Health: I’m Just Not That Into You

Breaking up with a gym can be harder than saying goodbye to a boy. Here’s what to do…

Quitting the gym before your contract’s up is a long, tiresome process. There’s the proof of change of address (“I’m … moving … to South Dakota”), having to leave endless voice mails explaining the situation (“It’s not you, it’s me”), and, if you actually get the gym’s keeper of souls to buy all of your bullshit, a sharp penalty fee.

So before saying “I do,” scope out a few places to find one where you’ll feel good sweating it out — for at least as long as that 18-month contract lasts! Here’s a rundown of some area gyms that let you poke around before going all the way.

Sweat Fitness
Center City, Manayunk, Fitler Square, Queen Village, 1-877-sweatgym,
The Scoop: Make sure to check out a few others before coming here. You only get one day of free access, so you’ll want to have others to compare it to beforehand. Register online and they’ll call you to schedule.
The Steal: Mix it up with unlimited access at any of the locations. The Center City spot has an indoor track and pool.
If you commit: After a $99 activation fee (includes first month’s payment), it’s $60 per month, including all classes.

Club La Maison
215 Sugartown Rd., Wayne, 610-964-8800,
The Scoop: They’ll drag you through a facilities tour, but then you’ve got three free days to make up your mind.
The Steal: Free use of the brand-new locker rooms with sauna, steam rooms and whirlpool. It’s also the only Main Line gym with a complete Pilates equipment studio (although you’ll have to pay extra to use it).
If you commit: It’s $70 per month for complete access, including all classes; $75 initiation fee.

East Falls Fitness
3751 Ridge Ave., 215-223-2311,
The Scoop: Print out the free week pass from their website and drop in anytime. No sweat.
The Steal: Spend a total-body busting 30 minutes in a kettlebells class or get moving in a hip-hop dance workout.
If you commit: No frills means slimmer costs at $38.99 per month; $50 processing fee.

Future Fitness
1432 Rt. 70E, Cherry Hill, 856-857-0333,
The Scoop: Fill out a short online survey, and you’ll get a call back offering you a two-week free pass.
The Steal: Surf the Web, check your e-mail, or buy stocks while exercising. Every cardio machine has free TV and Internet. Talk about multitasking!
If you commit: They won’t cite a price until they’ve lured you in for a tour of the place, but they guarantee you won’t pay more than $50 per month for membership.

Snap Fitness
1011 Pontiac Rd., Pilgrim Gardens Shopping Center, Drexel Hill, 610-789-4646,
The Scoop: Sign up online, and they’ll get back to you with a pass for a free week of unlimited access.
The Steal: Workout anytime at this brand-new facility — they’re open 24/7. And they offer a month-to-month payment option that eliminates scary contracts.
If you commit: If you choose to pay month to month, it’s $39.95 per month, but take on an 18-month contract, and you’re down to $29.96 per month. There are also some good deals for family memberships. (Hurry! Because they just opened, they’re offering free enrollment!)

Bally Total Fitness
Various locations in and around Philadelphia area,
The Scoop: Although you might break a sweat jumping through hoops — you have to register online, wait for a phone call, and then sit through a sales pitch — you can get a two-week trial membership.
The Steal: Benefit from a one-on-one session with a personal trainer to help determine your current body composition and create a personalized workout program.
If you commit: With discount promotions changing almost weekly, they refuse to pin down a definite start-up fee, but contracts range from $19-$61 per month.