CHOOSING A FITNESS CLUB
A fitness health club can be the perfect solution for those people who are keen to exercise and mingle with others at the same time. Fitness clubs have the added benefit of providing social interaction while burning the calories and increasing your muscle mass.Before deciding whether you are a private or public exercise enthusiast why not consider some of these points?
Cost. Joining, or just casually attending, a health club or gym will cost you money. You will need to take this into consideration before committing. Some folk find the paying of membership fees a great motivator to attend. Others may realize that a brisk walk around the local walking track is all the exercise they need for free.
Location. You should ensure that the gym is in a handy location. Is it on the way to or from work? Close to home? If the gym is on the other side of town and a pain to get to, you will easily find reasons not to go. The gym needs to easily be able to fit into you routine.
Opening hours. If you work 12 hour days you will need a health club that caters to your needs. A 9-5 type gym will not benefit you. Think about what time of day, and what days of the week you will be attending, and ensure that your gym is open when you need it to be
The fine print. Many health and fitness clubs can have harsh penalties for canceling your membership. Do your research. What happens if you become ill or injured or move? What about when you go on vacation? You do not want to be still paying your club membership when you are living on the other side of the world, or strung up in hospital in traction. Read the fine print and make sure you understand all the implications and rules before you hand over your credit card or bank account details.
Plenty of resources. One huge advantage to a fitness club is the variety of fitness equipment they will have for you to work out on. Unless you have a state of the art home gym, a club will always be able to offer a wider variety of equipment. The more equipment there is, the more you can vary your routine. You should ensure before joining that there is enough equipment to suit your needs. A great club will have a variety of recumbent or upright exercise bikes to suit all types of members. This is even more important if you have pre-existing conditions.
Health clubs with swimming pools can be ideal for those who wish to really mix up their routines or cool down with a few laps at the end. A swimming pool usually means that there is probably aqua aerobics classes available as well. These can be invaluable if you should suffer an injury but still want to maintain fitness.
Access to professionals. Exercising in a health and fitness club should enable you to have the guidance of qualified professionals. The staff should ensure you are using the equipment properly to minimize injuries and maximize performance.
Exercising in view of others. While some of us are comfortable working up a sweat in front of others, some of us are not. This is a personal choice. If you have a choice of times, perhaps you can go when the gym is empty? All health clubs tend to have quiet times through the week. For the totally shy person, perhaps you would feel better with a friend? Otherwise, maybe you could look into the best stationary recumbent bikes available and install one at home.
Child care. Health clubs often provide child care, or crèches. Sometimes there is a fee and other times it is complimentary. This can be ideal for the mother who can never get 5 minutes peace at home. Exercising in a child free environment will do wonders for any mother. Mothers will have a chance to focus on their workout and have some time out. They may also be able to grab a quick coffee with other moms after their routine before collecting their little darlings.
Fees. All health clubs charge fees. Many offer weekly or monthly dues. Often you will receive a hefty discount for paying 6-12 months in advance. This is great if you are still going to be attending for that length of time. Ensure that the fees are affordable for you on a long term basis (at least 3 months if you want significant health benefits). You should also research what is available for free in your membership and what you have to pay extra for. The gleaming swimming pool may cost you extra, as may the dance or yoga classes.
Social aspect. Fitness clubs and gyms can be great places to meet other like minded individuals. This can be perfect for the person who has recently relocated, or has found themselves newly single and looking for some new playmates. Many clubs arrange parties and dinners out, and these can be a fantastic way to broaden your social network.
Enough equipment. Before committing to a contract you should ensure that there is enough equipment available at the time of day you attend. If you are in a rush before work you do not want to spend all your workout time waiting for equipment to become available. Trial memberships are invaluable in those sorts of situations to allow you to see what is going to work for you.
Personalized routines. The staff at your fitness club will be able to provide you with a personalized workout routine. Often these are included in the membership as a bit of a bonus. Everybody is at a different level of fitness and health. Be wary of any club that hands you a generic work out form. Most health clubs will have you checking in with them on a regular basis to monitor your progress.
Trial memberships. This is a fantastic way for you to check it all out. You will soon see how well the gym fits into your routine and whether you like the other attendees. No matter the length of the trial, try and ensure that you attend both week and weekend sessions before you have to commit. Some health clubs have totally different types of clientele at various times and days of the week. If you are a new mother, you may not want to be going when the body builders are all there. The body builder probably does not want to be sharing the equipment with the newly divorced executive.
Joining a fitness health club or gym comes down to personal choice. There can be many benefits, and some disadvantages, that you should be aware of before committing yourself to a health club membership. Health clubs can be ideal for the person who enjoys the company of others while working out.
About the Author:
Scott Gray is currently a fitness enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing health and fitness tips to consumers. He maintains a fitness tips web site where you can find information about Life Fitness lifecycle exercise bikes, getting in shape, losing weight and how to live a healthy life style.
Better health is an individual responsibility, and, says the president, it is an important national goal. We’re making great progress in preventing and detecting and treating many chronic diseases by implementing our health and fitness initiative, and that’s good for America.