Joining a gym may be the most important step in your thousand mile journey to a healthy life. Or it may do nothing for you. We’re all different. For me, a gym membership is essential. I have a hard time convincing myself to work out at home. The excuses range from, “but I don’t have the weights I need, I’ll have to do one hundred reps just to feel it,” to “oh, look at my closet! I really need to organize it before I leave for vacation next year….” You catch my drift?
At the gym, I have no choice but to workout. No cats to feed, no emails to answer, no closets to organize. So you decide to join a gym. Classes, saunas, juice bars, rock walls, swimming pools… which do you need? How do you choose? Here are a few of my tips.
1. JUDGE BY THE COVER: Sometimes being open-minded gets you in a pickle. If you’re a man who loves to grunt and pick up heavy things, don’t go to the “Tranquil Wellness Center” that has a logo of a woman’s silhouette leaping like a graceful antelope. You will not be happy, nor will they.
2. FOLLOW YOUR FRIENDS: Yes I know, be a leader not a follower. BUT sometimes it’s best to follow the lead of friends you trust. Not only can they give you an honest opinion of the gym, but you also get a workout buddy (read: nagging conscience personified)!
3. LOOK FOR CLASSES… But only if you like classes! I personally hate group classes. If that’s something important to you, look around for a gym that includes classes in their membership fee. If you’re not into classes, skip those gyms. You may find a better deal somewhere that classes aren’t rolled into the membership.
4. TOUR AT THE RIGHT TIME: If you’re a 9-5er, and you plan on working out on your lunch break, go tour gyms on your lunch break. Most gyms have totally different crowds depending on the time of day. Say you’re looking for a quiet gym, you tour it at 8 AM on a Saturday and it’s perfect! You join, begin going on your lunch break, and it’s a mad house. Your 8 AM tour did not give you an accurate picture of the gym, and now you’re stuck with a 2 year contract 🙁
Hopefully these tips help you get started in your fitness journey, not to get a perfect body, but to find a healthy lifestyle.