Gym Membership ≠ Better Health

ExerciseIt’s kind of funny. The health industry claims it’s in the business of making us healthier, but in reality they hope you stay a home.

Few industries have such diametrically apposing position with their customers. The gym’s/health club’s financial health improves when it’s member financial health does not.

Most memberships have the same issues, lack of use is money in the pocket for business, so why to we buy memberships? Many of us like the idea of being locked in to a health membership.

It’s simple really, we just feel better about making some kind of a commitment to our health, even if it’s mostly financial. Make sure check out the NPR podcast on this very topic.

Have you done this yourself? Love to your have your comments below.

The Planet Money Workout

“Most businesses would close if their customers never showed up. An empty restaurant is a disaster. An empty store means bankruptcy. At a gym, emptiness equals success. Today on the show, the mind games that gyms play with you. From design to pricing to free bagels, gyms want to be a product that everyone buys, but no one actually uses.”

Memberships Make Business Sense

Many companies derive a large amount of income from memberships. We buy car insurance for a year but many just use our cars for 8-10 hours a week, enjoy a summer home or RV for only use 2-3 months of the year or subscribe to a online magazine we don’t read.

Each company is banking on the idea that most of it’s customers are not fully utilizing the service, the more members they can attract and ultimately the more revenue that can be generated.

In the health industry gyms/health clubs have become experts on how to attract new members and encourage current members to renew. We all know this when we sign up.

You are either paying a membership fee to make yourself feel better (even if you don’t go regularly) or your membership is being subsidized by other members that don’t show up.

Now off to the gym (maybe) … all the best to your physical and financial health in 2016.