Why I *Gasp* Pay for a Gym Membership

A few years ago, I had a gym membership. I went faithfully three to four times a week. Things got a little crazy, we thought we might move, the basement flooded. I canceled the gym membership as part of a re-vamp of our finances and lifestyle.

After canceling the gym membership, I put on weight. Yes, I have a frugal home gym. But it just wasn’t the same. So, last month I decided to go back to the gym and sign up. Luckily, the sign up fee was waived because my husband works for the university here in town. I’m going to the gym twice a week right now, but I suspect that my attendance will pick up in the summer when I bring my son along for the kiddie activities.

This experience reminds me of why, for some of us, it makes sense to pay for a gym membership:

I Am Motivated to Exercise When I’m Paying For It

The truth is that I’m much more motivated to actually exercise when I’m paying for it. While I have the items at home for fitness, and I understand the body-weight exercises that can be done to improve strength without power lifting at the gym, there’s something motivating about making sure I get my money’s worth.

When I’m paying for the gym membership, I exercise more (and I’m in better health) because if I don’t feel like going on the appointed day, I remind myself that I’m paying for it. If I don’t feel like getting out the stability ball, there really isn’t much of a consequence, beyond the fact that I didn’t exercise that day.

I Can’t Swim Anywhere Else

I love to swim. Nothing encourages you to exercise better than engaging in an activity you enjoy — and that you don’t see as exercise. Activities like sports, biking, and hiking are important for me, because I hate exercise for the sake of exercise.

Swimming is ideal, but the municipal pool is an outdoor pool, and therefore unusable half the year. Other pools, such as the pool at the university and those at the high schools, have restrictive times for lap swimming. The gym, though, has indoor lanes available all day for lap swimming. It’s convenient.

Paying for the gym membership means that twice a week I can go swimming whenever I want. Plus, since it’s family membership, my son can come along, too. There are also indoor tennis courts (yes!) that my son and I can use year-round. Having the ability to do active things that I enjoy, no matter how cold it is outside, is a real boost to my exercise program.

Bottom Line

Now that I’ve been swimming at the gym for a couple of weeks, I’m much more energetic in general. That provides me with the motivation to workout at home on the days that I don’t swim at the gym. Overall, the improvement is well worth the money I spend on the monthly gym membership.

What do you think? Is a gym membership worth it? What do you do for exercise?

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.