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Finding the Right Health Clubs and Gyms

written by: Jennifer G • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 6/29/2011

Health clubs and gyms can make a big difference in your success in reaching your fitness goals. Not all health clubs are the same. That’s why it's important to find the right one for you. Find out what to look for.

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    What to Look for in Health Clubs and Gyms

    A health club can be instrumental in helping you develop an effective physical fitness workout routine. It's important to do your homework before deciding which gym to join. This will increase your chances of placing yourself in an environment where you can actually enjoy your workout.

    Your ideal health club should be close to where you live. You will be more likely to stick to your exercise routine if you have easy access to the place where you will be working out. Limit your search to places that are close to you. Leave out the ones that are more than a few minutes away, even if it seems that they have more to offer. Choosing a facility that's inconvenient to get to only creates a potential obstacle to working out.

    Evaluate what each health club on your short list has to offer. Next compare them and decide which one best suits your needs. Find out the hours of operation for each place. If you will be using a personal trainer, it's important to know what hours they will be available. If you are interested in taking classes, find out which ones they offer and when they will be held. These services will be useless unless they will be offered when you can use them. If you have small children, you may only want to consider places that offer on-site child care. Find out what hours this service will be available.

    Find out when each place is busiest. Many health clubs are busy before and after work during the week, but there may be other times when they are packed. This is important to know, so that you can avoid coming during those time when parking spots and available exercise equipment may be scarce. It's important to find a place that won't be crowded during the times you are available to workout.

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    Important Details

    Meet the staff before deciding on health clubs and gyms. Observe the way they interact with you and the other clients. Look for professionalism, knowledge about fitness, and friendliness. Notice if they appear to be passionate about helping people reach their fitness goals.

    Be sure to check out the equipment. Decide if they have enough stationary bikes, treadmills, and exercise machines. Many places also have a room for aerobic classes, a basketball court, a pool and shower. Make sure the place you choose has what you are looking for.

    Find out the costs. Ask the staff about what is included in the membership and if there are additional fees to join classes. It's also important to know if clients are required to make an annual commitment or if membership is on a month-to-month basis. See if they offer trial memberships. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into anything. Take time to make a decision you are comfortable with.