save on gym It’s been said that the average person gains one pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day. If you’re one of those people who packs on a whopping 16 ounces during the holidays, you can stop reading this blog entry now. Seriously, just go eat some baby carrots or something.

For the rest of us, who might gain anywhere from five to 105 pounds during the feasting months, the New Year represents a chance to shed some of that winter weight. The “get fit” New Year’s resolution might mean a new gym membership in your future, and that’s a good thing. What’s not a good thing is the cost of some memberships.

Luckily, there are ways to save money when it comes to gym fees. So grab your iPod and lace up your new shoes – we’re about to burn some calories and score a few discounts.

SHOP AROUND – The first rule of saving money on anything is to shop around, and that rule also applies to gym memberships. See what other gyms in your area have to offer and how much they’re selling it for. Once you’ve done your homework, use that information when you …

NEGOTIATE – Just like buying a new car, gym memberships are usually negotiable. If you’ve shopped around, use the information you gained to your advantage to see if your gym-of-choice will match a lower rate at a competing gym. If the monthly payment isn’t negotiable, ask for a lower initiation fee (or no fee at all).

CHECK FOR EMPLOYER OR INSURANCE DISCOUNTS – Ask your employer if they have any affiliations with local gyms or health clubs. Also check with your health insurer to see if they offer any discounts or reimbursements toward fitness programs.

DON’T SIGN A CONTRACT – Many gyms require new members to sign a contract (or “agreement”) that locks the member into monthly payments for up to a year. You might want to become a regular at the gym for a year, but there’s a good chance that won’t happen and you’ll be stuck paying for a membership you’re not using. Instead, ask for one month or three-month trial. Even if it means paying a little extra during that trial period, it could end up saving you in the long run.

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