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How to Choose a Gym That's Right For You

January sees a surge in gym memberships. And, the reason is probably fairly obvious- people everywhere are resolving to get their health and fitness in check for 2015. Experts estimate that one out of every eight people join their gyms during the month of January, and most gyms see a surge of about thirty to fifty percent within the first few weeks of the year. Choosing a gym can potentially be a tricky process- you have to decide what aspects of the facility are important to you. How low-maintenance are you? Do you only require a treadmill and a rack of weights (and possibly a stretching mat)? Or do you expect your gym to have premium amenities, such as a pool, spin classes, massages, and a juice bar? If you’re having trouble deciding what’s important to you in a gym, here are a few things that you may want to consider:

#1: Keep things close and convenient.

While the gym in the next town over may boast a bigger swimming pool and an infrared sauna, it’s important to honestly consider how the commute will fit into your day. While it may seem completely worth the twenty minute drive now, you may feel differently come February. Ideally, you want your gym to be as convenient as possible, thus minimizing your excuses for not going. Explore the options that are near your house or on your way home from work; chances are that at least one of them will meet the majority of items on your criteria list.

#2: Make the most out of your initial visit.

When you go to check out a gym, make sure to bring a list of questions that you may have. For instance, ask about locker facilities- does the gym charge for monthly locker rentals or are they first come, first serve? Are the classes included in your membership fees, or do they charge extra for them? Decide when you would normally be hitting the gym during the day, and visit at that time to get a feel for what sort of crowd you’d normally be up against. Does it seem like people are having to wait for cardio machines? Lastly, find out if the gym offers a free day pass and go for a test run.

#3: Go over the contract with a fine-toothed comb.

It has been estimated that complaints against gyms have increased by almost ninety percent over the past decade. Experts believe that most of these complaints revolve around the contracts that members sign upon initiation. There is often a whole slew of fine print that is missed, including hidden fees and charges that aren’t necessarily made clear to the member. If you decide on a gym, take the contract home with you and read the WHOLE THING before you sign anything, in order to ensure that you are well aware of what you’re signing up for.


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