Joining the gym can be expensive. But Consumer Reports says there are ways to save. "Don't rush into anything. You might get the best deal if you sign up late in the month, because health clubs often have monthly sales quotas." Another tip? Ask for a free pass. Many gym owners let you try before you buy. "See if it fits you. Because whether it's ten dollars or a hundred dollars, if you don't use it, it's a waste of money. So really, find a gym that's most convenient for you and you feel most comfortable with, that meets your needs." Once you decide which club to join, make sure you negotiate. Amanda Walker, "Sometimes they'll cut the price if you pay yearly instead of month to month, or ask if they'll throw in a free wellness assessment or a personal training session." There could also be savings in numbers. Some gyms offer a discount if you sign up with a group, so try rallying friends or co-workers. And before you lift a finger, check your insurance. Some plans - like United Healthcare - reimburse members several hundred dollars a year if they join - and use - a participating fitness center. You can also keep an eye out for gym deals on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter … and look for offers on saving sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Gilt. So if your resolutions include getting physically fit and fiscally fit, you may be able to do both at the same time.
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