There are many advantages to exercising in a health club or gym. Diverse equipment, group classes, personal trainers, child-care, and a focused environment are a few. But before you sign a contract, here are a few things to consider:
- Location – Is the gym within a 15 minute drive of your home, school, or office? Research shows that gym attendance drops dramatically when the transportation time exceeds 15 minutes.
- Comfort – Most gyms will give you a free trial for a few days or even a week so you can try it out. Some gyms even have a “women-only” area.
- Equipment and Facilities – If you enjoy swimming, join a club with a pool. Elliptical lover? Check out the cardio equipment and make sure the machines are running and in good repair. If cleanliness is a priority for you, take a tour and make sure the maintenance staff is meeting your expectations.
- Cost – Read the ENTIRE contract, including all fine-print. You don’t want to be surprised with extra fees after you’ve written your check. Find out what the cancellation policy is before you commit. Don’t be pressured into signing up on the spot.
- Classes – If you like going to group classes, get a schedule and try the classes first. Read the descriptions carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask other members which classes they like.