Joining the gym is probably one of the best decisions you can make for your health. The workouts don’t have to be intense and the goals you set don’t have to be too ambitious, but any sort of physical activity will drastically improve your physical and mental health. This doesn’t mean that it’s something that should be decided on hastily and without proper planning. The facilities and equipment you choose should be well suited to your goals and the pace at which you are willing to work.
Location of the gym is a surprisingly important factor in organizing a routine. The commute could help you decide when will you exercise and will the trip itself become a part of the workout (a nice bike ride could be a good warm-up). Also, commutes tend to be easier if they are the first thing you do every day. It may seem like a 25-minute ride isn’t that long, but it becomes a drag when you’re supposed to take it after work. Pay attention to facilities nearby, as well – daycares are especially important for those with kids.
Community (or lack of it)
Some gyms offer great group exercises and therefore have a strong sense of community. Others, however, go in the opposite way and have that weird atmosphere where everyone knows each other, but don’t know each other’s names and just nod politely every once in a while. This may seem like an unimportant detail, but figuring out whether a gym community is your thing can be pretty important. Working out in a group can be a great source of motivation, but it can also be a bit of a drag because a lot of people consider working out a private and solitary activity. Choose wisely.
A gym bag
There are two ways to approach this: you can prepare everything you need in advance, or you can wait for the last minute to just throw a bunch of things in your bag. However, if you opt for the latter, chances are you’ll forget something you might need. Also, your gym wear should be comfortable, have a good wicking ability, and it should come in layers, especially if you’re exercising outside. Aside from clothes, your bag should also contain a deodorant, shampoo and flip flops for shower or sauna.
A personal trainer
If you’re thinking about hiring a personal trainer, meet up with them before making any long-term arrangements and be prepared to have an open discussion about your current fitness levels and future goals. Inquire about their professional experience and credentials. In most gyms, all of this will probably be pretty straightforward and professional. The relationship with your trainer is going to be a bit personal and you should make sure that your personalities and approach to training are a good match. However, you won’t be able to decide whether you two are a good match from a simple interview, so make sure that you can change the trainer after a few sessions.
The honest truth is that most people don’t accomplish their fitness goals. Things get in the way or perhaps the progress isn’t going as smoothly as they planned, and that’s why there are a lot of membership cancellations. First ask about the possibility of a trial membership, which is especially useful if you’re trying to decide between two or more gyms. Next, inquire about the possibility of renewing your membership on a monthly basis (this will probably make it more expensive in the long run) and in the end, find out about cancellations fees.
Do a bit of research before you join the gym. That way you will know what you’re getting into and you’ll get the most out of the experience both in terms of fitness and enjoyment.
About the Author:
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.