Joining a gym is a big commitment. Here are the top six do’s and don’ts you should know before signing on the dotted line.
1. Don’t look far
Find a gym that’s no more than 15 minutes from home or you’ll have trouble getting there regularly.
2. Check it out
+ Take a tour before signing anything, and ask to have a trial workout. If possible, snag clients out of your tour guide’s earshot and ask their opinion of the place.
+ In particular, check out the cleanliness. You don’t want to work out in a place that has mold in the bathrooms, dust in the corners or machines that aren’t being routinely sanitized and cared for.
3. Meet your needs
Be clear about your needs. Some clubs offer just fitness equipment and classes, while others go a step beyond with tennis or racquetball courts, swimming pools and even social activities.
4. Read the fine print
Lastly, don’t sign on the dotted line of a year-long contract or longer if you think you might want something different in six months.
5. Get your money’s worth
Think through your real needs before joining one. Gyms make their money because many people who pay for them rarely show up to use them.
6. Join for a good reason
Don’t join the gym on a whim and then regret it later—make sure you have a good reason. There are three main reasons to join a gym.
+ First: Access to high-quality resistance machines, a variety of fitness classes and trained staff.
+ Second: If joining a gym would give you the discipline and motivation you need to make exercising a habit.
+ Third: If you like exercising with other people.