We all know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we should be exercising on a regular basis. Some people choose to take up biking while others go for mountain climbing. But a vast majority of us lean toward joining a gym or fitness facility to take care of our exercising requirement.
The common reason behind such a decision, although it may be unconscious, is that “if I join a gym, I’ll have to pay a monthly fee. This will MAKE me go – I know it will, and soon I’ll be fit as a fiddle!” If this is your story – don’t worry. Here, we will guide you through the steps of finding and picking the right gym and workout center so that you will, in fact, return to the facility on a regular basis and in turn, move toward a healthier future.
There are a wide variety of fitness facilities in the United States ranging in size of 40,000 square feet, with state-of-the-art equipment, swimming pools, basketball courts and daycare centers to more scaled back women-only workout facilities comprised of only 2500 square feet.
Before jumping head first into a fitness facility that may not suit you, take a look at the following questions to help you make your decision:
1. Are you looking for a facility that has a multitude of different exercise opportunities available (such as swimming, aerobics, racquetball, and biking workouts) or do you prefer a no frills free-weight and machines facility?
2. Do you need child care? Check the hours to verify that they work into the schedule you will need. Find out if child care is included in the membership fee or if you will be required to pay an additional amount. Also be sure to find out if the staff in the day care center is First Aid/CPR certified and what the ratio is between staff members and children. Be sure to understand the child care policies completely before leaving your child and going to workout.
3. Does the facility offer personal training? Is it an additional cost or are there several introductory sessions included in your initial payment? As a member will you receive a discount on future sessions?
4. Do you enjoy taking classes? If so, does the facility offer the types of classes you want and at the times that are convenient for you?
5. Does the facility offer a month to month payment plan or do you have to pay a year upfront? What happens after your commitment is complete? Does it renew on a monthly basis or will you be required to sign up for an additional year? What is the cancellation policy? Is it in writing? Do they charge an initiation AND processing fee to join?
6. Take a walk around the facility to inspect it yourself. Does the level of cleanliness meet your requirements? How about the music? Is it the type you can enjoy or will you need to bring your own music to drown it out? Does the facility have the type of equipment you like to use? Is there enough of it or will you have to wait to use the exercise equipment?
7. Is there enough personal attention? Can you ask a staff member for help with the exercise equipment if you don’t know how to use it? Is the staff educated and dedicated to helping you better your health and fitness level?
Ensure you that you understand the answers and feel comfortable with the responses to all of the above questions. Don’t rush into a decision just for the sake of joining a health care facility. If you do, you’ll find that you don’t visit it as often as you should and thus your ultimate goal of getting into better shape will be nullified. Instead, take your time, research several facilities, visit them and ask questions. Once you are satisfied that you have found the right fit, get moving and get on track to a fitter and healthier you!