Okay, gang, we’ve just finished the Labor Day holiday, and it’s back to work!  Well, it’s not all work, and no play, so enjoy this article about how to find the gym that is right for you….No excuses!  Let’s exercise! pb

Whether you’ve been sitting on the couch every night for the past 10 years or you’re just looking to change up your workout, joining a gym is an excellent fitness decision. Access to knowledgeable people and expensive equipment will help get you moving and in the best shape of your life. But choosing a gym isn’t as simple as walking in and signing up. It’s important to find one that suits you so that you’ll actually follow through with your fitness goals. When checking out the gyms in your area, keep these seven things in mind.

  1. Location:

In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location, and it’s no different when choosing a gym. You may love the state-of-the-art facility on the other side of town, but it’ll be that much harder to motivate yourself to go if you know you have to drive or walk far out of your way to get there. A good rule of thumb is the 15-minute rule. If the gym is more than 15 minutes away from your home or work, you shouldn’t buy a membership there. 

  1. Price:

Besides being committed to working out regularly, you have to be committed to paying for your membership each month before you sign up with a gym. Of course, you get what you pay for.  You have to determine what you can afford and what services you’ll actually use. Check around town for the best rates, and check out whether you can pay less if you’re not going to take any group classes or personal training sessions. And always read the fine print to make sure you’re not getting suckered into a three- or five-year commitment. That could be a lot of wasted money if your situation changes and you can’t go to the gym anymore.

  1. Friends:

Ask around when you start your gym search to see if you have any friends who love their gyms. Not only can you get great suggestions (or reasons to avoid a certain gym), you might also find a workout buddy. If you don’t know anyone who’s already a gym member, try to find someone who wants to join with you. Having a gym partner will keep you motivated and hold you accountable, helping you get your money’s worth.

  1. Amenities:

The price of your membership will probably reflect the amenities that are included, so you should consider what you need and what you can do without. Do you want top-of-the-line offerings, such as a juice bar, sauna, and Jacuzzi? Will you be unhappy if towels aren’t provided for you? Will you be using the locker room showers or the child care center? Decide which of these amenities are important to you and ask to check them out on your gym tour.

  1. Clientele:

One of the biggest hindrances to people who want to get in shape is that they are often embarrassed by how out of shape they are. If you’re worried about getting sweaty or jiggly in front of super-fit gym members or the hot girl or guy on the treadmill next to you, you might consider that fact when trying to find a gym where you can work out until you are an unattractive, stinky mess. Look for clientele who look similar to you, whether that means mostly the same sex, mostly the same age, or mostly the same fitness level. You wouldn’t want to end up at a gym for body builders when you’re just trying to slim down.

  1. Size and popularity:

The reason you’re probably joining a gym is so that you can use their expensive fitness equipment, so it’s important to find a gym that has enough equipment to go around. During peak hours at popular gyms, it’s not unusual for you to have to wait for a machine and be limited on how long you can use it. For most gyms, the busiest hours are mid-morning and early evening. If you know what time of day you’ll want to work out, visit the gym at that time to see how crowded it is and what kinds of machines are open. The other perks of the facility won’t be worth it if you can’t get the kind of workout you want.

  1. Staff:

The front-desk staff should be friendly and helpful, and there should always be a staff member on hand willing to help out members who need help or explanations of machines. The staff members will probably treat you very well when you’re considering joining, so keep an eye out for how they treat current members as you walk through on your tour. If you think you might take personal training sessions in the future, you should also ask what kind of experience and certifications their personal trainers have. You don’t want to be stuck with a trainer who doesn’t know the difference between your biceps and your gluteus maximus.

This article was sent by Liz Nutt, of  Thanks, Liz for the great tips.