Getting in shape is a popular New Year’s resolution. So, millions of gym memberships are originated at the start of each year. However, most gym memberships are underused. In fact, only 18% of health club members attend their gym regularly. The main reason for underuse is, yes, you guessed it: lack of motivation. But it’s also true that if you don’t like your gym, you’ll be unlikely to drop in much. So if you’re in the market for a ‘new you’, let’s take a look at some of the factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your gym or health club. When’s It Open? When you take your tour, there will be a whirlwind of information coming your way. So remember to determine the facility’s hours of operation. And if you’re an early bird or a night owl, you’ll want to pay close attention. But the truth is, most people’s schedules are more unpredictable than ever. And you may never know when your opportunity to pop into the gym will come. So you may want to give special consideration to clubs that are open for the greatest number of hours each day. After all, some are even open 24 hours! Expert Staff You’ve heard the adage: “It’s hard to find good help.” Actually, the real problem is finding enough money to pay for good help. Gyms compete furiously for your business. And with so many fixed costs that can’t be avoided, the only way they know how to cut costs is by running a skeleton crew of employees. If you’re a seasoned member, you might not mind the lack of attention this approach will get you. But if you’re new to the scene or just a bit rusty, your experience may not be a good one. If you think you could benefit from a little more attention, keep an eye out for gyms that employ a full staff of experts.
Free Classes You’re right. Nothing’s free. But if you have to shell out extra cash for spin, yoga, or kettlebell class, you’re probably going to pass. So, consider trumping up to a club that includes a variety of fitness or mind/body classes for you to pop into at your leisure. You might often find yourself saying: “why not?”
Cleanliness Incredibly, many gyms are filthy, where no one cleans the machines after using them, and a cleaning crew doesn’t help to keep the place sanitary. Take a good hard look when taking your tour or during your “free trial” workout, if provided. Pay extra attention to the locker rooms. And if you are in the building for 30 minutes without seeing a maintenance worker cleaning during any point of your visit, you can be pretty sure that the gym is not a spic and span environment.
Locker Rooms Cleanliness is not the only consideration when sizing up a gym’s locker room! Most facilities only have lockers and a bathroom with showers. But some of the higher-end gyms also include a Jacuzzi, sauna, and/or a steam room, which can be a wonderful treat after a workout. In fact, looking forward to these post-workout luxuries can often make the difference between deciding to make the trip to the gym or stay seated on the couch. So if you want to stack the deck in your favor, trump up to a gym that has one or more of these niceties.
Finding the gym that’s right for you doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. But putting yourself in the best position to keep going to gym should be your main focus. So keep these tips in mind when you start your search and you’ll be on the road to good health in the New Year.
By Pat DeRiso
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