So you have finally made the commitment to get in better shape and part of your plan is joining a fitness center? Great! Now, how do you go about choosing the right one for you? There are many factors that you should consider. After all, the membership won’t help you reach your fitness or weight loss goal if you don’t actually use it. Before signing a contract or paying the membership fee, be sure that you consider such factors as location, quality of equipment, activities offered, hours of operation, cost and availability of childcare. All of these can have a significant effect on how much you end up using and enjoying your membership.
As with any other major purchase, you should comparison shop by visiting all the fitness centers that are within the geographical region that you are considering. Before visiting, make a list of things that are important to you such as child care or aerobics classes so that you don’t forget to ask about those things. Call each center and ask if they give free tours for prospective members and tell them you’d like to make an appointment. Try to schedule your visit during the time of day that you will most likely be working out so that you can see how busy it will be during that time.
Some things you should look for while visiting a prospective fitness center are the knowledge of the staff and how helpful and friendly they are, the condition as well as the variety of the equipment and how clean and well maintained does it appear to be. Also, how well do you fit in with the other members and is that something that concerns you? For example if you are just looking to lose a few pounds and get in a little better shape but the majority of the clientele are serious body builders, will you feel out of place? Is the general atmosphere relaxed? What type of music if any do they play and do you like it? Do they offer televisions and earphones? All of these factors which may not seem that important could end up having a big effect on how much you enjoy and use your membership. If you are not sure if the gym is for you, ask if they offer a free trail membership. Many fitness centers will give you a week’s pass so you can see if you want to join.
If you like group activities then be sure to ask about things like the availability of group aerobics, spinning or other types of classes. Some gyms offer tanning, personal training and even massage as extra services available on location although there is usually an additional fee for those. If you are interested in any of those types of extra services, be sure to inquire about them and find out the costs.
If you are a parent and will need childcare, that is another important factor in deciding on a gym. Be sure to ask if they provide child care as part of your membership fee and what hours it is available. Ask to see the childcare area and find out the qualifications of the people who will be caring for your children. Meet them and be sure you would be comfortable leaving your child in their care.
Location and the hours the gym is open are two more consideration. If the gym is close to your home or located on your way home from work, you will be more likely to go. Make sure they are open at the time that you want to work out. Some gyms are open 24 hours and issue swipe cards for members to be able to get in at any time. Others are open only certain hours.
A gym or fitness centre membership can be costly and in some cases means a 2 year contract, so like any other investment of money, be sure that you thoroughly investigate what you will be getting for your investment. You do not want to end up paying for something that you don’t use