Money is tight these days – there is no doubt about it. When paring down your budget, what is the first thing to go? Is it coffee at Starbucks, eating out, the new pair of shoes you wanted, or your gym membership? It might be easy to convince yourself that cutting down on your private training or class membership in exchange for a $20 fee at XSport might be financially worth it. But I am here to tell you that when money is tight, fitness is NOT the line item to cut.
Everyone knows that general exercise is good for your body. This is true! Exercise has a myriad of short term health benefits. It facilitates better sleep, keeps your heart healthy, allows you to maintain muscle mass and move well. Exercise also improves your mental health, boosting energy and lowering anxiety by increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But it is not just short term benefits that warrant spending money on a quality gym membership. It is the return on investment years down the line. We know that aging is inevitable – your hair starts to gray, you may put on a bit of weight, and you may tweak your back by simply tying your shoes. It’s easy to blame your problems on your metabolism saying “well you know how it is, my metabolism has just been tanking ever since I turned 35.” But truth be told it’s not your metabolism causing these changes. As the decades roll on, inactive adults can lose 3-8% of muscle mass per decade (Westcott 2012) which is the largely preventable root of your metabolic decline. If we do nothing to signal to our bodies that we would like to keep our muscles, we will lose them. Exercise reduces the risk of various chronic (and did I mention expensive) diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Resistance training specifically increases bone density, supports joint health, and allows us to move with less pain. Clearly exercise is overall a net gain in terms of health.
Now you may be thinking – you’ve convinced me! I know I need to exercise…BUT, why pay such a steep price for training and coaching?
To start, we need to discuss accountability. Let’s be honest with ourselves – it can be hard to make ourselves consistently do hard things. Are you more likely to: 1) show up to a workout where you know your friends will be waiting for you or 2) to planet fitness on a cold, snowy Tuesday afternoon?
470 million workouts were logged by Planet Fitness in 2022. This was a new record for them! And its an impressive number…until you realize that Planet Fitness has 17 million members. Which means each member worked out about 2 times per month. Despite increased member participation, 60% of Planet Fitness members don’t use their membership. But that didn’t stop their PR people from putting a positive spin on things: ”Almost 40 percent of members used their membership in a 30-day period in 2022, up from mid-30 percent in 2021.” -Planet Fitness PR
DO NOT MISS THIS!! If we are being realistic, many, if not MOST of us need a level of accountability to stay on track with our goals. When you are in a community that cares about you both inside and outside of the gym, you are more likely to stay consistent, and showing up is the most important part. It’s the people you’ll see that help you get to the gym when you don’t want to go!
To get high quality results in the fitness world you also need advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. With the internet and tiktok you are able to learn a good chunk of material. But with a trainer, you have someone who will do the thinking for you and you don’t have to decipher which voices to listen to. If you are going into a workout without an idea of whether or not you’re doing it correctly or the WHY behind the exercise selection for your goals – it may not even be worth your time. The value of coaching doesn’t stop with technique. Having a coach will address a myriad of concerns like what movements to pick, which order to do them in, for how many sets and reps you should do them, etc. Having a coach will also allow you to know when to keep pushing and when to lay off in order to prevent and reduce the risk of injury. Like any goal in life, having someone alongside you to guide you and challenge you is beneficial.
The investment you make in your gym membership is for your current AND future self. Your body is able to do great things, and we want it to continue doing great things as time goes on so that you can enjoy activities you love with the people you love. Your personal fitness is worth the cost! When money is tight it is wise to prioritize, but continued investment in your health and longevity is truly worth it.
The better question to ask is: how can I get more value from my gym membership? You originally joined the gym for a reason. Those reasons likely still exist today and are still good reasons. This just means that there is potential value that is unrealized. Asking this question – how you can see more value from your membership – is a great way to confirm your financial investment. Goal Review Meetings are a great way to assess this! We just started our Q1 2023 Goal Review Meetings – keep an eye out on your email and text messages to book your free 90 day goal review session!