You`ve gone through all the previous articles on choosing the right equipment for exercising at home. But you are a little sceptical as to whether you will be motivated enough to use those machines on a regular basis. And you know that unless you are regular, there will be no improvement in your body. Ah! Maybe then, you are the type who needs to be with others in order to get motivated. You need the right ambience; you need to be among serious exercise maniacs even to get started! Fine. The best thing would be for you to join a gym. Never mind about what we told you earlier! After all, each person is an individual in his/her own right and will react differently to different situations. So then, need help in zeroing in on the right gym? What are we here for " we do the research and you benefit!
A cursory glance at the list of health clubs available and of what they offer will show that all of them claim to have the latest fitness equipment specially imported and installed by experts. Added benefits on offer are steam, saunas, Jacuzzi to drive away all your exhaustion and even customised massage. What differs is their services and their pricing structures. And this is where you have to be careful. Should you simply join a health club because your friend recommended it, you might only end up totally dissatisfied and unhappy. So it is important that you first do a thorough research, especially as health clubs have become so ubiquitous as to have a presence in every major road in the city!
Getting started is in itself a major hurdle and you may have got over that with great difficulty. But don`t compound your problems by getting into something that simply does not meet your requirement. Find out if the health clubs under consideration have websites that you can check out. Make a thorough study of all the services, equipment, the hours and the price range. Short-list the ones near your place and make it a point to personally visit each of them. After all, these health clubs are by no means cheap! First make a phone call and talk with the staff. Do they sound courteous? Decide if after talking to them, you feel it will be worthwhile to visit the club.
You got to remember that proximity is of the utmost importance. So, when looking out for health clubs you have to see how close it is to your house or place of work. Convenience is the keyword here. Is there ample parking space? Is valet parking available? These are ready excuses for your not being regular in your exercise, so beware! No way is there going to be any realistic lifestyle change " you will only find an excuse for not going!
So you have located what seems to be an ideal health club fairly close by. Visit the club and check out the equipment. Sales staff will try and list all the benefits but even while you give them a patient ear, just insist on trying out the equipment yourself. This way, you will also get a `feel` of the atmosphere and also have the opportunity to interact with the regular members. See if it is so crowded that you might have to wait to use the equipment of your choice. Check out how well maintained the club is and also if everything is in working order.
- Do they have what you want?
Do your homework before visiting the club. Make out a list of all the things you would like to do when you use the club. Is a personal trainer available at all hours? Do they have aerobics of the variety you are looking for? Is their approach holistic? Will you get advice on diet from a qualified dietician? If you prefer yoga, do they have a yoga instructor? Is their equipment up to date? Are the changing rooms decent? Do they have lockers?
- What kind of member profile do they have?
Take a good look at the members. Are they committed to exercise, serious about what they are doing? Is the whole atmosphere comfortable? Some clubs may be quite intimidating for beginners. So check out your comfort level before you decide.
Is there someone always available to answer your questions patiently and without being aggressive? Are they well informed about the equipment and exercises taught? Do they have a friendly approach?
- W hat about the costs involved?
Talk to the front office staff. Find out what exactly the membership involves. Are the following included in the deal?
- Personal trainer
- Classes " how many a week and what kind
- Lockers, towel, exercise mats
- Any additional services
Is it going to be a one-time initiation fee and what is the period? Can you begin by trying it out on a monthly basis? Can you pay by card " any service charges for that? What happens to the deposit if you want to cancel the membership or get transferred?
Be very clear about how much you can afford as there may be many additional expenses if you opt for more than one service. And remember to bargain for what you want. Do not go by what they offer but try and get them to customise according to your needs.
Now that you have checked out everything, what are you waiting for? Come on, head for the nearest gym of your choice and begin your fitness quest!