Can you get a good workout for free? Or at least cheaper than a gym membership?
There are many people who walk, run, jog or bike if they live near a safe park. Since the economic downturn, many people have given up the gym memberships and decided to take matters into their own hands. When returning form a long walk I have had neighbors say to me, “I should cancel my gym membership since I hardly ever go.” Spending money on something that you hardly ever use is rarely a frugal move. Though if people aren’t motivated to exercise at a gym, they may not be motivated to work out outside especially when they are subject to outside temperatures.
“People are choosing not to spend $3,000 to 4,000 on a treadmill,” said Colleen Logan of ICON Health & Fitness, the largest manufacturer of home fitness equipment. “But we’re seeing steady sales of treadmills for under $1,000.”
The home fitness market is roughly three times as big as the institutional market, according to SGMA [Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association].
Logan says that while sales to health clubs and specialty stores may have plummeted, the home fitness market is down, but not devastated, as consumer habits change with the times.
“People are saying, ‘Do I really need that gym fee?’” she explained.
Paying for a gym membership is only half the battle if you aren’t going to use it, then you may as well not pay for it. Though if you have to wait a long time for the machine you want, you might think hey I can buy a machine and use it when I want. People are still exercising, but exercising differently. Even if you take public transportation instead of driving you are getting some exercise into your daily routine. When I worked in a midrise office building several years ago, there were a couple of men who would climb the stairs during their lunch breaks for exercise all without having to leave the office building.
Home equipment has increased in quality over the past five years or so and people care able to get a good workout for less than the price of an annual gym membership though exercising alone may not be what motivates people. If you have no motivation to exercise in solitude then a gym membership may be non negotiable. Other people may enjoy being outside in the fresh air even where there is a chill in the air. The question remains: how much are exercise, health and physical well being worth to you?