Tara Crooks
Limitless Contributor


Anchored by a Congressional health education program, the month of June is celebrated as men's health month. Across the country individuals and organizations will honor men's health month with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.


When my husband's health comes to mind many things come into play; regular checkups, nutrition, and exercise are the top three things of which I immediately think. The military is fairly good at making sure our service members are scheduled for their regular checkups. I'm a fairly decent cook so I know he's eating right at least one meal per day (that is when he's home). And Physical Training (PT) serves as an amazing form of daily exercise that I know he's glad he does to keep fit.


One of his struggles - which I imagine is shared by many- is getting bored with the same hum-drum routine when he leads PT. He likes to spice things up a bit. So he and a few of the other soldiers thought "outside the box" of flutter kicks and long runs and joined a local gym for a cross fit class. The gym was great and offered the service members a hefty discount for their attendance/membership.


When we lived in Georgia we were stationed at Fort Stewart but we lived thirty minutes away from post. Although my husband had PT on the installation, I didn't have the luxury of the local "free" gym that I have here at Fort Sill. I typically walked around the neighborhood and did home videos to stay in shape. But, I did attend a class or two at a local gym. That got me thinking, if you were a service member or a family member and you didn't live near an installation are there ways to save at the gym? So I did a little research for us all and here's what I found:


  • Take advantage of any "free" or reduced priced gyms available - Look for gyms near you if you're on an installation, check out the ASYMCA to see if they offer free/reduced rates, see if the local high school offers a workout area, and check with your local hospital as well. Always ask for a military discount.
  • Check out the competition - Hopefully where you live there is more than one gym to compare. See what each of them offers and the pricing available.
  • Pay cash and collect coupons - typically if you pay up front in cash there is a discount involved. Also, look for sites like Groupon and Living Social for great deals on memberships.
  • Look into family plans - sometimes the childcare alone can cover the cost of the membership.
  • Join at the End of the Month - Gyms typically have monthly quotas for members that they want to meet, those quotas need to get met and they're most daunting when it gets down to the wire. You might score a big deal!
  • Freeze your membership if you're not using it during a certain period of time - vacation, seasonal, etc.
  • Pay per use - try to stay out of long term contracts and make sure there is a military clause.