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3.28.17

Read the full article by Sarah Rense on Esquire

The decision of whether or not to go to the gym can hedge on a matter of miles. In fact, 1.4 miles is all the difference between sporadic and regular gym attendance for membership holders, reports The Wall Street Journal. According to data collected from 7.5 million mobile devices by the data firm Dstillery, on average, people who go to the gym—that doesn’t count people who pay for memberships but never attend—live four miles from their workout facility. But the median distance from home to gym for people who go to the gym at least five times a week is 3.7 miles, while people who go only once a month live a median 5.1 miles away. Those 1.4 miles make a big difference as far as self-motivation goes.

In 2015, there were 55.3 million people in America who shelled out an average of $54 a month for gym memberships. To accommodate the burgeoning fitness market, the number of health clubs jumped 20 percent between 2011 and 2015 to over 36,000 across the country, giving many the luxury of choice. So, if you’re going to pay the fee, choose a gym with an easy commute—3.7 miles away or less, ideally—or commit to SoulCycling. It’s near impossible to justify the time and money spent otherwise.

Another factor Dstillery considered was the quality of the gym. People aren’t willing to travel far to work out at bargain gyms: Planet Fitness members live 3.2 miles away on average, and Blink Fitness members live even closer, roughly 2.8 miles. Pricier gyms are worth a longer trek: SoulCycle members commute 5.5 miles on average, and Equinox members travel 5.7 miles for their workouts.