What to Look for When Joining a Gym

Perhaps you’re thinking that you want to take your workout to the next level by joining a gym.

The gym has numerous options for adding variety and intensifying your workout, but there are some things you need to consider before you join.

Location

If you have been working out at home or running in your neighborhood, you’re accustomed to having control over where and when you workout. It takes more dedication to get in your car and drive somewhere, complete your workout, and then drive home. Having to drive a long distance to get to your gym might become frustrating causing you to lose enthusiasm for exercising.

Operating Hours

If you’re like most people, you have a busy schedule and working out is another item on your “To Do” list. The bulk of your waking hours are likely spent at work, school, or with your family.

This means that you might need to exercise early in the morning or late at night. Make sure the gym’s operating hours accommodate your schedule. Some gyms open around 4 am and remain open until 9 or 10 pm. Others are open 24 hours a day.

Features and Classes

The gym is a great place to get additional instruction from fitness experts in the form of classes and personal instruction. You will want to learn about the gym’s instructional benefits. Are the trainers certified? Are the classes included in your membership fee?

Also, make sure the gym has the necessary equipment and facilities for the type of workout you want. Does the gym have amenities such as a track, a pool, a sauna, and all of the pieces of exercise equipment that you like to use?

Cost

The cost of using a gym can be a big factor in whether you join or not. Of course when you pay to use the gym, you tend to be more motivated to use it regularly. But what fees are required? Some gyms like to commit you to an annual or 2-year membership.

This means that you are either paying for several months in advance or making monthly payments for your membership. Are you prepared for that kind of commitment? You will also want to see if the gym has a trial membership.

Demographics

Women commonly prefer to attend a ladies’ only gym. There are a number of those gyms, but you might have to travel further to attend one. Many gyms have a ladies’ only workout room that contains a wide variety of equipment and fitness instructors.

If you are apprehensive about working out in crowded or coed gyms, this might be an option to consider.

Childcare

Some gyms provide a child care facility right on the premises. If this is a feature that you are interested in, be sure to do your research about this service.

Is the childcare service state certified and is their certification current? Do they have safe and secure premises? What is the staff-to-child ratio? Do they provide snacks and/or can you send food with your child?

As with any major purchase, you want to do your homework before you commit. This is why it’s important that membership-based gyms offer a trial membership. This gives you an opportunity to try a few different facilities before you make a decision. You make a substantial time and financial investment with a gym membership so make sure it meets your expectations.

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