7 Signs You Need to Break Up With Your Gym
When you first joined the gym, it seemed like a match made in heaven. But the initial thrill has worn off, and you and the gym have been seeing less and less of each other lately. You’re starting to wonder if maybe it’s time to call it off for good.
The good news: Even if you’re falling out of love with the gym, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on fitness! You can get an amazing workout right at home.
Gym workouts aren’t for everyone, says John Fawkes, NSCA-certified personal trainer, Precision Nutrition-certified nutritional counselor, and managing editor at The Unwinder. “Forcing yourself into thinking a membership is the only way you’ll work out might even backfire, likely resulting in you hating exercise since you’re doing it in a setting that just doesn’t click.”
Here are a few signs it may be time to cancel your gym membership and find a new way to move.
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1. You Feel Like You’re Being Judged
“I often hear from clients that gyms give them the feeling of being watched,” Fawkes says. “Folks think they’re being judged for whatever they’re doing, especially if they’re trying new equipment.”
Exercise should make you feel confident and strong. If you feel self-conscious or insecure at your gym, it’s time to fly free and tone those abs elsewhere.
2. It’s Too Crowded
Everyone needs some personal space. You shouldn’t feel like you have to rush through your workout because there’s a line of people circling the cardio area, waiting for you to vacate your treadmill.
“Especially these days, where social distancing and proper spacing is an absolute must, consider crowd flows and access to machinery during your recent trips,” Fawkes says. “If things feel consistently overcrowded, it might be time to drop that membership.”
3. It’s Too Expensive
Gym dates got your wallet down? Maybe it’s time to link up with a more cost-effective approach to fitness. Use the money you’d spend on an annual gym membership to build a home gym, or save some serious cash by using homemade weights and a few inexpensive, portable pieces of fitness equipment.
Worried you’ll miss the camaraderie and accountability you get at the gym? For a fraction of the price of a gym membership, Openfit Live has more than 350 weekly group fitness classes to choose from. You’ll get tips and motivation from a live trainer, plus a community of teammates cheering you on!
4. You’re Bored
It’s easy to fall into a rut at the gym: Hit the same cardio machines. Do the same circuit in the weight room. Take that one yoga class that actually lines up with your schedule.
If you do the same routine month after month, you may hit a workout plateau and stop seeing results. That can be a sign that it’s time to change things up. Exercise should be enjoyable — in fact, research suggests that enjoyment plays a role in its long-term effectiveness. After all, you’ll probably do it more often if you’re actually having fun.
5. You’re Super Busy
When you’re balancing your work schedule, family time, social life, meal planning, household tasks, and all your other obligations, it’s hard to find time to work out. Add in the time it takes to drive to and from the gym, and it’s even harder.
“If it takes you 10 to 20 minutes to get to the gym, you have to factor that in,” says Joey Thurman, NASM-CPT, CES. “When streaming a workout at home, you click play and skip the commute.”
If life is hectic right now, you may want to ditch the gym for a workout you can do anywhere — and use the time you save to tackle something else on your to-do list.
6. You Never Go
This one’s simple: If you’ve totally lost interest in going to the gym, it’s probably time to make the break. “When was the last time you were actually there?” Thurman says. “If you only use it once a month or less, save your money.”
This doesn’t mean you need to give up on your fitness game! It just means your gym days have become uninspired. Change up your routine and find a home workout you love doing, and you’ll quickly rediscover your inspiration.
7. You’re Not Getting What You Need
Maybe you haven’t found a fitness class you really love. Or the hours don’t quite work with your schedule. Or you’re not getting the positive community vibe you were hoping for.
Whatever the reason, if you don’t feel like the gym is meeting your needs, it’s okay to let it go. Sure, breakups can be awkward — especially when there’s a long-term contract involved. (Get our tips for cancelling a gym membership.) But you’ll open yourself up to finding a workout routine that’s a better fit for you.