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Everyday Cheapskate: Physically Fit, Not Flat Broke

Mary Hunt on

If getting physically fit is on your to-do list for the New Year, you may be contemplating a gym membership. Good for you, but please be cautious. This is fitness gyms' biggest season for signing up new members. While you're polishing off that last plate of holiday fudge, the sales force is gearing up to drain you dry when you sign an ironclad contract that is long, involved and full of legalese.

Before you haul off and sign a long-term, high-priced contract at a fancy gym, step back and explore your options.


Your employer may have a corporate gym membership for employees for a significant discount without long-term obligations. Many employers offer this because they know that fit employees stay healthy.


Some plans have fitness and exercise programs as part of an overall health care program. Call customer care if you don't want to wade through your policy.



Large hotels often have onsite fitness centers. While they do not always advertise it, it is not uncommon for the local residents to use the facilities during certain off-peak hours for a very reasonable fee and no need to sign a contract. Check the websites of hotels in your area.


Is there a sizable family-oriented church in your community? Many are building family fitness centers. A church I'm familiar with offers a year's membership for an entire family in their membership for just $40 -- and that includes child care for little ones.


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