So many people make the New Years resolution to lose weight and/or get in shape. So naturally, they go to a gym and sign up for a membership! They hit the gym hard for a week or two or three . . . and then they give up. And they still have to pay for the gym membership.
It's no surprise that gyms and fitness centers make a ton of money in the month of January, since many of the new members who join for New Years resolutions fizzle out by March, and the company doesn't have to account for the cost of all those members' wear and tear on the machines and services.
Some companies, like Life Time Fitness, will email their members after a period of no-showing to gently remind them to come in and get their money's worth. Some also offer "trial periods" at a discounted rate with no commitment, just to let customers see if they're going to stick with their new regime.
But many chains and small local gyms don't have the resources to "gently nudge" their members, so they end up paying for month-to-month because they don't get around to canceling their memberships.
This article at the New York Times recommends paying day-to-day at first if there is no trial period, just to see if you'll keep up the habit. If that's not an option, make sure you cancel your gym membership if you realize you won't keep up with it, to avoid wasting money.
Of course, the BEST option is to keep going to get healthy and fit, though! So make sure you do the math before you blow a ton of money on a new resolution, and try your very hardest to stick with it!