Ok, confession time: how many of you have a gym membership that you do not use? We’re going to throw caution to the wind and say a fair few of you. But have you ever stopped to really think why?
A report earlier this year* stated that as many as 82% of us don’t use our gym memberships regularly after that initial excitement—let’s call it the ‘honeymoon period’—after signing on the dotted line.
That’s an awful lot of money going to waste, especially when you’re signed up to one of the corporate gyms that pop up in every town and city where a direct debit for anything between £30 to £75 (or sometimes more) will keep running month-on-month, year-on-year, whether you go or not.
And let’s face it, we all have that feeling of wanting to just relax with a cuppa and your feet up after a busy day of work.
So you’ll say it’s too hot, too cold, you have the sniffles, actually I think I’ve hurt my back - and the next thing you know two months have passed without you so much as looking at your trainers. But you’re still paying for it.
Of course, some of us really do want to go, but after the initial assessment and demonstrations, we have the sudden fear that we don’t know how to use the equipment safely or effectively.
What if people are laughing at me as I struggle to figure it out? Or even worse, we join a huge exercise class where there is no personalisation, no real guidance or critique to ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk of an injury with poor form. Because how can just one instructor do that for dozens and dozens of people, all of varying abilities?
We are so lucky here in East Devon that so many wonderful boutique studios are opening, offering smaller, more intimate classes with a friendlier, more personal feel. At studios like these, instructors have more visibility and can tweak routines to suit your needs, whether that’s a bad back, pregnancy, or simply because it’s something new to you.
Often with no more than 12 to a class, you also have the added benefit of a real feeling of camaraderie, which helps motivate you to come week after week—after all, you don’t want to be the one who misses out.
Oh, and there are no contracts—you pay for the sessions you attend, not the ones you don’t!
So, before you sign on the dotted line for an all-singing, all-dancing big-name gym, have a look and see what else is out there. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
*based on a survey by the global International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)