The start of a new year often includes making New Year’s resolutions involving health and fitness. If your list of resolutions includes joining a gym, you’re not alone. But how do you know which gym and which gym membership to choose? We’ve collected the best expert advice on finding the perfect gym membership for your needs. Here are the top tips:
1. Be skeptical of gyms that want to lock you in to a “lifetime” membership. Some unlucky people have found themselves getting yearly bills from health clubs that have gone out of business and no longer even exist.
2. Ask questions about the gym’s membership profile before you join. Data on how many members it has, the male to female ratio, and if the clientele is casual or hardcore will help you decide if a gym is right for you.
3. Reviews on sites like Yelp and Google can help you get a feel for what a gym is really like before you join. People tend to be brutally honest about things like how clean and well-maintained a gym is, how friendly the staff are, and if the classes are any good.
4. Know your preferred workouts before choosing a gym. Are you interested in a variety of workouts? Then look for a full-service facility with lots of machines, different classes, and a pool. If you’re more into one thing, pass on the big gyms and choose a specialized facility like a yoga studio or a boxing club.
5. Visit potential gyms during peak and off-peak hours to get a feel for how crowded it is, the kind of people who work out there, how noisy or bright it is, and if the locker and rest rooms are clean.
6. Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting with your membership before you sign up. This includes making sure you know what extras are included in the fee. Unexpected additional costs for things like equipment-based Pilates classes can add up fast.
7. Consider your exercise habits and routines when choosing a gym. Are you more likely to go to a gym that’s closer to your home, work, or school? Also, if your preferred gym is miles away or hard to get to during rush hour traffic, chances are you won’t go nearly as much as you think.