How to Find the Right Gym for You

by Heather Castellanos, East Providence, RI

Odds are the reason you are reading this article is that you desire to get in shape or lose weight. For many, that usually involves joining a gym. With a different gym on every corner these days, how do you know which one is right for you? It is an important question to ask because it does make a difference. Not all gyms are created equal. Your success in reaching your goals is somewhat reliant on making the best choice for you and your needs. Here are some tips to consider when choosing which one to join.

1. Try Before You Buy

This is especially important if you are new to fitness or haven’t been a member of a gym in a long time. Choosing where you are going to spend several hours a week should not be taken lightly. You want to make sure you are comfortable at your new gym, that you like the people and the way they operate. Most facilities will offer some sort of trial membership, sometimes free or at a discount. Take advantage of those to give yourself a chance to make sure you are going to go.

2. Consider Convenience

You will make excuses why you can’t go to the gym. Everyone does. It’s inevitable. Don’t let “it’s a pain to get to,” or “it’s too far,” be one of them. You want to make sure the gym you choose is somewhat convenient to whatever you do on a daily basis or you will use that as an excuse to skip. Consider facilities close to home or work that have hours that work with your schedule.

3. Budget

This is your health we are talking about. The investment you make in your gym is going to contribute to so much more than you may realize. It will improve all areas your overall lifestyle. With that said, sit down before you go gym shopping and figure out the amount you can truly afford to pay to improve your health. It may be $10/month, it may be $200/month. Sometimes the cheapest gym isn’t going to be your best option…sometimes it will be. It depends on your needs and wants. Everyone is different so if you can help it, don’t price shop. Find what you are looking for within the budget you can afford. This is an investment in your personal well-being and health, not just a gym membership.

4. Find Something You Love

If you don’t love it, you won’t go. It’s that simple. Think about what you like to do. Are you a biker? A runner? A dancer? A swimmer? Does the gym you are considering joining offer those things? Not sure what you love? Again, try before you buy. Find a gym that offers classes and programs are interested in and that you can see yourself enjoying, and you will want to go, thus leading to your success.

5. Go Where Your Friends Go

Studies show that working out with friends helps boost attendance and the likelihood of sticking with a program. Not to mention how much more fun it can be to exercise with your friends. Find out where your friends workout and start your search there. Not only will you be more likely to enjoy it, but you will hold each other accountable.

Consider the above when making your fitness decisions this year and you will find yourself happier with your decisions and more successful with your resolutions.

Heather Castellanos has been working in the fitness industry since 2003 as a trainer, instructor, and manager. She graduated from College of the Holy Cross in 2003 with a BA and found her passion for health and fitness soon thereafter. She feels fortunate to be able to help others find their love for health and fitness every day. Heather was also a speaker at the 2013 IHRSA Convention for fitness professionals. She is currently the Operations Manager at 212 Health and Performance.

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