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Save $$$ on your gym membership

With summer officially here, many people want to step up their fitness level by joining a gym. But gym memberships are expensive and many gyms abuse your credit card / bank info and keep charging you after you cancel your membership. So how do you save money but still get access to a gym?

Here are some good ways to get a gym membership without burning a hole in your pocket.

Campus Gyms

University and college fitness centres are often much cheaper than a regular gym and they won't rip you off by overcharging your credit card like a big box gym will. If you're an university or college student, you probably already have access to a gym on campus that you might not have realized is available. Admission might already be included in your student tuition, or you might qualify for a hefty discount. If you are a former student then graduates can also qualify for an alumni discount, so don't be afraid to ask.

Ask your Employer

Some companies offer fitness benefits - such as discounts on gym memberships or fitness equipment, exercise classes, or they might even have facilities in your office building. Take advantage of these employee discounts and freebies.

Negotiate with a Local Gym

Some gyms are willing to negotiate a better rate if you can prove that there's a cheaper, comparable gym elsewhere. Do your research by checking out your local gyms to compare membership fees, contract length, early termination penalties, hours of operation, types of equipment and classes available, as well as the little things like locker and towel fees.

Always Pay Cash

Never give a big box gym like Extreme Fitness, GoodLife Fitness, etc your credit card or bank information. No matter what discount offer they might give tempt you with. Just tell them you prefer to pay with cash and if they insist on getting your credit card or bank info then start walking for the door.

Ask for a discount

If you are a student, a senior, a family of 2 or more, or a foreign visitor then ask for a discount rate. eg. If you are just visiting Toronto for 6 months, ask for truncated rate on the regular 12 month contract. A shorter term contract will save you money in the long run and you won't be locked into a contract - and remember, pay cash even on a contract.

Don't pay for what you don't use

Gyms often offer a wide range of amenities, such as dance classes, martial arts, pools, saunas, hot tubs, massages, towel service, personal trainers, and more. The more that a gym offers the more expensive the membership will be. However if you don't need all that go to a gym that has only what you need and see the huge price difference.

Try the gym before you buy

Get the free membership for 1 day, 3 days or 7 days - whatever the gym is offering. If after the trial period you don't like the gym and / or feel it is overcharging then you can always buy fitness equipment for yourself and train at home.

Use the gym as an add-on to your routine

Your gym should not be your only means of exercise. It should compliment your jogging, cycling, rollerblading, home exercises / weightlifting, yoga, sports and whatever else you do. Thus if you only go to the gym once every two weeks you can save a bundle by only getting one-day passes at your local gym - and only paying for the days you use. If you start to go there more often - like every day or 3 times per week, then get the monthly membership.

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