One of the most important things in your new lifestyle besides weight loss nutrition is finding the fitness experience that suits your individual needs. While many people like to take to the great outdoors for their workout sessions, cold weather and motivation prompts millions of Americans to opt for a gym.
Gyms, however, do not come in a one-size-fits-all package. Yet there is a certain amount of criteria that you need to look for before signing up for a new gym package. This can help you determine which type of membership is right for you.
Not all gyms are the same in terms of price - and you want to make sure that your new fitness center works well with your financial needs. For example, there are many packages out there that include fitness training, specialized classes and high-tech machines that are great if you can afford them, but aren't necessary for a weight loss plan, especially if you go broke.
Look for fitness centers that offer trial memberships
Just like any other situation with a big purchase, such as a fancy new pair of shoes or a new car, you want to "try on" your new fitness center to make sure that it fits. Many gyms understand that exercisers may want to take a test drive, so many of them offer trial memberships. This could be a great way to gauge whether or not the spot is right for your personality and weight loss needs.
Determine if you want a specialized or general gym
In the fitness world, you can take your pick in terms of weight loss philosophy. For example, you might love hot yoga but would never set foot on a treadmill. In this case, you may want to invest your cash in a place that highlights the exercise options that you love. Do you like kick-boxing? Why spend the extra dough on a general gym if you are never going to use all of the machines? Some gyms are also same-sex or co-ed, others cater to a younger crowd and there may be gyms that are more focused on resistance training. Ask if you can take a tour of the gym first to gauge your comfort level.
Read the fine print
Some gym memberships have fixed plans that you might get stuck in unless there is a move or medical emergency. Reading the entire agreement and signing up for a membership that is flexible is your best bet for finding something that works for everyone.
Hours and location are important
Depending on your job, family dynamic and geographical location, not all gyms may be the right fit for your lifestyle. Many people find that having a gym location close to home or work ensures that they are making the most out of their gym package financially, especially during those times when there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. In the same scope, flexible hours are also a major bonus, especially if you are getting up early before work or staying up late to fit in a workout.
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