7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Gym

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Many of us share that love-hate relationship with fitness. One day it’s fulfilling and exhilarating, the next day it’s an exhausting chore. Ultimately, we all know the important role that physical, mental and spiritual strength plays in our lives.

A healthy fitness regimen not only increases our stamina, heart health and physical physique, it also releases endorphins which raises your energy level. Picking the right gym is essential to making sure your goals are met and your fitness journey is as convenient as possible. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect gym.

1. Define you goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Knowing what you wish to achieve will keep you motivated and guide you to the health club that offer programs that cater to your needs. Whether you are looking to train for a marathon, shed 20 pounds or knock out your daily cardio, your gym should be able to support your goals.

2. List your “must-haves”. Today’s gyms include concierge services, smoothie bar, summer camps and so much more. But what is it that tickles your fancy. Write out a list of your absolute "must haves" in an ideal gym, which are different from the "nice to haves". Interested in weight lifting? Some gyms don't have a space where you can do your own bodyweight workouts. Also, will you be showering and getting ready for work at the gym? Take all these things into consideration.

3. Do your research. Social media and reputation sites like Yelp and Google Reviews have all the inside scoop you need. Get a feel for what current and former members like (or don’t) about the club’s classes, customer service, and cleanliness.

4. Take a test drive. Take advantage of the special deals and introductory offers. Health clubs like Ochsner Fitness Center, which has 4 locations within the Greater New Orleans area, gives free 2-Week trials to individuals interested in joining their club. This is an inexpensive way to test out various locations and options before committing to a long-term contract.

5. Location is everything. The location(s) of the gym you select should reflect your lifestyle. Will you work out in the morning, night or during lunch? Choosing carefully will help eliminate excuses for skipping your workout. If you plan to work out on weekends often, then picking a gym close to work may not be the best choice. Or maybe you are willing to sacrifice a few more minutes on the road for those extended services.

6. It’s all about the details. Pay attention to the vibe of the gym. You want to make sure you feel comfortable and not intimated by the environment. The lighting, music, amount of people and even the type of people who work out there can affect your fitness experience. Things that you may miss on the tour might end up as deal breakers later on. Also, make sure to notice the facility’s cleanliness. Sanitation is extremely important in a gym.

7. Seal the deal. You’ve done all the research and now it’s time to commit. Ask about promotions and different membership types. Prices are often at their best in January, however there is likely a special offer throughout the year. Mostly all clubs have an annual membership type, some of month-to-month memberships as well – Choose the one that’s right for you!

The most important thing to remember is to take your fitness journey seriously. Set your goals and work tirelessly to achieve them. No matter what gym you pick, only you can produce results. Oh, and enjoy the ride.

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