Is there etiquette to follow when buying someone a gym membership?

December 04 2014

The New Year is fast approaching and chances are you will know somebody who has put “lose weight” or “get fit” on their New Year’s resolutions list. But bestow them with a gym membership for Christmas and you will be served a cold dose of the silent treatment for the rest of the day.

Some people still believe that there is a stigma attached to buying a loved one a gym membership, despite the fact that it is a desirable thing to have. Most people will use a gym membership much more than an expensive piece of jewellery, so why isn’t it on the top of every fitness fanatic’s letter to Santa?

We have prepared a list of etiquette tips to follow when buying someone a gym membership for someone without offending them.

Give the gift of fitness

Instead of telling somebody that they need to go to the gym, pitch your present as giving them the gift of fitness.

There are a lot more reasons why people enjoy going to the gym other than to lose weight. Of course, weight loss is a factor for many people, but there are also reasons such as improving overall health, exercising for pleasure, relieving stress and working on personal technique. Give someone a gym membership to complement a healthy stress-free lifestyle.

It’s an activity you can do together

Most of us lead busy lifestyles, with little time to socialise with friends, let alone hit the gym. This year, reconnect with friends and improve your fitness by working out together. As we discussed before, exercising with friends has multiple benefits, such as increased motivation and they can encourage you to try new things, as well as injecting a little bit more fun into your workouts.

If you’re a couple, buying a gym membership for your partner can improve closeness while allowing you to spend more time together. It can also help you both stay focused on healthy living. If you both go to the gym, you will be more likely to stay on track and eat healthily, as opposed to persuading the other to have an extra piece of cake. Exercising has a positive impact on your self-esteem and mood, a few more smiles around the house can’t do you any harm can it?

Don’t give it out of the blue

Make sure that your friend has a genuine interest in being healthy and active, otherwise they might be a little offended when they open your present. If they are a regular gym attendee and you know that they will probably be renewing their gym membership anyway, then you know this gift will be well received. However, if they are not a member of a gym it may seem a little out of the blue.

Plant the seed early on, if you go to the gym yourself mention how it has had a positive impact upon your life and how much you enjoy going. You should make it clear that attending the gym is not just about changing your physical appearance, but it is part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

If your friend seems interested and wants to learn more, or even mentions that they would like to join themselves, then this is a definite sign that they would be happy receiving a membership as a festive gift. If they show some signs of interest, but you are unsure that they would use a full gym membership, then consider getting them a day or a 12 day pass to your gym. This gives them the chance to test out a gym, without the pressures of feeling like they need to attend for a whole year, even if they didn’t like it, to make you happy.