Guide to choosing a Gym or Fitness centre
Going to the gym can be a positive and motivating experience – or it can be a nightmare.
We all know someone who loves to go to the gym and gets a lot out of it, but we all would also know someone else whom hates it, and many have signed up for a membership but have never been.
Let this guide help find the right one for you.
What to look for.
Pretty much all gyms and fitness centres are the same in this department.
Gyms will have a range of cardio equipment – from treadmills to cross trainers, steppers or rowers – they all do the same thing. And that is to get your heart rate up.
However new features can make your time go a little bit quicker.
Is there a TV to watch?
Some have integrated video screens to watch your favourite shows or to give the experience or running or cycling on tracks around the world!
Does the gym have free WiFi so you can listen to your own music or watch movies or TV?
Strength training equipment can vary – there are machine weights, plate loaded machines or free weights.
They all do the same thing – and that is to get you stronger.
Yes free weights may be better in a functional sense – but unless you have highly specific functional, sporting, or body building goals – there is nothing wrong with sticking to machines for the pure health returns of strength training.
There are many classes on offer, from aerobics, and dancing, to cycling, Pilates and yoga – you name it, and there is probably a class for it.
Classes can be motivating with the inspiration of the instructor and peers in the group – and a lot cheaper than individual personal training sessions.
Not all gyms have classes tho – and basically this is a personal choice if you are a class type person or not.
Nice clean changing/shower areas and bathroom facilities can be a nice addition, especially if you are going there on your way to work!
Sauna/spa – many places offer these services, however I’m not a fan, purely as there is no strong evidence that they are beneficial. But.. if that is something you enjoy – perhaps a centre with one could be a good investment.
Staffing / Access
Most gyms now are going 24/7, and therefore often have only limited hours of staffing across the day. I think I’m a bit old school – I like to have a friendly face to greet you and make you feel welcome. Plus, there is always someone there for help along the way!
If you are a shift worker, perhaps a 24hr service is best for you.
Being a member of a gym / fitness centre is not cheap.
Look out for specials, and ask them to waive their sign up fees (many will oblige to get the membership sale!).
If cost is an issue – perhaps it is all in your perspective. Health issues are way more expensive to manage then preventative measures, and living well with good health and fitness is priceless!
Some places can be inviting spaces for men and women, and the young and old – others not so much (picture loud grunting meat heads throwing weights around). It all comes down to if you feel safe, welcomed, within budget, and have all the facilities you are looking for.
But – at the end of the day, you can have good health and fitness, without even setting foot in a gym – its all about what works for you, your lifestyle, and your motivation.