So maybe the indulgences of the holidays have left you starting the New Year with some unwanted extras, prompting a resolve to get fit this year. Well, you’re not alone.
A recent survey found roughly one third of Canadians said improving personal fitness and nutrition was their top New Year’s resolution. But achieving this goal can be expensive.
If you have good fitness facilities at your school the cost may be included in your tuition fees.
If you choose a different fitness facility, here’s how to get fit on a budget:
1. Take a test run
Most clubs offer a free trial pass for one or two weeks. Take advantage of these trials and try multiple facilities before you commit.
2. Stick to the basics
If you’re unlikely to be striking a downward dog or dog paddling anytime soon, why pay for extras like yoga or a pool? Opt for the more basic membership, but ask if you can add these options later if your fitness mantra changes.
3. Ask more than once
Private fitness centres often have commissioned sales staff, meaning there may be a “hard sell” approach. The price you get from one person may differ from the next associate you talk to. Ask a few different people to get the best price.
4. Check your contract
If you’re concerned about being pushed into a long-term contract, be aware that fitness contracts can’t extend longer than two years. Because some fitness clubs were selling lifetime memberships, only to close their doors months later, provincial governments enacted laws limiting contract lengths. Fortunately, in BC there are gyms that offer inexpensive monthly, no-contract memberships, which may fit well with a students’ school year.
5. Get the student perks
Many gyms, including community centres, offer student memberships and/or tailor them to the school year.
6. Beware the extra charges
Initiation fee? Yearly maintenance fee? Key fob charge? If a gym is nickel and diming you, it may be time to explore other options.
7. Know the rules
In BC you have 10 days to cancel a fitness contract. Perhaps your enthusiasm has waned and your aching muscles have given you second thoughts. You can cancel penalty free, within that time period.
8. Take a time out
If you’re a student you may only be in town for eight months of the year, or perhaps just don’t want to be in a gym during the more seasonable months, ask if you can put your membership on hold during the summer. Check if there are any fees associated with such a temporary pause.
And now a note from our lawyers…