The holiday season, along with its associated high emotions and high caloric intakes, are now behind us. Many of us respond to our past holiday indulgences by joining the gym in an attempt to get back into shape. Instead of quickly committing yourself to a membership at a gym you may or may not set foot in more than 3 times, make sure to shop around first. To help you make the choice that’s right for you, follow these important tips.
1. See it first
Do not underestimate the importance of visiting a gym before joining. Pay close attention to the installations, the air conditioning, the cleanliness of the facility and the overall ambience. Also make sure the gym does not get to crowed at the times that you foresee yourself using it most.
2. Free trial
Many gyms offer a complimentary session, why not give those a try. It’s usually a pretty good indication when a gym offers a free trial; it shows that they are confident in their facility’s ability to meet your needs. Another option is to sign up for 3 months instead of a year. By the 3 month mark, you’ll know whether or not this gym is for you.
3. A personalized program
Choose a gym that offers this service, it has a duel purpose; improve your motivation and maximize your results. A personal trainer will create a program that’s based on your needs, expectations, abilities and availabilities and will give you pointers on performing the exercises correctly.
4. Variety… the spice of life
A good gym is one that can offer you variety. If you want more from your workout than just pumping iron or running miles on the treadmill, consider a gym that offers different classes such as step, salsa, aerobics, Baladi and so on. Mix up your gym routines to escape the downfalls of a monotonous workout.
5. Business hours
Some gyms open early and close late to better accommodate you. Make sure the gym you are considering is open during the times you would actually work out at.
6. Location location location
Let’s be honest here, you don’t want the walk to your gym to be your workout in and of itself. Choose a gym that’s relatively close to your house or workplace, with proximity issues out of the equation, you’ll have no excuse to miss a workout.
7. Co-ed anyone?
Does the very sight of a muscular man intimidate (or distract) you? If so, avoid the co-ed gym and go straight to one that caters exclusively to women. There’s no use in letting the discomfort associated with working out around men derail you from your fitness goals when there’s a growing number of gyms just for women.
8. Two’s company!
If your friend already has a membership to a certain gym, why not join her? You and your new partner in crime will motivate each other to reach your ultimate fitness goals. Be mindful not to join simply because you know someone; do your research, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to pass if the gym doesn’t meet your criteria.