Mind, Body, Spirit


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blond woman working out with weights


How to get the most out of your gym without giving your wallet a workout

Sculpting your ideal summer body can be tough work, especially with the outrageous gym membership prices in Westchester. Sometimes finding an affordable gym is as hard as finding a tasty nonfat latte, but with a little effort, it’s possible to get a much bigger bang for your exercise buck.

Talk to your insurance company
It’s a fairly well-kept secret that you can save up to $45 per month on personal training if your insurance company works with companies such as American Specialty Health, a personal health-improvement company. According to fitness consultant Brian Jay, these companies work as intermediaries between insurance agencies and health clubs and can offer 10 to 50 percent off membership dues. You can even get cash back for using their exercise reward program.

Check out the new gyms in your area
Brand-new gyms tend to offer the best packages to get you in the door. Strata Health Club in White Plains, which opened in April, offers one complimentary individual training session (valued at $90 for first-time joiners) and a free fitness assessment to review your cardiovascular strength and flexibility in order to determine the best fitness plan. Strata Club managing partner Peter DiNardo says starting people off on the right foot will keep them on track.

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
Even with an ideal monthly rate, initiation fees have gone through the roof, but some health-club owners are sensitive to the poor economy. Larry Gleit, owner of Axon Fitness Club in New Rochelle, now offers a recession-proof rate and has dropped his initiation fee of $149 down to $49, which he plans to keep through the summer ($49 initiation fee, $39/month or $350 for the year with no initiation fee). Fitness experts revealed that initiation fees sometimes are negotiable, so start haggling.

Timing is everything
The best gym packages usually are offered during the holiday season in December, when people are ready to start their New Year’s resolutions and now during the summer months when people are vacationing.

Use your friends wisely
Talk to your friends with gym memberships—almost all gyms offer free trials for friends of members.

Mind your meds

To make sure you don’t run out of the meds you need, Dr. Muller advises, “Stay on top of the amount you have left and don’t wait until you have no more before renewing your prescriptions.” Once they have been taken as directed, though, all prescription medicines should be discarded, she says. Her tip to make sure you don’t have meds circa 20th century cluttering your cabinet? “Every time you change your clocks, take ten minutes to look at the expiration dates of all your medicines—both prescription and over-the-counter— and toss out those that have expired.”



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