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to be annoyed that I have to pay for gym membership whilst others don't?

(125 Posts)
Aworryingtrend Mon 21-Feb-11 12:31:05

I know I need to don my hard hat but I really am hmm about this.

I have just joined my local council-run gym to try and tone up and lose weight. This is costing £23 a month which whilst not a huge amount to some people is a fairly significant amount to DH & I.

AIBU to annoyed that whilst I have to pay for the privelige of using the gym and pool, others can attend completely free under the NHS exercise referral scheme or by being in receipt of some benefits?

ChippingInFanciesCheeseOnToast Mon 21-Feb-11 12:33:23

I feel a bit the same - but I think you only get 10 weeks anyway don't you?

You could try going to your GP and asking if you can have a voucher or whatever?

ShushBaby Mon 21-Feb-11 12:35:03

You're not being entirely unreasonable, but then again you don't have to pay gym membership do you?

You could take up running or walking or get an exercise video.

worraliberty Mon 21-Feb-11 12:35:45

YABU the people referred will have medical reasons. If no-one paid to use thes places they wouldn't exist.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 21-Feb-11 12:36:41

you don't need the gym

those who get prescribed exercise - well, would you want to be answerable to someone for your results or lack of? I wouldn't


southeastastra Mon 21-Feb-11 12:37:00

why don't you go and ask to be referred for free then?

scurryfunge Mon 21-Feb-11 12:37:12

If you don't like looking at people on benefits exercising, then join a private gym grin

People get referred free for medical reasons regardless of income iirc

People on certain benefits may get a small reduction, they will not be able to attend for 'free' tho

NoSuchThingAsSociety Mon 21-Feb-11 12:39:28

You make an excellent point - identifying a way in which our taxes are spent on getting us to do things we should be doing anyway.

What a complete waste of money.

Hilarious of some to recommend that you try to get referred for free!! I suspect such posters are examples of life's 'takers', rather than 'givers', if you know what I mean!

miso Mon 21-Feb-11 12:41:34

Well, free or subsidised membership is usually for off peak times, do you feel better if you think of it as paying to access the gym & pool at times that suit you?

Can't think of any benefits that would get you free (as opposed to cheaper at off-peak times only) at the council gym where I live.

If you're conscious of how much you're paying, it might be an incentive to keep going - I know that works for me smile

allsquareknickersnofurcoat Mon 21-Feb-11 12:43:27

In my area, ANYONE who is on JSA can get free council gym membership (not sure if it is only for a certain time though). It costs me and DH nearly £60 a month for the privelege.

I know we dont have to go to the gym, but in that case, neither do they!!! angry

allsquareknickersnofurcoat Mon 21-Feb-11 12:43:55

[facepalm] doh, *privilege

southeastastra Mon 21-Feb-11 12:45:59

are you talking about my post nothingassociety? how rude!! i work for the council and put alot of hours in for free!!

eggontoastie Mon 21-Feb-11 12:47:59

YABU without the subsidised membership there would be far more shall we say unhealthy and unfortunate people sitting on their computers at home spending their time looking for trolls on mn. It makes complete sense to allow them to use gyms on the cheap.

BaggedandTagged Mon 21-Feb-11 12:51:09

I used to go to a gym with loads of oldies on the exercise referral programme (mainly had had heart attacks). They spent all their time in the jacuzzi the lazy fekkers. Would've been better to tell them just to go for a walk along the seafront.

Aworryingtrend Mon 21-Feb-11 12:52:36

Thanks for your thoughts. It simply didn't ocur to me to have try and get referred, i didn't even know such a scheme existed. Naively I assumed that if you want to go to the gym you have to pay for the privilege. I doubt Id be contender anyway as Im only slightly overweight, got between half a stone and 10 pouinds to lose. ive been doing walking and exercise VDs but I need to tone up now as well as lose weight.

I guess I was just shock to realise that some people are getting for free what I have to pay for. Its not that i don't like 'looking' at people on benefits- after all if I were well-off I wouldnt be using the cheapo council gym!

NoSuchThingAsSociety Mon 21-Feb-11 12:52:44

southeastastra - yours and others.

You tried to encourage the OP to try and get referred for free.

This is a classic example of the slippery slope whereby someone thinks it a good idea to use taxpayers' money to 'encourage' unhealthy people to go to the gym etc etc (as opposed to cutting back on the calories and heading out for a run).

The unintended consequence is a greater demand for such assistance from people who do not need it which, in turn, results in ever-increasing budget uplifts.

We each have our own responsibility for what we eat and what exercise we do. To seek State involvement indicates a child-like expectation for someone else to carry the burden.

Little wonder that we are in the financial mess we are in.

mrsscoob Mon 21-Feb-11 12:52:58

are you having a laugh??!! Surely people on JSA don't get free gym membership, I really can't believe that.

People do get it I believe on NHS referal and that I think is totally acceptable, you should think yourself lucky that you are fit and able enough and have the spare money to pay for gym membership without having to begrudge people who are ill and are advised to use it by their doctors. What gives you the right to judge them? Tbh you sound like a nasty bitter person who has too much time on their hands to think up such drivel, so maybe a few hours running on the treadmill will do you good and allow you to release some of your pent up bitterness!

woollyideas Mon 21-Feb-11 12:54:33

I don't have a problem with this, or with the NHS giving people vouchers for things like Weightwatchers. If it helps people who couldn't otherwise afford it to do something positive to improve their health I can only think that's a good thing. The cost to the NHS is probably negligible compared to the cost of treating them for (for example) weight-related problems later on.

It probably compares quite favourably, too, to the cost of other things the NHS might offer (eg. no idea what something like an NHS gastric band op would cost).

Is OP also against helping people stop smoking on the NHS on the basis that some people can afford to fund their own nicotine patches, so why shouldn't everyone?

What about initiatives to help drug addicts? A bad thing if the users aren't self-funding?

piecenjam Mon 21-Feb-11 12:55:01

My friend was out of work, struggling with mental health issues. She was referred to gym for 6 months (she was placed on a waiting list for counselling which she hasn't had yet and feels she may not need) and is now working, healthy and paying a membership. This type of therapy works for many and can result in them being contributing members of society again. And it is using existing resources. YABU to want something for nothing.

Aworryingtrend Mon 21-Feb-11 12:56:07

"Think myself lucky that I am fit and able" Oh I do. But before we get the violins out, how many of these people on exercise eferal schemes are there because of their own ill-advised unhealthy lifetyles? not because some terrible fate has come upon them.

southeastastra Mon 21-Feb-11 12:57:26

i was being slightly tongue i cheek but still feel that they are being a little cruel - some people might need the nudge of free sessions to enable them to start taking care of themselves properly - i really don't see how anyone could begrudge that

Alambil Mon 21-Feb-11 12:58:20

I was referred for "free".

Actually, what happened was, the doctor signed the referral form which I took to the gym. It means I get 10 sessions at £5 and the council subsidise the extra.

That, to me, is not free. Or have I misunderstood? I thought free meant not paying. I am paying, but I can't afford it all and due to circumstance, I needed some help.

Big deal. I'll take all the help I can get to lose weight, if it's all the same to you.

Aworryingtrend Mon 21-Feb-11 12:59:02

"YABU to want something for nothing". If you re-read my OP and PP, you'll see not that I want to be able to attend for free, but I am surprised/unhappy that some people are able to attend free. i am of the opinion that if you wish to use the gym you should pay for it.

NoSuchThingAsSociety Mon 21-Feb-11 12:59:07

OP - another good point. But you will quickly find that there are certain risky lifestyles that are considered absolutely fine and others that are judged very harshly. Complete hypocrisy, of course.

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