Do you want to get healthy or lose weight? Maybe getting into shape is on your mind lately. You notice the grand opening celebration at your local Orlando gym, or your co-worker can’t stop raving about her favorite. If you’re re-committing to a New Year’s resolution or simply wanting to rock an enviable six-pack abs, it’s best to consider the following five things before joining a new gym.
Social environment: Will you be working out alone or going with friends? Working out at a gym can be intimidating if you’re at the beginning of your fitness routine. Teaming up with a supportive friend can ensure you attend but also that you have fun while you’re there.
Referrals: If your friend loves her local gym, find out the specific reasons. What does he love about it? Does it offer a variety of machines or services not offered elsewhere? Does the gym offer fun competitions or member events? Sometimes, gyms offer special deals to friends of current members.
Location: Is it close to work, so you can hit the treadmill before heading home? Is it close to home and more convenient? You don’t want distance to become an obstacle on days you’re dragging your feet to go.
Cost: Limited time offers can be a godsend or a nightmare. Spend some time and research. Ask about the down payment to join, monthly fees, contract length options, and any other additional fees, such as for special classes or personal trainers. You could also enjoy big savings with special coupons for new members.
Machines and Services: What do you want from your workout? Are you training for your first 5K run? Do you want to get in shape, lose a few pounds, and be able to bounce up the stairs in your condo? Your goals matter. Some gyms offer serious workouts for competitive athletes. Some offer social situations to live a healthier lifestyle. Others offer a variety of machines or special classes, like Zumba or Zen Yoga.