We are told over and over that exercising is good for us, and now the holiday season is behind us and new year resolutions loom all around, you might be thinking about signing up for a gym membership. Joining a gym has many benefits and can really help you keep fit, but it is important to remember that not all gyms are created equal. So before you sign that contract and pay your joining fee, check the following factors to make sure that you are choosing the right gym for you.
These days we often assume that facilities such as gyms will be open around the clock, however this is not always the case. Check the days and times that the gym is open to make sure that it suits when you are hoping to work out – especially if you are a late night or early morning gym bunny!
You need to make sure that the gym you are considering joining is within your budget. Double check for any hidden costs, such as induction fees and class fees, as well as whether there are options to pause your membership if you get sick or go on vacation.
This might seem obvious, but many people overestimate how far they will be willing to travel to workout. Make sure it is close to either your work or your home – if it is too far away or tricky to access (whether in terms of public transport or parking), chances are you just won’t go.
Range and quality of equipment
If you are going to be paying money to use a gym, you want to make sure that it is worth the cost. Ask to have a look around the gym before you sign up and take note of the exercise equipment and machines they have available. Try and pick a gym that not only has a wide variety, but modern versions too.
Range of classes
If you prefer to take part in exercise classes rather than just use the gym equipment, be sure to check out the gym’s timetable in advance of signing up. Make sure there are a good variety of classes you would like to attend, at times you can attend them, and preferably included in your membership fee.
Quality of the facilities
What are the changing rooms like? Are the showers in good condition? Are many machines out of order? Is the gym kept clean and tidy? Are there TVs to watch while you work out? Are there extra features such as a pool or sauna? All of these little aspects add up to make a big difference to your experience at the gym, so be sure to consider everything in advance.
It is not all about the equipment, it is also about the overall feel of the gym. Think about factors such as how loud the music is, how busy the classes are, how crowded the gym floor is, whether people have to wait to use machines, and what the attitude of the staff is like. All of this will impact your enjoyment of working out there, and how likely you are to actually want to go!