Happy New Year!!

Congratulations! You have made the resolution to start exercising! But where should you start? If you have already decided a fitness gym is for you ,hopefully this blog will help you with key points to consider when choosing the right gym for you!


MOTIVATION: The first thing you may want to figure out is, what motivates you?  Why are you wanting to workout?. What are you looking for in a workout ? What are your goals? Your main goal could be anything from losing weight to  improving your overall fitness to improving in a sport, Maybe your motivation is to try that one thing you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t.  You know that dance class you’ve always wanted to try but were afraid to do? Do it!  trust me if its something that interests you, you are more likely to stick with it! Discuss your motivations with your potential gym or fitness instructor to see if they will be able to help you reach your goals

Choosing the right gym for you will make you reach your goals faster.If are you social and like others to workout with you or help push you in a class, a gym with group exercise classes may be for you. If you rather workout on your own and don’t need all the bells and whistles, then a smaller gym with just exercise equipment may be for you. Do you prefer one on one attention? then search for gyms that offer personal training or private lessons. If you are a person who needs constant change a larger gym which offers a lot more variety may be for you.The examples of motivations are endless.  Whatever your motivations are, ask yourself, will this gym help me obtain my goals?

LOCATION and HOURS: These two considerations are probably the most important things you will want to think about. Location, Location, Location! you may have heard this chant before when it comes to real estate, The same holds true for your gym .Location  is a huge factor when choosing a gym.The general rule is closer the better.Of course don’t settle for a gym that doesn’t work for you because its in your back yard, however the further you are away from your gym, the easier it is to talk yourself out of going on days you are tired or in bad weather or after a long day at work etc etc…(we’ve all been there !) The more you talk yourself out of going, the more you skip and soon enough you find yourself not going altogether. The same thing can be said for the hours of the gym. you may have found the perfect gym, but if it doesn’t work with your personal schedule, you’ll never go, so check the hours carefully! If you have a set schedule this is easy, if your schedule is constantly changing try for a gym that is open 24 hours or has something offered both day and night.

TYPES OF EXERCISES AND AMENITIES OFFERED:  This goes hand in hand with motivation. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t ? do you like to dance? Maybe find a dance class or a dance fitness class. Did you just watch that MMA fight and think ” Hey!  I want to do that!” Find a kickboxing class or Martial arts dojo. If you don’t want to train for a specific sport, but want the same physical and mental benefits find a gym that offers cardio versions of these classes. (for example cardio kickboxing)

Gyms can offer anywhere  from simple  free weights to offering classes, exercise equipment, juice bars ,spas, basketball courts,tracks and pools. They can also  be for very specific audiences  like offering just yoga or dance or martial art focused workouts. Find out what motivates you  and what you can  see yourself doing a year from now. If the thought of walking on a treadmill for an hour is unbearable then don’t join a gym that only has treadmills. Sounds simple but many people join a gym because its the one their friend joined and although its an awesome idea to workout with a friend sometime what works for your friend may not be what works for you. Your gym should suit your personality!

COST: One of the most common questions asked is how much does it cost?  Typically the more extras a gym has the more you will pay. Some gyms have a straight membership fee with classes included.Others charge extra for classes or personal training to keep the basic membership costs down. Gym costs can  run anywhere from free (yes i said free!) to hundreds of dollars. Some gyms have advertised prices and some don’t and if they do have an advertised price, ask what this price includes! Don’t be afraid to call or stop in, most gyms are very happy to give you a free tour! (and if they aren’t, run!!!!)

The majority of  gyms rely on memberships. Sometimes signing up for a longer term membership (2 years versus 1 year) will discount the monthly price.  Find out if your place of employment offers a discount for gym memberships. Many companies offer a wellness credit to help with your membership but may be specific to certain gyms. Memberships are excellent for the type of person who likes to workout often.

Other places may use a punch card system. A sort of pay as you go option. This option is usually better for those who may not want to or  be able to commit to a yearly membership or work out as often. Some places offer sessions, for example a 6 week class for a set price. Some places may have tiered or packaged memberships ( basic, silver, gold or something to that effect )these types of memberships increase in price as more options are included, kind of like your cable bill.

If you have found a gym but the price seems overwhelming ask about possibilities of reducing your membership fees. Some ways of doing this may be by asking if they are hiring for tasks such as washing towels or front desk support in exchange for a free or reduced membership. Do you have instructor training  or another service you think you can offer in trade?  It never hurts to ask if you can teach a class or two or maybe even write for their website!  Many gym owners will work with you to keep you as a member!

You are now ready to grab your water bottle and towel! Now you are ready to take that all important first step into a gym!  Hopefully you have more of an idea as to how to find the  fitness gym thats right for you. Don’t be afraid to do your homework and  shop around! A gym is a well deserved commitment that you are making to yourself!. Make sure it suits your lifestyle, your schedule, your needs and your personality!

Here’s to achieving your fitness goals in 2014!!