Looking for a gym to keep fit, active and to prolong your physical and mental health?
Then you have come to the right place!
Before you commit to a gym it’s important that you consider all of your needs, wants and compromises – just like making any purchasing decision.
So… What type of gym is right for you?
Being Rational and Resolute
It’s astonishing how many people decide to join a gym; whether it’s part of their New Year’s resolution, or because they’ve recently taken a gander at themselves in the mirror and want to shed a few pounds; then, disappointingly, quit after just a few weeks.
It’s a waste of time, energy and money!
If you exercise in a location that you genuinely enjoy and you feel a sense of community with the people around you, there is no doubt that your exercise habits and therefore physical health will improve.
So lets find that location and find that community!
There are lots of things to consider when choosing a gym – hygiene, equipment, quality of coaching, location, price, etc.
These are just some of the things we will be considering in this article.
Your job is to understand what is important to YOU and then make a decision based on your available options.
Keep in mind that there is no rush!
It’s better for you to take time choosing the right gym and sticking with it, than choosing the wrong one and quitting after a few weeks!
Don’t Be Afraid to Explore your Options
There is no reason why you shouldn’t be allowed to trial a gym before diving head first into a long term membership.
Some gyms offer a trial period or day long membership to enable potential members to give things a whirl before joining.
If you can’t find this advertised, just ask!
Explore every option and ask yourself (and others, if you want a second and perhaps more professional opinion) a variety of questions; such as:
- What are the hours of operation?
- When is the gym at its busiest?
- What classes are run, when are they run and how often do they run?
- Do they offer the classes you want?
- Are staff fully trained and certified?
- What are the most popular pieces of equipment?
- Above all, how will YOU benefit from joining & does it suit YOUR needs?
Don’t be afraid to approach staff at the different gyms you’re considering; they are there to help and advise you!
Look Closer to Home or Work
It’s practical to search for local gyms.
Preferably you want to find a gym that’s not too far away, as this will only consume more of your time, which is likely to put you off going on a regular basis.
Be sensible; go on the Internet and look up gyms that are local to where you live – or even better – near your place of work.
That way, you can go for a quick workout during your lunch break, or a full session before or after work.
People often like to go to the gym immediately before or after work as it becomes a routine.
Almost every book you can read on morning routines, suggests exercising in the morning. Two important books that are well worth reading for ideas on morning routines include:
Going to the gym immediately after work also distracts your mind from procrastination; for example, if you get home after work, cook your dinner and lay down on the sofa “for five minutes,” you’re less likely to get up and go to the gym than if you unconsciously drive straight to the gym from work.
Searches such as “local gyms,” nearest gyms or “gyms near me” should provide a comprehensive list of gyms in the vicinity.
Know Your Budget
The next important factor to consider is cost.
How much are you willing to spend on a monthly basis and what measures will you take to ensure that you’ll be getting your money’s worth?
Do a bit of cost-benefit analysis – Is the cost worth the value you are getting?
To do this you may want to compare the cost to other expenses that you currently have or could replace.
For example, if a gym membership costs £30 per month and you spend £200 per month (roughly £6.67 per day or £50 per week) on coffee, food or alcohol, could you cut back on your sins to benefit from the physical, mental and social benefits that a gym membership offers?
Some gyms also have promotional offers during particular times, such as the start of the New Year.
Joining at a time when the price is more modest might help you save money in the long run.
That said, don’t get cajoled into any additional offers and services that you probably won’t benefit from or buy anything that is of no interest to you.
You may also be swayed by membership discounts and other perks including the use of a swimming pool, tanning salon or masseuse.
If there’s a café on site, might you get discount on food and drink?
It certainly helps to know what you’ll be entitled to once you become a fully-fledged gym member so you can weigh up the cost of different memberships.
The big question here is… Are you getting value for your money?
Feel at Ease!
Exercising can be a personal activity that we may choose to do in a variety of ways.
Whilst some people join the gym for social reasons; to network with fellow fitness freaks or like-minded individuals looking to lose a few pounds, others prefer a quieter environment where they can focus better, immerse themselves in their own world and feel more at ease.
With this in mind, you may want to ask yourself:
- What types of people are working out at the gym?
- Is there a fair mixture of both men and women?
- Do I want a fair mixture of men and women?
- Is the atmosphere upbeat or awkward?
- Would I fit in here?
- Would I be uncomfortable, self-conscious or intimidated?
Make sure you feel comfortable when choosing the ideal gym – it is all about you!
Health, Safety and Hygiene
The next thing you should consider is how well the gym you are thinking of joining is maintained.
- Is the equipment regularly serviced and tested?
- Are there staff around to help and do they respond quickly when a piece of equipment is broken?
- Is equipment left around on the floor?
- Is it safe?
- Also, what is the level of cleanliness at the gym?
- How does it smell?
- Do they offer fresh drinking water?
- Are the floors and walls grime free? Don’t forget to check out the changing rooms, showers and toilets!
It is important that you workout in a safe, hygienic environment which is run by people who care and respect the rules of health and safety!
At the end of the day, we all deserve to live healthy and happy lives – so no matter what kind of person you are, from the loudest live-wire to the quietest introvert, there’s no reason why you can’t be a member of the gym.
It not only helps you to lose weight and keep fit, but also empowers you with feelings of community, confidence, optimism and drive!
So use this article as a basis for assessing your needs and choose the right gym for you!