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How To Choose A Gym


When joining a gym, consider the following factors:

  • Convenient location to your home or office and hours that work for you.
  • Price.
    • There are no frills gyms. For example, Planet Fitness (http://www.planetfitness offsite link)
    • Watch for sales. Most gyms offer price reductions several times a year.
    • Ask about discounts. You may be entitled to a discount because of a group you belong to, or your employer, or as a person who contributes to a particular nonprofit. You may get a discount for paying cash, or for signing up for two years instead of one.
    • Ask for percs. For instance, you may be able to negotiate for 1 - 3 free sessions with a trainer, or free health shakes, or discounts at the clothing store.
  • A variety of equipment and facilities for both aerobic and strength training.
  • A trained staff:
    • To help set a program and goals
    • To check on your form as you exercise so you do not injure yourself.
  • A clean, well maintained environment that makes it easy to avoid infection. Ask the management about the cleaning agents used and the darily cleaning schedule for all surfaces and equipment. Also, look for:
    • Anti-bacterial containers and/or disinfectant sprays around the gym
    • Gyms that hand out exercise towels with which to wipe equipment before and after use or gyms with wipes around the gym which are usable for the same purpose.
  • Either a refund policy or a policy which puts your membership on hold if you can't attend for a period of time - whether due to your physical condition or other reasons such as travel. Most gyms allow membership to be put on hold for the duration of a flare-up in your condition.
  • A refund policy if you become disabled. 
    • Ask how the gym assures it has money available to pay refunds.
  • An environment that works for you.
  • Visit the gym at the times you are most likely to use it so you can see how crowded it is.
  • If your health insurance policy or employer offer refunds for exercise, does the gym fit the appropriate description?

NOTE: If you are a senior, to find a fitness center with age-specific programs, consider:

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