How to Choose Your Fitness Center

A health club can be a great fitness motivator if you choose the right one. Before you sign a contract, be sure the health club you choose suits your fitness needs and goals.

An alternative if a traditional gym isn’t for you, you can definitely set up a home gym where you can get complete workouts all in the privacy of where you live. There are a number of home gym systems out there that include all the equipment you need to perform all the key lifts that should be included in any workout program.

The top 10 considerations when selecting a gym are:

1. Location Location Location
Pick a health club location that is convenient. Who really wants to spend twice as long driving to and from their gym as it takes them to do their workout? You will just have one more excuse not to work out if the club is out of your way. This is a great option since if you have to pass by it every day, you will be reminded of the fact that you should be working out if you choose to skip it.

2. Type/Quality Of Equipment
Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the health club after work to find out that the equipment is all being used. Ask if they offer a sign-up list where you can write your name and time down to reserve a machine. This is a great option that many fitness centers have now come up with to make sure their members can use the equipment.

3. Health Club Demographics
Are you concerned your gym clothes or physique isn’t quite worthy? These can be important factors in selecting the correct fitness center.

4. Free Services
You may want to ask if the fitness center offers any additional services or benefits along with your basic membership and if there is a fee for these. Such examples could be daycare services, massage therapy, personalized trainers.

5. Exercise Classes
Be sure to ask about all the various group aerobic classes that are available at the fitness center you are considering. When boredom kicks in on your workout plan, this is just the thing to get you going again. There are currently thousands of different fitness class styles available, so there is sure to be something that suites your interest. When checking up on this, again check if there are any fees associated with it so you will not be surprised for them when you go to sign up.

6. Open Hours
Availability is important in choosing a health club. Find out which health club has hours of operation that make it convenient for you to utilize. If you are interested in aerobics or other exercise classes, see which center offers the greatest availability. Find out not only if classes are scheduled at times when you can take advantage of them, but also if the instructors are professionals.

7. Specialized Personal Services
Having some good personal trainers around is critical to helping you realize your full fitness potential. Even if you are fine with your program right now, consider that in a year down the road you might be plateauing and in need of a check-up so to speak on your current regime. The availability of knowledgeable staff will be important at this time. Unfortunately many health clubs hire almost anyone who has a basic interest in fitness, so be sure to ask around about the actual qualifications of the trainers.

8. Cleanliness
The entire facility should be clean, safe, and well maintained. Look at the bathrooms and showers to make sure there are enough clean towels, lockers, and hot water. Verify that the equipment and floors are cleaned regularly and that there is enough room to workout without bumping into others. Be on the look out for dangerous items such as loose carpets, tiles, electrical cords, or other things you could trip and fall over.

9. Monthly Fees
Gym memberships can really vary in costs so it’s a good idea to shop around before making that final commitment. What does the monthly membership fees cover? Do popular class, such as yoga or Pilates, cost extra? Also consider how long you are signing the contract for as this can vary too. Many fitness centers like to entice you to sign a contract for years and if you are not quite sure it’s going to be a long-term arrangement, you are better off agreeing to something that is more short term. Late summer and shortly after the New Year, many health clubs will run special promotions to entice you to join.

10. Termination Agreement
Finally take a look at the fitness center’s termination policy. If you sign up for a 3 year membership and then end up moving after a year due to work, are you going to be partially refunded? It will be a bad situation if they did not have a refund or membership transfer agreement. Some gyms are good about this while others are not so you will have to weigh the likelihood of your canceling among other things that are discussed above when making your decision.

After you have signed on, enjoy your club regularly. You have made a worthwhile investment in your health.