How to Cancel Your Gym Membership Without Breaking a Sweat

Canceling your gym membership can be a hassle.
Canceling your gym membership can be a hassle.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Most people sign up for a gym membership with the best of intentions. They want to get fit, lose weight, gain muscle, and improve their overall health. But a lack of a time, slipping motivation, prohibitive costs, or a worldwide pandemic can cause those ambitions to fall by the wayside.

It’s at this point that a different kind of exertion begins—a prolonged struggle to break up with your gym, which are notorious for using contracts that are designed to make parting ways difficult. Fortunately, canceling your gym memberships doesn’t always have to be such a hassle. (Bear in mind it will likely be a hassle. Just not an unmitigated one.)

For the most part, gym memberships commit members to use of their facilities in exchange for a monthly or yearly fee, and there isn’t much recourse for someone who has simply changed their mind and decided those services are no longer needed. Gyms and their contracts typically only make exceptions in the event of disability, death, relocation, or the gym failing to provide services outlined in the contract. Absent one of these reasons, canceling without paying the remaining balance due may be at the discretion of management.

The best way to begin the process is to send a letter via certified mail informing the gym of your desire to terminate your membership with as much information as possible. Your name, address, payment information, and account information should all be included, along with your reason for canceling. This ensures a paper trail is being created you can reference in the event the gym claims they haven’t received your request.

Some franchise gyms, like Equinox, allow members to cancel at any time if they’ve been a member for at least a year and give at least 45 days’ notice. Planet Fitness bills monthly and asks for about a week’s notice. Absent any of the major life events mentioned above, these places might try to pin a cancellation fee or pro-rated balance due on you. Aside from speaking with management, there’s not much you can do about it.

Gyms may continue charging you fees even after canceling, in which case you should dispute the charge with your credit card or bank and have them reach out to the gym on your behalf. (Don’t cancel a credit card to avoid the charge, as that may result in your account being turned over to a debt collector.)

If written requests are being ignored and your gym is part of a national chain, you can write the corporate office with details of your issue and hope they’ll offer a prompt resolution.

The pandemic has put more of a wrinkle in this already-convoluted process. If you’re uncomfortable with returning to a gym, many locations should be willing to suspend your membership until you decide to return. (If a gym is following state reopening guidelines, canceling may be difficult.)

If you’re in a higher-risk category, obtaining a doctor’s note may go a long way toward resolving any membership issues.

To summarize: Keep a paper trail. Offer a valid excuse when possible. Be willing to absorb some of the fees involved. And sign that next gym contract only after reviewing it carefully.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Warby Parker Created a Spray to Prevent Your Glasses From Fogging Up When You Wear a Face Mask

They're smiling under the masks (because their glasses aren't foggy).
They're smiling under the masks (because their glasses aren't foggy).
Julian Wan, Unsplash

A face mask won’t keep you from getting enough oxygen, but it might keep you from seeing clearly through your glasses. When you exhale, your warm breath usually dissipates into the air in front of you. When you’re wearing a face mask, on the other hand, it gets funneled through the gaps around your nose and turns into tiny water droplets after colliding with your much colder lenses. In other words, it fogs up your glasses.

To prevent this from happening, Warby Parker has created an anti-fog spray that absorbs those droplets as soon as they form on your lenses, before they can cloud your view. It’s not the only product like it on the market—Amazon alone has dozens—but Warby Parker’s version has the added benefit of cleaning your lenses, too.

The perfect solution.Warby Parker

As Prevention.com reports, the spray is part of the company’s “Clean My Lenses Kit,” which comes with a bottle of anti-fog spray, a microfiber cloth, and a pouch for your glasses (or for storing the other two products in the kit). All you do is spritz both sides of your lenses, wipe them down with the cloth, and venture out for your fog-free day.

The spray works with any type of lens, which makes it a useful innovation even for people who just wear regular sunglasses. It can also come in handy during plenty of other fog-inducing situations, like sipping a hot beverage or cooking over a hot stove.

You can order a kit online for $15, or look for one in your local Warby Parker store. In the meantime, here are a few DIY ways to keep your glasses from getting foggy.

[h/t Prevention.com]

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