This New Year – Shape up, without breaking the bank: A Q&A with Craig Spear (Part 2)

Posted in Loans, Saving, Your rights

In this two part series, Craig has already given us some great insight as to how young adults can fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle on a budget. Thankfully, for the second week in a row – you’ll receive a little more guidance from Craig, Owner of Momentum Fitness in Dundas, Ontario.

Q: Statistics show that 75% of us who join a gym end up going a grand total of six times a year. This means many young adults will purchase gym memberships and not use them throughout the year. What strategies will help young adults get good value out of their gym membership this year and help them stay motivated?

A) There are so many great strategies we teach people to use to overcome the difficulty of staying motivated.  Since consistency is the key to success, the best advice we give is to make exercise a part of your lifestyle. This might mean:

  1. Scheduling your workouts as regular appointments in your day to day calendar – just like you would if you had an appointment with your doctor or dentist. Stick with it.
  2. Making your workout your social time. We’ve found that people who work-out with a partner or in a group find more success than people who work-out on their own. In a group, you have people to stay accountable to and you get to socialize and share your experience with them.
  3. Working with a coach and get a program to follow. You’ll have to pay the coach to design you a program, but this way you have something to follow on your own.  A good coach will help you set goals, establish an action plan and make you accountable in follow-up meetings. It’s worth the small initial investment if your goal really is to stick it out for the whole year. We know people with financial planners are more successful at investing and saving.  Same goes for your health. Working with a ‘fitness planner’ will help you achieve the goals you desire.
  4. Set a “big goal” that is broken up by meeting smaller milestones on your way to that “big goal” and where those milestones require you do A, B, and C actions. For example, if I want to run a 10K race in May. I will set smaller milestones of running 1K, 5K and then 8K in the months leading up the 10K race. The A, B and C actions I know I have to do each week. This may include walking or running three times per week, going to Yoga once per week, and marking my progress in a goal setting app on my phone.

Q: What’s the biggest financial issue you face when choosing a gym and what rights do consumers have?

A) Most gyms make their members sign year-long contracts and this can be daunting financially. If you’re looking to join a gym, know that you have rights and choices. Ontario legislated that all gyms must respect the rights of Ontario consumers by following certain rules found here:

  • You have the right to cancel a membership within 10 days of receiving a written copy of your contract. Plus, you don’t need a reason to cancel. All you need to do is to provide notice to the supplier. It’s called a cooling-off period.
  • The total amount for initiation fees cannot be more than twice the total annual membership fee.
  • The club must give you the option of paying your membership and any initiation fees in monthly installments.
  • All contracts must end after one year and cannot be renewed without notice.
  • You have the right to cancel your membership contract within 1 year if it doesn’t have certain information listed in the contract.

Selecting a gym is a very personal decision and different people need different equipment, programs and services. Be sure to do your research, look around for the best bang for your buck and lastly, be sure to stick to your budget. Good luck on your journey to better physical health and wellness!