BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

10 Things to Know Before Joining a Gym

Joining a gym deserves some thought and not purely joined based on an impulsive whim. And while it is commendable to excitedly jump into a gym membership, there are considerations and things to know before joining a gym.


How to Choose a Gym

1. Where is it located?
It is important to consider the location of the gym, as if placement is too inconvenient, you may not be vacating it all too often. Choosing a gym between the paths of your own home or work can keep you motivated and driven to tackle your workouts on a more regular basis.

2. Are there multiple locations?
More commonly, gyms are expanding and offering multiple locations. But having various gym locations may not only hold appeal or convenience in your own area, but may expand to further radiuses, which may be considerably accessible and motivating when traveling.

3. What are their business hours?
Verifying business hours is extremely important to accommodate your schedule. For instance, if you are an early morning workout riser and the gym does not open until midmorning hours, you may want to reconsider.

4. Are personal trainers staffed?
Although the assistance of personal trainers may not be desired by all, it may be a valuable selling point to others. Especially if new to the workout scene, demonstrations of workout techniques and how to operate equipment can contribute to more efficient, safer gym visits.

5. And are dietitians and their services available?
Although personal trainers can assist in your workout goals, on-site or contracted dietitians or nutrition experts can elevate your total health goals. Dietitians help develop and create individual meal plans tailored to your goals while also promoting wellness.

6. What environment and equipment is offered?
Desiring a clear running path during snowy winter months? Or maybe a swimming pool for water aerobics? It is important to consider the types of activity you wish to pursue and whether or not the gym can parallel that. Purchasing a gym membership without desired accommodations may just set you up for a workout letdown.

7. Are guest passes offered?
While some enjoy the peace of an individual workout, others may desire the solidarity of the buddy system. If desiring workouts with your consistent exercise companion, guest passes may be extremely appealing and even needed to continue your gym visits.

8. What about group classes?
Aligning with the desire of a workout buddy, some people may appreciate offered group classes for energy and support. Additionally, scheduled classes may encourage regular attendance, ultimately making that gym membership well worth its purchase.

9. Do they offer any complimentary services and amenities?
While the sheer desire to exercise more than likely initiated that gym membership, some fitness centers offer additional services and amenities. Heading to work after that morning workout? You may need a bathroom offering showers. Feeling tense following workouts? Well some facilities may even offer massage services! Do not hesitate to ask about such features.

10. What are the cancellation policies?
Whether the gym was not all you expected it to be or a new job is requiring relocation, it is important to know the cancellation policy. Before signing any documentation, critically and thoroughly read the contract (even the fine print)! If a component appears vague, clear up any confusion by asking questions.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on October 25, 2017.


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