How Much Does a Gym Membership Really Cost?

Joining a gym or fitness club is a sign of affluence. You can pay for an indoor, recreational area. In fact, millions of people pay for monthly gym memberships every year, which equates to a multimillion-dollar industry. Your monthly charges may not seem like a lot of money, but they can add up. Take a close look at what your club really costs at the end of the day. The numbers might surprise you.

The Initial Fees 

Most people see the advertised charge as the basic cost of their membership. As you walk in the door, however, you're suddenly greeted by the registration fee. This initial charge is usually a lump sum that's due before you can participate in the club. Depending on the facility, the charge can be several hundred dollars or more.

These initial fees may also be charged in yearly installments. Clubs often give these fees different names, but they still add up to more than the advertised price. The fees typically go toward club upkeep, payroll and profit margins.

Yearly Contracts 

Pay-as-you-go memberships are the best deals. You're welcome to cancel at any time without penalties. Be wary about the contractual agreements, however. Certain clubs require a year or longer contract before you can join. They'll typically package the cost into monthly payments that seem affordable.

Be aware that this contract is binding. It must be paid in full regardless if you use the club once a week or twice a year. It's a fact that many people don't realize that they attend the club for fewer hours a week than they intended to upon signing up for the opportunity. These funds continue to be pulled from bank accounts across the globe while the club gains more profits.

Logging in Commute Time 

Research suggests that you'll work out more often if the club is nearby. A membership can be worth the money if you find a facility a few miles from home. If it's a pay-as-you-go club, the value is even better.

People who have to commute to a gym will simply forgo the idea after a certain time period. It's a voluntary habit, unlike a commute to a job that pays the bills. A good value for your health must be easy to get to with a comfortable atmosphere.

Paying for Training or Classes 

Don't forget that your monthly fees typically cover basic access to the facility. It doesn't usually include personal training or exercise classes. Do your research before signing up for a club. A few, select clubs include some training. These businesses may be worth the investment.

If you're strictly looking for a safe area to use the machines and weights, the training costs don't largely factor into your investment. Simply use the membership as you see fit.

Don't be afraid to go outdoors and exercise in the fresh air. Fitness clubs aren't the only choices for your health. Be creative so that you can stay healthy without an ongoing membership. Gyms may be trendy, but you can forge your own path where health and fitness are still priorities.