Knock-out ways to avoid the gym trap

Before you lock yourself into a gym membership it's a good idea to look at all your options.

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If you’re done with the chocolate and now have fitness fever, you’re in good company. But if your wallet is feeling the squeeze more than your waistline, then it’s time to reassess what’s going on.

Before you lock yourself into a gym membership it’s a good idea to look at all your options.

Check out these ways to get more fitness into your life for less of a cost.

1. Try before you buy
If you’re not sure what type of fitness program you’ll stick with, most gyms and fitness groups offer free passes or complimentary sessions so you can try them out before committing to a longer term membership.

2. Consider cost per workout
Breaking down the cost per workout to see how it would fit into your monthly budget before signing up can help you avoid the sting should you need to exit your membership early.  Also if for example, if a gym visit works out to be $15 a day, you might be able to offset this against other things such as cutting down on lunches bought out.

3. Check the fine print
Never sign on to any membership program without first reading the contract through thoroughly. Make sure you are well aware of all ongoing fees, as well as any early exit penalties and what termination waiver terms there may be – if any.

4. Check with health insurance
Take advantage of any rebates your already paying for. Some health insurance programs offer rebates on gym membership, such as HCF who offer 10 per cent off Fitness First gym memberships.

5. Consider 12 week fitness programs
Michelle Bridges and Kayla Itsines offer excellent alternatives to gym membership. Not only do they allow greater flexibility as to when you exercise, but they are often less expensive than a gym membership and they have social and app based support networks to keep you motivated towards your goal.

6. Head to your local outdoor gym facilities
With the federal government devoting $345 million to sport and recreation until the end of 2016 in an effort to encourage individuals to get physical, you may have noticed your local government establishing outdoor gym equipment along major public walk walks and parks. They’re free for anyone to use.

7. Participate in group fitness activities
Team sports and group fitness activities are a great way to keep social, be healthy and stay motivated all at the same time. Put the call out to your friends or work colleagues and you may even find between you that you can create a fitness routine that costs you all nothing. Plus, there are many mum’s/dad’s and bubs fitness classes that encourage you to bring your kids along if you don’t have childcare available.

8. Tackle workouts one at a time with a PT
One brilliant personal training session per week, fortnight or month, as you can afford it, can bridge the gap between a full-time membership and doing it yourself. Not only can a good PT session give you the motivational oomph to keep you going all week, but it can also point you in the right direction in terms of technique and exercises you can do on your own.

9. DIY your fitness program via the www
Right at your fingertips there are an amazing number of websites to help you create a custom DIY workout program. As a starting place, check out Tracey Freeman and Yoga Download for their free workout videos.

10. Walk or run
It’s free, it’s flexible and you can do it anywhere.

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