My husband and I run a small mixed farm on the Mornington Peninsula. You can check us out online at heritagefarm.com.au or in person at our fortnightly tours
Published September 30th 2012
So here's the thing: gyms are expensive!!! And the only way to get a cheaper rate seems to be signing up for a long time. So, is it worth it?
I joined Fitness First in St Kilda, for the sucker rate of $38.41 per fortnight, on a twelve month contract. It's gym close to where I live, and I had grand plans for the amount of exercise I would do. A pilates class a week, a game of tennis every Sunday, and regular swimming.
There were two pilates classes available per week, both on when I had classes at uni. The tennis plan went better, but then came our long dreary winter, and I'm just not committed enough to play tennis on a soggy court.
My disappointment in my membership got me thinking: does anyone really do well out of it?
The classes are often on at inconvenient times, and can be found elsewhere pretty cheaply. Seriously, you can get a yoga class and a dinner for $12 through Urban Yoga, right in Melbourne's city centre. Another option is to check out your local neighbourhood house. Many offer seriously discounted classes.
There are heaps of tennis clubs around: Check out the ones close to you before you join a gym.
I suppose that if you use the gym every day, or want to use high class equipment that your specific gym owns then it's worth it. I should probably even apologise for asking if you're a sucker!
If you're like me though, and just starting out on a fitness kick, I highly recommend you check out other cool fitness options in your city. And if you must join a gym, don't get sucked into a contract.
Do you think you get value out of your gym membership? I'd love to hear where your favourite places to exercise are (and if they cost you money).
Morrison Bay Park, Putney (Sydney NSW) . Ryde council have installed exercises machines in the park for all to use for free. Been there for quite a few years now. I have never seen anyone actually using them. Maybe they would be better located along the Parramatta river walk, as lots of people exercise along that walkway everyday of the year.
Gyms have their pros and cons. If you need the discipline of a particular routine, guidance from a fitness instructor and means of measuring your improvement (increasing weight level during weight training, or calorie counters on cardio machines), it's a worthwhile pastime. If you don't, then you're probably better off saving your money. If you're not sure if you'll sit out a 12-month contract there are gyms that offer no-contract deals. There are also huge differences in yearly membership costs; they generally range from about $400 to $1600, and the most expensive ones aren't necessarily the best. Bear in mind also that in an unpredictable climate like Melbourne's, it's not always easy to encounter suitable weather for a jog.
I use my city Fitness First regularly and have been a regular gym goer for around 7 years. There there is the one close to home so that also gets some use. Timetables change and sometimes it will suit and sometimes it doesn't, I will do my favourite body attack, treadmills are great for security being female, or for cold weather or right now when air con is a blessing also. Boxing they have the gloves. I've enjoyed a steam room on the odd occasion.