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Cancelling your gym membership due to injury or illness

March 5, 2024
Cancelling your gym membership due to injury or illness
March 5, 2024

Every year, thousands of us make New Year’s Resolutions – from cutting calories to giving up alcohol to quitting smoking – but, according to recent research, the most popular resolution made by Brits this year was to do more exercise.


So it’s no wonder that searches for ‘gym membership’ surge in January. Data from Pure Gym reveals its gyms are 40% busier (source: UK Active) at the start of the year than in the two months prior to that.


However, if you signed up for a gym membership and have already fallen off the exercise wagon, you’re not alone. Roughly one third (34%) of Brits making resolutions stick to their goals for 1-3 months at the most, according to research from Forbes Advisor. That means that by the spring, thousands of people who joined a gym or health club are already looking at ways of cancelling their membership, something that isn’t always straightforward.


Whether it’s due to injury, illness, expense or simply regretting signing that contract in the first place, here’s what you need to know about cancelling your gym membership. 


Common reasons for cancelling gym membership


Your gym should let you cancel your contract if you have a serious injury or illness that is preventing you from exercise.


There are lots of different reasons for wanting to cancel your membership. These can include:


  • Injury or health issues – injuries or health problems can make it impossible to exercise anywhere, let alone get to the gym.


  • Lack of motivation or interest – it’s easy to start strong in the New Year but then lose motivation over time.


  • Financial reasons – gyms can be expensive and prices can go up, affecting your membership payments. If employment or personal circumstances change, such as losing your job, your partner losing their job or your rent or mortgage increasing substantially, you may simply need to tighten your belt and reduce expenditure.


  • Inconvenient location – if your journey to the gym isn’t as easy as you’d thought it would be then you may not be using it as often as you need to, in order to get results and to make it cost-effective.


  • Lack of results – if you’re not noticing results or benefits then it’s easy to become frustrated with a lack of progress.


Gym membership cancellation: what are your rights?


Some gyms do allow you to cancel as long as you give one month’s notice but check the terms and conditions to see what notice period is required .


Once you’ve decided you want to cancel your gym membership you’ll need to check the terms of your current contract to see what’s possible.


Generally speaking, if you’ve simply changed your mind, you’ll have to give written notice to end your membership at the end of your contract whether that’s in a few months time or at the end of the 12 months.


However, if you want to cancel with immediate effect, it could cost you, says advice from Citizens Advice on its website. It says:


‘You’ll normally have to pay the full cost of your contract if you want to cancel a gym membership early. For example, if you cancel a one-year contract after 6 months, you’ll usually have to pay for the remaining 6 months. Check your contract for details to find out how much you’ll have to pay if you cancel early.’

However, if you have a valid reason, such as illness or injury then you should be able to put together a case to break your contract early, or at least pause your membership until you’re well enough or fit enough to exercise again, as ZoomDoc GP Dr Jenny Ellenbogen explains:

‘Your gym should let you cancel your contract if you have a serious injury or illness that is preventing you from exercise. However, you will need sufficient evidence from a doctor or medical professional to prove that your injury or illness is genuine.

‘That’s where ZoomDoc can help by supplying a same-day gym and health club cancellation certificate, to help take some of the stress out of the process,’ she says.


Injury and illness: how to cancel your gym membership


In order to terminate a contract, many gyms require members to submit a letter singed by a doctor confirming their injury.


If you’re injured or unwell, advice from Citizens Advice says you should:

‘Talk to the manager at your gym. If they won’t let you cancel, you should say the following (or put it in writing):

“The Competition and Markets Authority advises that a gym contract is unfair if it doesn’t let a member cancel through serious injury or illness.”

‘Arming yourself with a certificate proving your condition could also help speed up the process,’ says Dr Jenny.

How to get your Gym Cancellation Certificate


If you have been sick or injured and it has affected your ability to exercise, you may require a medical certificate to suspend or cancel your gym or health club membership.


There’s no need to see your usual doctor to get proof of your condition or illness preventing you from attending the gym. 

Instead order your certificate online and for just £45 you’ll get a same-day certificate that will confirm your medical condition and that suspension or cancellation is advised.  

What you’ll need for assessment:

In order to be assessed you’ll need to submit:


  • photo ID (passport)
  • confirmation of when your sickness or condition started and how it is now
  • a 30-second to 1-minute video describing your medical symptoms
  • details of your regular doctor (if you have one).


What you’ll get from an assessment: 

A verifiable digital PDF letter signed by a medical professional and sent directly to your mobile, containing the following details:

  • your name and date of birth
  • the sickness, injury or medical condition that has impacted your membership.
  • whether you wish to suspend or cancel your membership.
  • when symptoms started and if they are ongoing or if you are now recovered.
  • signature and authorisation by one of our GMC-registered UK doctors.
  • contact details of ZoomDoc Health with a QR code enabling a verification check.


How the Gym Cancellation Certificate could help you

Below, Stephanie details how a Zoomdoc helped her quickly get a Gym Cancellation Certificate so she could cancel her gym contract without penalty.


‘Our Gym were refusing to cancel our contract without a valid GP letter stating we would no longer be able to use the club due to my husband’s health. Our usual GP was going to charge us £50 and a 4 week wait. I contacted ZoomDoc and we received the letter the next day early in the morning as we submitted our video and documents late in the evening. Highly recommend this company!’ Stephanie H


Purchase your Gym and Health Club Cancellation Certificate

Want to know more?

Our team of Doctors are available via the ZoomDoc App for any medical questions or queries.