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Finding The Right Gym For You - Health - Wellness
Finding The Right Gym For You by Michele Vaughan
in Health / Wellness (submitted 2009-02-27)
Joining a gym is an excellent first step to get you on the path to achieving your personal goals for fitness. However, finding the right one for you will take some research and searching in most cases. With the tremendous variety available in gyms today, it is important to know what you want in a gym before you sign up. Most gyms and studios allow you to try out a complimentary session or explore the facility before you commit to a year or six-month membership.
The right gym has a good atmosphere, courteous staff, clean facilities, and athletic professionals who can assist you with achieving your personal fitness goals. You will want to find a gym where you feel comfortable asking questions and trying out different equipment. Depending upon your personal goals, you may want a particular kind of gym. For example, if your emphasis is on strength building, you will want a gym that has a wide and specialized variety of equipment and fitness instructors who can guide you in achieving your goals. Some gyms have indoor or outdoor swimming pools while others have rock-climbing walls or offer fitness classes ranging from yoga and Pilates to TRX workouts, spin, dance, and other cardiovascular classes.
Choosing the right gym for you is an important decision and an investment. Different factors to take into consideration include the kinds of equipment, space, and facility offered by the gym, hours, price, location, amenities, number of people, cleanliness, the kinds of people working and frequenting the gym. Gyms vary significantly in price depending upon the facility, amenities, additional services offered, and also length of membership. You can often receive a discount for buying your membership in advance. Traveling to and from your gym should not be an arduous or long process otherwise you will avoid going there. Timing when you work out also is significant. If you go to the gym right before or after your work and you have a 9 to 5 schedule, you may find that you are stuck in traffic a lot or that your gym is packed when you get there. Choose a gym that has the kind of amenities and equipment that you want, while still being spacious enough and close enough to your home and work to remain convenient that you will keep going.
Some of the best gyms are very crowded. Working out at different times helps avoid crowds. While many gyms have beautiful extra amenities ranging from saunas, lounge areas, swimming pools, and other special features, you should choose a gym with the facilities that you will be using. If you know that you will not be swimming, avoid paying for a gym with those facilities. On the other hand, you may require special amenities or desire childcare facilities and hence this can be an important choice in your selection of gyms.
The cleanliness of your gym is very important. Choose a gym with very good sanitation that is well maintained. After a good workout, you may want to pop into the shower and having good facilities will make you feel much more comfortable and hygienic.
The equipment in your facility should be of high quality and well maintained. Most gyms contain strength-building equipment such as Cybex, Nautilus, or Hammer Strength in addition to free weights, dumbbells, bars, benches, and racks. They also have cardiovascular equipment such as elliptical machines, rowing machines, stair climbers, stationary bikes, spinning bikes, and treadmills.
Some gyms fail to maintain their equipment. Avoid using equipment that shows signs of neglect. The hours of operation are also significant. Most gyms are open later but some close their doors early on weekends. If you tend to work out later in the day, choose a gym that stays open till at least ten o'clock at night, so that you do not feel rushed in your workout. Some gyms are even open twenty-four hours.
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