fit. As you can see, there are many different factors that come into play when considering whether you need a gym membership or not. Hopefully, this article helps you make a more informed decision. And if you do decide to get one, here are some ways for you to get a gym membership for cheap.