Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Get a Free Gym Membership or Reduced Rates

How to Get Freebies at the Gym - Weight room photo by Nightscream at Wikimedia Commons.
Many people may find it difficult to afford a gym membership, especially in a tough economy. Learn more about ways to save money on a gym membership or perhaps even find a gym freebie.

Free Gym Memberships for Seniors

Insurance companies benefit from clients who stay physically active and maintain healthier lifestyles, and several of these companies are willing to pay the bill for a gym membership. One such program geared toward seniors is called SilverSneakers, and readers may wish to search which insurance companies offer this program in one's own area at this SilverSneakers web page.

So, what's the catch? If you receive a free gym membership, you will be expected to go to the gym a minimum number of times per month, but this requirement is very reasonable. Many gyms, senior centers, and other areas offer SilverSneakers group exercise classes that are led by instructors who have been trained about some of the special needs of seniors and how to modify exercises if needed.

Classes are optional and not required for the free membership, and anyone who is a member of that facility may attend SilverSneakers classes. I teach SilverSneakers exercise classes at a nearby gym, and the training I received was top notch and I have personally witnessed many seniors who have gotten great benefits from these classes.

Water exercise photo by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Martin R. Harris at Wikimedia Commons
Free Gym Memberships for Those With Special & Financial Needs
People with physical or cognitive disabilities may qualify for free or reduced rates at a gym. Caregivers may be admitted free when accompanying him or her. Special groups, such as veterans, might also be offered reduced or free rates on special dates or for a membership.

Gyms may offer financial assistance for those who qualify. Many people think they probably make too much money to qualify when in fact they might. After filling out an application, the person may be offered discounts on a membership and other services such as before and after school childcare programs.

Barter for a Free Gym Membership

People who can offer a good or service to a gym may be able to barter for a free membership and perhaps a freebie for immediate family members as well. People who can teach group exercise, have lifeguard training, are experienced in childcare, are willing to work on landscaping, or can run the front desk, for example, may be able to make money in addition to that free membership. Benefits offered may vary depending on the size and needs of the facility and the type and amount of goods or services offered.

Indoor track photo by ScotStadium at Wikimedia Commons.
Special Offers at Gyms

Employers, like insurance companies, may be willing to offer to cover the cost or part of the cost of a gym membership. This information might be found by checking with Human Resources or may be in an employee handbook. Some employers also offer workout rooms within the facility or exercise classes on site. Employees who enjoy these programs should attend classes, for example, regularly because they might be cancelled if numbers dwindle.

Some gyms offer reciprocal privileges. For example, many Ys offer the A.W.A.Y. program, in which members are "always welcome at the Y." If a Y member travels to another area, he may be able to use Y facilities for free or at a reduced rate for a certain number of times or during a particular period of time.

A gym with an indoor track or gym may offer a walking program in which people in the community can come in and walk for free or at a reduced rate. Gyms with joining fees may offer specials during certain times of the year in which the joining fee is waived or reduced.

Those who already have a gym membership may find that they can get a free month's membership if they refer someone to the facility. Incentives, such as a free month's membership, may be offered for winning fitness challenges at the facility.

Free or Reduced Rates at the Gym

Fitness is an investment that often reaps great benefits, but the membership fees may be a heavy burden on someone who has a tight budget. With a bit of searching and perhaps some bartering, many people can enjoy a membership for a gym at reduced or free rates.

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