Your health is important--shop wise for a gym membership

In a tough economy, cut back on unneeded expenses, but don?t short-change your health

SANDWICH ? Given the tough economy, you?re probably are looking for ways to trim unnecessary expenses and save money wherever possible. The real challenge is finding ways to cut costs without cutting quality of life.  Can you really put a price on your health?

A recent survey by Money magazine shows that about half of all consumers are unwilling to part with their gym membership despite the uncertain economy.  But even if fitness is a staple in your life, there are ways to save or get more value without compromising the quality of the workout experience.

Here are some tips to consider, according to Elaine Vakalopoulos, Snap Fitness owner in Sandwich.

Ask about freeze and cancellation policies

?Some gyms advertise a great enrollment offer but don?t tell you about the long-term contract that goes with it,? said Vakalopoulos. ?Ask the salesperson if you can pay month-to-month, if you are able to freeze your membership and how much notice you need to give in order to cancel your membership. Otherwise, you might find yourself paying a lot more money over a long period of time.? Snap Fitness offers the option of paying as you go, allows you to freeze up to three months per calendar year and requires 30 days? cancellation notice.

?Some gyms advertise a great enrollment offer but don?t tell you about the long-term contract that goes with it,? said Vakalopoulos. ?Ask the salesperson if you can pay month-to-month, if you are able to freeze your membership and how much notice you need to give in order to cancel your membership. Otherwise, you might find yourself paying a lot more money over a long period of time.?

Inquire how the club will help you reach your fitness goals

?Anyone can open a gym, buy some equipment and sell you a membership, but that doesn?t mean you?re getting your money?s worth or able to achieve noticeable improvement in your health,? said Vakalopoulos. ?At our club, we offer new members time with a trained personal trainer for a Fitness Assessment \\to test your strength, endurance and flexibility, and give you a sense of the types of workouts you should do to improve. We also include instruction on how to use the equipment and put you on a workout plan. It?s just another way we give our members more for their money.?

Ask about convenient, value-added services that may come free with the membership

Vakalopoulos recommends looking for add-ons that ?coach? you towards better results. Snap Fitness, for example, offers members a host of online tools for little to no cost, including meal planning, workout tracking and health and wellness coaching.

?We know times are tough but that doesn?t mean you should have to sacrifice your health,? said Vakalopoulos. ?Avoid paying for amenities you don?t need. Make a list of what?s really important for you in a health club and let that list be your guide. Look for the club that can give you everything you need and nothing you don?t.?

Snap Fitness is offering a special discount for new members who mention this article - 20% off of the enrollment fee and one month free tanning with the advance purchase of 6 months of tanning.   Snap members must be 18 years or older to be a member; under 18 must join with a parent.  Come to Snap Fitness in Sandwich where we are small in size but BIG in value.

For more information about Snap Fitness or to arrange a tour, call (508) 833-SNAP (7627) or visit www.snapfitness.com/sandwich where you will find a coupon for a Free Trial.

Release courtesy of Snap Fitness.

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