The last week of December is when most national health clubs offer their best deals — with so many of you saying that your New Year's resolution is to get back to the gym, take my advice and join a gym before 2009 ends. Health clubs are offering their sweetest deals now because they want to lure the large number of individuals, like yourselves, who have resolved to get fit in 2010.
After checking out what your favorite gyms of 2009 are doing to entice new members, the tactic seems pretty consistent across the board. Life Time Fitness (your fave), Equinox (my fave), Gold's, and 24 Hour Fitness are waiving enrollment fees if you sign up before January. Some gyms are adding on even more incentives. Life Time Fitness is offering an additional $150 credit that can be used towards in-club services like personal training sessions, and 24 Hour Fitness has an option for a month-to-month contract. A monthly membership option is great if you're afraid of committing yourself to a lengthy contract that could cost you later.
If the gym you have your eye on isn't offering a great deal for the New Year, don't be afraid to negotiate. Gyms were hit hard during the recession and are doing what it takes to make up for that now, meaning they want your membership. Go ahead and ask for a better deal, or show them what competitors are offering. The worse they can do is turn you down.
Finally, don't sign-up with a gym simply because it has the best deal. Becoming a member of a health club is a big commitment that involves other factors beyond cost like location and class offerings. Make sure you check out our tips on choosing a gym before enrolling anywhere. Here's to getting fit in the New Year!