Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fitness Costs: Gym Vs Cycle Commuting

Gyms and Cycle Commuting. Both contribute to a fit & healthy lifestyle, but how much do each cost?

There are 1,420,000 gym goers (source) which is great, because the gym is engendering fit, energised, motivated, people.

But strip away all the whizz-bang gadgets, TV's, high-tech equipment, and brand image, exposing the raw purpose of visiting a gym is just: to exercise.

Considering some gyms are charging £30, £60, even £70 per month (!!!!) just to exercise, are gym goers getting value for money? Can't that same energetic lifestyle, be attained by incorporating exercise in to the daily requirement to commute somewhere?

  • Monthly gym fee: say £45 per month (£10.47 per week)
  • Driving to gym & back say 2 x 4 miles @ £0.42 per mile*, £3.36 each day. Times 5 = £16.80 per week
  • Parking near gym say £2 each day, Times 5 days = £10.00 per week.

    Gym weekly sub-total: £37.27

    Times 52 weeks = £1,938.04 per year.


Shared equipment - can't always get on the best machines.

Sweaty, smelly, other people!

Maybe catch other people's cold & flu viruses.

Even if members stop using the gym, get an injury or get lazy, the monthly fee keeps on leaking out of their bank accounts.

* ' * ' * ' * ' * ' * ' * ' * ' *


  • Annual professional maintenance: £130
  • Parking: FREE!
  • Vehicle Excise Duty: FREE!
  • New set of road tyres per year: £40
  • Brake pads per year: £15
  • Chain lubricant per year: £6

    Cycling yearly sub-total: £191 per year.

    Divided by 52 weeks = £3.67 per week!


Exercise is done automatically while commuting to work. Sounds obvious , but there are some benefits to this:

No chance to wimp out / eat cream cakes / stay in & watch TV, which happens when contemplating "have I got enough motivation to go to the gym tonight?":

By cycle commuting the exercise is automatic, a daily necessity, because you HAVE to get to work.

Commuter cycling, is a two-for-one special: commute home and exercise simultaneously, which gifts riders valuable extended free-time. Whereas the gym wastes more time in comparison: e.g. commute home, drive to gym, exercise at gym, and then commute home again.

Tired of exercising with the same view? Cycle a choice of different routes home.

Miss the anaerobic resistance weight training at the gym? Buy your own free weights, £30 from Argos. The cycling acts as a perfect aerobic warm-up to then lift weights at home.

* = From a recent RAC survey (source), the average yearly cost of motoring: £5,000 divided by average yearly mileage: 12,000 miles = £0.42 per mile.

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