Paying for a Gym Membership

This is just a brief word about something you might know, and that is that many health insurance plans pay for — at least partially — gym memberships (as well as some weight-loss programs). So, if you have health insurance, be sure to call and find out. And before you join a gym, call your health insurance company to find out what gyms belong to their reimbursement program, because that might help you decide which one you should join.

There are a number of ways to help motivate yourself to go the gym. As you read, you should think of your payments to the gym as being cheaper per visit if you go a lot, but especially expensive if you never go. But here are some other ideas:

  • Join with a friend, and commit to carpooling there and giving each other pep talks and rewards to support each other.

  • Sign up with a trainer for a session a month. Even though this is even more money, the trainer will get you on a program and update it each month so that you will be assured of making progress and will have someone who will regularly check in on you. If the trainer tries to make you buy more sessions, find a new trainer (unless you think she's on the up-and-up and you do, in fact, need more help and coaching).

  • Pay yourself to go. If your health plan does include reimbursement of your gym costs, you probably will have to prove that you're using the gym. Promise yourself that you will use that money as a reward, not as repayment for the gym's costs, but as a special trip to the theater, a new piece of furniture, or a piece of jewelry. Or, best of all, new clothes for your new body!

  • Create a contest. How many new classes can you try in a month? How many minutes can you add to your elliptical workout? How much more weight can you lose in eight visits? Aim for progress, but in a fun way.

Remember the concept of active intentions. Instead of saying you will lose weight, list the two classes you will attend each week. Instead of saying you will fit into your old jeans, write down that you will go to the gym three times a week. In other words, include the gym in your plan, schedule, and intentions.

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