Now that the weather is getting colder, it's harder to motivate to exercise outdoors. That's where the gym comes in. So many health clubs offer great new rates for the fall, so if you're looking to join, now is a great time. How do you choose a gym? These tips should help you.
- Consider location. If it's more than a 10-minute walk or car ride from your home or office, chances are you'll be less motivated to go.
- Cost is a big deal too. Call around to see what deals are being offered and what the price includes. You may have to pay extra for classes, parking, use of the pool or sauna, or for a consultation with a trainer. Monthly fees are usually around $25-75. Some gyms require you to pay a sign-up fee too.
- Find out when the gym is open. If you can only go at 6 am, but the gym opens at 6:30, then that's not going to work. Check the weekend hours too, since some gyms close early on Sundays. Also, some gyms are open 24 hours a day, but you may be paying extra for that and it won't matter if you're never going to go past 10pm at night.
- Figure out what you like to do, whether it be using the treadmill, swimming, lifting weights or taking classes. Go with the gym that has the most of what you like.
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- Check for cleanliness. The equipment, bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms should be well-taken care of.
- Visit the the gym during times when you're planning on going, to see what's available. You shouldn't have to wait on line for your favorite machine or be shut out of a Pilates class because there's not enough room.
- How about the staff? Are they friendly and helpful? Do they go out of their way to show you around and introduce you to people? Also, they should be trained in first-aid and CPR, so check on that.
- Do they have personal trainers? Do you get to meet with one for a free session when you sign up? If not, how much are sessions?
- Most gyms offer day passes, so take advantage of these. Check out all the gyms in your area to see which one feels the most comfortable to you.