I finally let go of my gym membership awhile back at LifeTime after months of underutilizing it.
My gym routine was usually pretty sporadic depending on the season. Fall = rarely going due to full-time work and high school soccer season (i.e. head coaching = little time for anything else!). Winter = rejoin and go few times/week. Spring = weather gets nicer = me wanting to be active outdoors. Summer = see Spring x 100, and put membership on hold for few months (until Winter returns!).
Now that I am consciously thinking about how to downsize/simplify, it was time to reconsider my exercise routine and the effect it had on my life.
Don't get me wrong, I still love to workout and be active. The whole getting-ready-to-go-to-the-gym-workout-for-an-hour-come-home-and-shower (that rhymed!) was just not working for me. And quite honestly, this life should be working for YOU, whatever that might be. If you're a gym lover and it doesn't cramp other areas of your life, than by all means, keep doing what you're doing.
If you're not loving it, here's how to give up your gym membership in 7 easy steps:
1) Quit your gym membership (sounds easy, right?!). I'll break it down for you: Walk into gym, tell front desk person you would like to quit your membership. Ta-dah! Now that was easy.
2) Do not (I repeat, DO NOT) feel guilty about quitting your gym membership. At some point this world existed without gyms, and I have to think we were much happier, less-stressed individuals at that time.
3) Find a different routine. What is going to work for you? For me, it's getting up a tad earlier to do workouts at home. I love throwing on a sports-bra (I usually keep my pajama shorts on), opening up the shades in our reading/workout room, and pressing play on my next scheduled workout.
4) Find the right motivation. What is your motivation? I love the way I feel in the morning after getting a quick (sometimes it's only 5 minutes!) workout in. It can be yoga, jogging, biking, weight lifting, HIIT workouts, Pilates, stretching, the list goes on. Whatever it is, I know the rest of the day that I made time for myself and I don't feel stressed trying to fit in a workout after work/coaching/happy hour (no one wants to workout after drinking beer, am I right or am I right?).
5) Streamline the logistics. As much as I'm a believer in small daily habits turning into great big things, I'm not about waking up at the same time every. single. day to workout or following other strict rules about my life. I just set my alarm a bit earlier than I'm going to get up for that day to make time, and then I get up and do my thing. It helps to have your workout of choice ready to go for the morning, that way, you've got zilch excuses.
6) Find activity in everyday life. When I think back to some of the most "fit" times in my life, I wasn't pounding it away at the gym. Actually, it was after an ankle sprain that left me unable to run for awhile. I went to the gym every other day to do light weights and bike, and I walked to class 30 minutes one way each day. Now, I try to bike to errands if they are close enough (love my bike basket that I rigged up!), park at the back of the parking lot when possible, and try to walk when I can (break at work? quick after dinner stroll?). Oh, and take the stairs.
7) The most important step: Enjoy your life post-gym-membership. I'm sure it's freed up some time in your life to pursue other passions (or sleep more, which is totally ok too!).
And that's how you give up your gym membership. Time for me to go workout! :)