It seems incredible but it will shortly be 2014. And with the New Year comes New Year resolutions, and many of them revolve around getting fitter. And already in my gym there are advertisements about the offers for the New Year. And how many of us join the gym in January, get our money’s worth for a few weeks and then end up paying many month’s subscriptions and not going near the place. Oh, so not just me then? So here are my thoughts on choosing a gym. I am hardly a wonderful role model. I have been to several and not used them to their full potential, and they’ve ended up being very expensive. So I know what not to do!! But at present I am a gym bunny, so I hope you find these ramblings helpful.
Do you really need to join a gym?
Examine your reasons why you are thinking about joining the gym. Can you achieve your fitness using other mean, i.e. running or joining a sports club? If you think that you won’t be a regular user, what about pay as you go or finding exercise classes run in halls?
What do you want from your gym?
Gyms come in all shapes and sizes with price tags to match. Think about what you want from your gym. If you love swimming and aqua aerobics it makes sense to join a gym with a pool. The more facilities the gym has the more expensive it will be, but enquire whether they offer different memberships, such as swim only or off peak membership (My dad and step mum have this and it saves them a fortune). Have a look around the gym and talk to gym users. You can get a feel for the place, and whether it will suit your needs. Check out the classes it offers and what else is included in the price. Ask about the induction and what support you get. It certainly varies. One gym I went to you got five sessions with a trainer. My present gym (which is comparable in facilities and price) only offered one.
Location, location, location
This is the key. If you want the gym to fit in with your life, the more convenient the better. So think about when you will exercise. Depending on when this is will depend on where the best place for gym is. For instance if you exercise during your lunch break, a gym near your work place is ideal. If you’re an early bird then a local one will be better. If you are a long suffering parent of a sporty child it could be that wherever they do sport has a gym and rather than sitting around, use the gym (I did this when my eldest was at a different swimming club, very convenient). This will help ensure you use the gym and it fits into your life.
A gym can be an inspiring, friendly place where you can achieve your goals. But it can also be an expensive luxury. If you take the plunge, a little bit of time thinking about your requirements and being realistic can save you pennies and gain a wonderful tool in your fight against the flab!
All the best,