Are you intimidated by the idea of improving your health and fitness by joining a gym? Finding a gym where you feel comfortable and motivated can be difficult. There are several factors you should consider when choosing a gym.
Can You Afford It?
The fancy gym near the mall may be no better than the small gym next to your grocery store, so don’t always assume that more money equals a better gym. Take advantage of trial membership offers. Be wary of contracts. Visit the gym more than once before making a decision to commit. Make sure you read ALL the fine print if you’re signing a long-term contract.
Does It Gross You Out?
The gym you choose should have strict cleanliness standards, smelling less like sweaty feet and more like antiseptic cleaners. Towels and spray bottles full of cleaner should be available near every station, and there should be a strict user-cleaning policy in place. No gym is fun when you’re exercising in someone else’s sweat pool.
The Shyness Factor
Do you have an issue with exercising in public? Are you self-conscious about your body? A women-only gym might be the best solution. Small gyms may also be better for those who are shy about working out.
Resist Pushy Sales People
Don’t succumb to high-pressure sales staff to buy extras with your gym membership, and try to avoid long-term commitments if possible. When choosing a gym, take into consideration where the gym is located, the time of day you will most likely be using it, and how easy it will be to go regularly.
Some gyms offer extra perks, like special classes, a nutritionist on staff, or on-site daycare. They can make an already-good offer even better, but shouldn’t be the sole reason you choose a gym (remember the gross factor; it goes double for on-site daycares!)