Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So you're joining a gym...

(as heard on Calvary 88.5 FM 1/13/10)

So you've decided to join a gym to get in shape, so what gym should you join? Here are several areas to investigate and questions to ask to make the right choice for you! Happy hunting!

  1. Join a gym in a location that you are going to drive to. The gym should be very near (10 minutes or less) from their home or office. If you join a facility that is hard to get to or will make it hard to get a workout done on a busy day, you will not go.
  2. Your ideal gym will have the amenities that you want and need.
    • Are you social and like to spend time with other people? Then join a gym that has group fitness classes.
    • Do you know that you need some extra support and direction to get fit? Make sure that there is personal trainer available.
    • Are your children going to accompany you to the gym? Find out if there is childcare at the facility
    • Are you expecting to swim as part of your routine? Your ideal gym will have an indoor pool.
    • Will you be changing into your workout gear or needing to shower at the gym after your workouts? See if the gym in question has locker rooms with showers, towels and lockers.
    • Do you need a 24 hour facility because of your schedule? There are many gyms that are open 24 hours a day. Check out the facilities hours of operation.
    • Are you on the road frequently? Many gyms are part of a larger organization that has locations all over the country. For those that get around, make sure that your membership fee includes access to these other facilities.
  1. What is the cancelation policy? Life changes, so make sure that there is a reasonable cancelation policy in case you need to quit your membership. Some gyms require a 30 day written cancelation notice while others have lengthy contracts that are difficult and expensive to break. Know what you're signing up for before you sign on the dotted line.
  2. Find out what is included in your membership fee. Some gyms have the following benefits included in the membership and some charge extra. Find out how much your membership is actually going to cost you before joining.
    • Group Exercise Classes
    • Locker rental
    • Child Care
    • Swimming
    • Personal Training
    • Fitness Evaluations
    • Equipment Orientation
5. Try it before you buy it. You might do this with several fitness facilities to get a feel for what you like in a gym. Most gyms give a few days of free passes to use their location and some even give a 2-week free trial. Take advantage of this so that you know what you're getting.

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