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Why Are Gyms In Kenya So Expensive?

· Lifestyle

Dear Reader,

Can we keep it real about gym memberships in Kenya? As enthusiasts in the lifestyle space, we feel as though we are preaching to a wall when we encourage you to embrace an active lifestyle only to be told that gym membership is Kshs 13,000 a month! How can we possibly make any positive changes in our lives if its going to break the bank?

Fitness should be accessible to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. When you travel to other countries, we see fitness facilities giving much lower rates than they do here in Kenya. A good example is the Virgin Active chains which are reasonably priced. On this note, we would love to give a special shout out to Smart Gyms KE for encouraging people to stay fit by offering pocket friendly rates at Kshs 3000 a month.

Taking on a gym membership in Nairobi, especially right now is a good idea; it sounds like it too! I mean, we have all seen what committing to the gym can do to a body either on social media or in real life. While, it may look like all you have to do is join one and hop on a treadmill, a spin bike or attempt to re-create those resistant-band gluteus workouts, your budget and ability to continue paying for your preferred membership is a whole different ball game. This directly builds on the stereotype that a fit and healthy lifestyle can only be achieved and maintained if you can always, almost break your bank account for it, which of course, should not be the case.

Now, if you factor in location, targeted market, popularity of the gym as well as how recent the gym is, you can roughly get a hint of what you’ll be paying. Whether it’s a dedicated fitness studio, a crossfit box, a less crowded gym that offers you shampoo and hair dryers in the locker room, let’s not forget the modern equipment and machines that these gyms have; your budget has to be on the higher end. Because, you are paying for all of the above, and then some (the lavender oil essence that is used in the sauna too). Whereas, if you move closer towards the city center, the price range does drop. These are the gyms located in popular malls. They definitely do attract a younger crop of fitness enthusiasts and trainers although if you are an amateur, you stand to be stuck for a while. Let us explain…

You walk into a gym in the suburbs (assuming you are a beginner), pay about 10,000/= or more and all this gets you is the equipment at the gym; access to the equipment (with no professional help) and classes. You have an idea of what a workout should be; because, YouTube, but you also don’t. You attempt to train by yourself and learn whatever you can because if you do choose to actually get help, you’ll have to top up on your initial fee. You decide to brave it and figure out a way to achieve your fitness goal. You are the five in a hundred that are successful. The rest of the ninety five will switch gyms to a cheaper alternative, only to find out that they still have to top up on their membership or try, again to learn how to train by themselves. Subsequently, this continues to give profit to the gyms but all the new clients have to learn this the hard way.

On the flip side, the different dedicated gyms (crossfit, pilates, spin studios etc.) do hold an upper hand when it comes to this because; your membership fee is all-inclusive, depending on the package that you as the client pick. Not that they are a cheaper option though… especially with regard to the scarcity of legitimate studios such as the above. So, ultimately, for fitness rather, we just have to pick a struggle. There is working out at home which cuts through all the costs and worries of gym membership, but you have to be disciplined, a bit more disciplined than the initial five out of a hundred.

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Yours in Wellness,

@tizitalks

Do you also feel a little frustrated with the gym memberships in Kenya? We would love to hear your thoughts!

Wellness Contributor: Phoebe L. Gor

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